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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Frenchman Got It Right!

It's rare to find anything that's Biblically sound by the French. We often forget the Christian heritage of the Huguenots. I finished The Law by Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)a couple of months ago and I was simply blown away by it! He does an excellent job of simplifying and eloquently defining the elementary aspects of Biblical economics.

One of the most interesting ideas I learned was the difference between legal plunder and illegal plunder. When a person breaks in your house and steals, that is illegal plunder. An example of legal plunder would be property tax, inheritance tax, etc. If you read this book, take out the word "law" and put "constitution" in its place. You'll be surprised how relevant it is. That's what I did with this next section from the very beginning of the book.

The Constitution perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The Constitution, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The Constitution become (sic) the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the Constitution itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

Here are a few of my favorite portions.

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life- physical, intellectual, and moral life... Life, faculties, production- in other words, individuality, liberty, property- this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

Each of us has a natural right- from God- to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is dependent upon the preservation of the other two.

Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers?

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain- and since labor is pain in and of itself- it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly...When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and dangerous than labor.

Can the law- which necessarily requires the use of force- rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right.

Since law necessarily requires the support of force, its lawful domain is only in the areas where the use of force is necessary. This is justice.

Look at the entire world. Which countries contain the most peaceful, the most moral, the happiest people? Those people are found in the countries where the law least interferes with private affairs; where government is least felt; where the individual has the greatest scope, and free opinion the greatest influence; where administrative powers are fewest and simplest; where taxes are lightest and most nearly equal.....Where the inventions of man are most nearly in harmony with the Word of God; in short, the happiest, most moral, and most peaceful people are those who most nearly follow this principle.

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.

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Blogger Son3 said...

Awesome quotes!

Great post, Stephen.

October 1, 2008 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...


October 1, 2008 at 4:17 PM  

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