Principium Volume I, Book 3, Quote 429, 432, 434

429. In a country like the United States, where the right to property is placed above the law, where the sole function of the public police force is to safeguard this natural right, each person can in full confidence dedicate his capital and his labor to production. He does not have to fear that his plans and calculations will be upset from one instant to another by the legislature.

- Frederic Bastiat – The Law, 1850

(That is how it once was, and how it should be, however, today’s economic and political environment is such that we cannot be sure what tomorrow will bring from the legislature.)ATJ


432. …when the law, by the intervention of its necessary agent force, imposes a system of labor, a method or a subject of education, a faith or a religion, its action on men is no longer negative (keeping one from doing injustice to another)ATJ, but positive. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own will, the initiative of the legislator for their own initiative. They (the people)ATJ no longer have to take counsel together, to compare, to foresee; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless accessory; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.

- Frederic Bastiat – The Law, 1850


434. (A message to leaders)ATJ Let us, therefore, not have the presumption to overthrow everything, to regulate everything, to seek to exempt all, men and things alike, from the operation of the laws to which they are naturally subject….Let us not make ourselves ridiculous by proposing to change humanity, as if, we stood apart from it and from its errors and shortcomings.

- Frederic Bastiat – The Law, 1850

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