The Law

The Law

by Frederic Bastiat
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Overview

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

First published in 1850, “The Law” is the best known work of 19th century economist Frederic Bastiat, a prominent member of the French Liberal School. A forerunner to the Austrian School of Economics, the French Liberal School was a major proponent of the laissez-faire capitalistic system. Bastiat advocated for unregulated free markets and against protectionism. At the heart of Bastiat’s philosophy was an opposition against the redistribution of wealth by the government, which he refers to as “legal plunder”, for any reason. In Bastiat’s opinion the sole purpose of the government was to protect personal property and liberty. Influenced by John Locke’s “Second Treatise on Government”, this short little book may seem extreme in its defense of personal property by today’s standards. Bastiat in fact opposes such commonly accepted modern day practices as public education. Bastiat’s absolutist position is understood when one learns of his personal history, his father’s estate was acquired during the French Revolution. While history may ultimately deem Bastiat as nothing more than a reactionary, his contribution to modern economics, which includes the concept of opportunity cost, and his influence on modern political economy cannot be overstated. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper and follows the translation of Dean Russell.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781161467932
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/23/2010
Pages: 58
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.25(d)

About the Author

Frederic Bastiat was born in Bayonne, Aquitaine, France. When he was nine years old, he was orphaned and became a ward of his father's parents. At age seventeen he left school to become more involved with his family's business as an exporter. Economist Thomas DiLorenzo suggests that this family business experience was crucial to Bastiat's later work because it allowed young Frédéric to acquire first-hand knowledge of some of the effects of trade regulations on the market. Sheldon Richman notes that "he came of age during the Napoleonic wars, with their extensive government intervention in economic affairs."

When Bastiat was twenty-five, his grandfather and benefactor died, leaving the young man the family estate and providing him with the means to further his own theoretical inquiries. His areas of intellectual interest were diverse, including "philosophy, history, politics, religion, travel, poetry, political economy, [and] biography."

His public career as an economist began only in 1844, and was cut short by his untimely death in 1850. Bastiat had contracted tuberculosis, probably during his tours throughout France to promote his ideas, and that illness eventually prevented him from making further speeches (particularly at the legislative assembly to which he was elected in 1848 and 1849) and took his life. Bastiat died in Rome on 24 December 1850.

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The Law 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book for everyone interested in law and for anyone who loves liberty. Ron Paul recommended it - enough said.
wroberthelms More than 1 year ago
Frederic Bsstiat had the ability to explain economic principles so anyone can understand. He wrote during the French revolution of 1850 when France was taking a sharp turn to Socialism. Everything he writes conveys common sense in common language so anyone can grasp this point. If Frederic Bsstiat were alive today, he would be disappointed with our failure to keep the Law within its proper domain.
Mpower54 More than 1 year ago
Short read written a long time ago in France. Amazing how even now this book can teach the dangers of liberalism. I highly recommend reading this book to understand why the "nanny state" does not ever work. Read this book!
Taylanator More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, very few errors in the OCR I believe. Bastiat was someone who was willing to call socialism exactly what it really was/is: Legal plunder. This book is still incredibly accurate and relevant to our day. I recommend this book to anyone interested in conservative and libertarian ideology. Freedom Works! Liberty is the answer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Written by the author, Frederic Bastiat, while he knew he was dying in 1850, he left a gift to this world. Every sentence carries significant weight. Each page builds your understanding, yet you can open to any page and read it and it makes sense as he discusses and addresses a particular issue. Incredible. Everyone from High School up through adults and our senior citizens should read this piece of work. The Law, A Blueprint for a JUST Society. It is what we need in the U.S. today!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great insight to the tyrannical government that we are now tolerating in the United States. A great read.
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