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Quotes - Frederic Bastiat


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Click Here To View The Full Text Of "The Law" by Frederic Bastiat



Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain- and since labor is pain in itself- it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.


People are beginning to realize that the apparatus of government is costly. But what they do not know is that the burden falls inevitably on them.


God put raw materials and the forces of Nature at man's disposal. To gain possession of them, either one has to take pains, or one does not have to take pains... If pains must be taken, ... the satisfaction must go to the one who has taken the pains. This is the principle of property. Will anyone dare to say that a man should not be the owner of the pains he himself takes?... Let him take care! That would mean glorifying slavery; for to say that certain men must render services that are not paid for, means that other men must receive services that they do not pay for, which is certainly slavery.




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