Thursday, March 31, 2011

Frustrated with Our Current Government and Welfare Systems? Here is an interesting little book to read...

Being unable to fall asleep last night until the wee sma's (namely, 2 am), finally around midnight I decided to get up and read. I am reading several good books at present but what drew me back was The Law by Frederic Bastiat which I had left several months ago at midpoint. Although a very interesting little book, I was drawn away by other books for a time and left The Law sitting to be finished later.

What I found so incredibly interesting while reading The Law is that even though it was written in 1850 about the current state of affairs in France, it reads in many ways as a commentary on our current welfare and political systems in the United States.

"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. " p. 25


"When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it — without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud — to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed." p. 32

Does not the following passage sound like mindset of our current government?:

"What is the attitude of the democrat --(he is speaking of a democratic system, I believe, not necessarily democrat as in democrat vs republican)--  when political rights are under discussion? How does he regard the people when a legislator is to be chosen? Ah, then it is claimed that the people have an instinctive wisdom; they are gifted with the finest perception; their will is always right; the general will cannot err; voting cannot be too universal.... But when the legislator is finally elected — ah! then indeed does the tone of his speech undergo a radical change. The people are returned to passiveness, inertness, and unconsciousness; the legislator enters into omnipotence. Now it is for him to initiate, to direct, to propel, and to organize. Mankind has only to submit; the hour of despotism has struck." p. 68-69

This is only a little taste of what the book has offer. And although it does address the law, welfare, and politics, I think it would be an interesting read for everyone, even those not interested in either of those three subjects.

It is a very inexpensive book to purchase. I purchased my copy for less than $5 on Amazon. It is also available at a number of places online to read for free. For a pdf copy: The Law by Frederic Bastiat (this copy has both a foreword and introduction by other men that I have not read) or a copy directly on a website: The Law .

I will end my little blog post with how Mr. Bastiat ends his book.

From The Law p.86:

"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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