Adventure and Romance Across the Seven Seas
Frederic Bastiat
Frederic Bastiat
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"The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else."

                 "The State" (in Selected Essays on Political Economy)

"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."

                 "The Law"

"No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate)."

                 "The Law"

"By virtue of exchange, one man's prosperity is beneficial to all others."

                 "Economic Harmonies"

"Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole with their common aim of legal plunder constitute socialism."

                 "The Law"

"Property, the right to enjoy the fruits of one's labor, the right to work, to develop, to exercise one's faculties, according to one's own understanding, without the state intervening otherwise than by its protective action--this is what is meant by liberty"

                 "Property and Law"

"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."

                 "Property and Law"

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Last updated 14.8.2003