Principium Volume I, Book 3, Quote 373, 374, 375

373. Life, faculties, production – in other words individuality, liberty, property – that 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.

- Frederic Bastiat – The Law, 1850

374. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

- Frederic Bastiat – The Law, 1850


375. Bastiat explains the call for laws that restrict peaceable, voluntary exchange and punish the desire to be left alone by saying that socialist want to play God. Socialist look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. To them – the elite – “the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.” And for people who have this vision, Bastiat displays the only anger I find in “The Law” when he lashes out at do-gooders and would-be rulers of mankind, “Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.”

- Walter E. Williams, 1936-Present – Forward to “The Law” by Frederic Bastiat

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