This obscure French pamphlet from 1850 predicted today’s America.
The following quotes come from French classical liberal, economic journalist and legislator Frédéric Bastiat’s 1850 pamphlet, “The Law.”
It started with “hope and change” ”While society is struggling toward liberty, these famous men who put themselves at its head are filled with the spirit of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They think only of subjecting mankind to the philanthropic tyranny of their own social inventions. Like Rousseau, they desire to force mankind docilely to bear this yoke of the public welfare that they have dreamed up in their own imaginations…
Listen to the ideas of a few of the writers and politicians during that period [the late 1780s]:
SAINT-JUST: The legislator commands the future. It is for him to will the good of mankind. It is for him to make men what he wills them to be. ROBESPIERRE: The function of government is to direct the physical and moral powers of the nation toward the end for which the commonwealth has come into being. BILLAUD-VARENNES: A people who are to be returned to liberty must be formed anew. A strong force and vigorous action are necessary to destroy old prejudices, to change old customs, to correct depraved affections, to restrict superfluous wants, and to destroy ingrained vices. LE PELLETIER: Considering the extent of human degradation, I am convinced that it is necessary to effect a total regeneration and, if I may so express myself, of creating a new people.”
And a social justice agenda, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?”
That enabled Obamacare ”But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed — then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property.
And the IDOJ malfeasances, etc RS scandal,. ”Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim — when he defends himself — as a criminal.
Where law was used as a weapon ”But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.
Author: Frederic Bastiat–fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice
And condoned in a culture of political corruption ”The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy.”
Imbued with such a philosophy, Washington was a political free-for-all,,the law takes property from one person and gives it to another; the law takes the wealth of all and gives it to a few — whether farmers, manufacturers, ship owners, artists, or comedians. Under these circumstances, then certainly every class will aspire to grasp the law, and logically so.”
Public education remained ever powerful the law has only two alternatives: It can permit this transaction of teaching-and-learning to operate freely and without the use of force, or it can force human wills in this matter by taking from some of them enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge.
Leading to Common Core being foisted upon the children ”Open at random any book on philosophy, politics, or history, and you will probably see how deeply rooted in our country is this idea — the child of classical studies, the mother of socialism. Conventional classical thought everywhere says that behind passive society there is a concealed power called law or legislator (or called by some other terminology that designates some unnamed person or persons of undisputed influence and authority) which moves, controls, benefits, and improves mankind.”
. The media was effectively an organ of the administration , — base their various theories upon one common hypothesis: They divide mankind into two parts. People in general — with the exception of the writer himself — form the first group. The writer, all alone, forms the second and most important group. Surely this is the weirdest and most conceited notion that ever entered a human brain!”
…Really the socialist writer whimsically shape human beings into groups, series, centers, sub-centers, honeycombs, labor-corps, and other variations, just so does the socialist writer need the force that he can find only in law to shape human beings. For this purpose, he devises tariff laws, tax laws, relief laws, and school laws.”
Truly the writers of the nineteenth century look upon society as an artificial creation of the legislator’s genius. the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.”
13. So the welfare state that had once started small… ”But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.”
14. Grew and grew and grew ”Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.”
When re-election time came, they spoke of Republicans ”throwing granny off the cliff” and wanting “dirtier air, dirtier water“ ”Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.
We disapprove of state education., religion, state-enforced equality. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
16. The community organizers sprung to action If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority.
Chanting slogans like ”This is what democracy looks like” is the doctrine based on this triple hypothesis: the total inertness of mankind, the omnipotence of the law, and the infallibility of the legislator.
And speaking of all sorts of previously unknown ”rights” ”The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.
While the President said ”You didn’t built that“ “Thus, according to [a tutor to the Dauphin in the Court of Louis XIV] Bossuet, persons derive nothing from themselves. Patriotism, prosperity, inventions, husbandry, and science — all of these are given to the people by the operation of the laws, the rulers
And while the President won re-election, due to efforts of the House and various scandals, he now makes statements like “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone“ “In cases where the alleged evil is so great that ordinary governmental procedures cannot cure it, Mably recommends a dictatorship to promote virtue: “Resort,” he says, “to an extraordinary tribunal with considerable powers for a short time. He is not content to pray for a great reawakening of the human spirit. Nor does he expect such a result from a well-ordered government. No, he himself will remake mankind, and by means of terror.”
While his party pushes an inequality meme Perhaps the politician should ask himself whether this state of affairs has not been caused by old conquests and lootings, and by more recent legal plunder. But the politician never gives this a thought. His mind turns to organizations, combinations, and arrangements — legal or apparently legal. He attempts to remedy the evil by increasing and perpetuating the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. We have seen that justice is a negative concept. Is there even one of these positive legal actions that does not contain the principle of plunder?”
And dreams of equalization ”You say: “There are persons who have no money,” and you turn to the law. Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in. If every person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it, it is true that the law then plunders nobody. But this procedure does nothing for the persons who have no money. It does not promote equality of income. The law can be an instrument of equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to other persons. When the law does this, it is an instrument of plunder.