Book Review: Frederic Bastiat's The Law

freedom       2003-04-01 
Not every good idea is a new one. Many good ideas are old ideas that have simply been forgotten -- or are intentionally overlooked.
One wonderful source of good and important ideas is a very old but prescient book by Frederic Bastiat. In his slim volume which is succinctly entitled The Law, we find an impassioned, sustained, and persuasive reminder of the purpose of law and the legitimate use of government. It may have been written back in the early 19th century, but its truths speak to us today in the 21st century.
We would all -- elected officials included -- benefit from this man's ideas. Bastiat believed that the greatest single threat to liberty is government. And he calls all to recognize that might does not make right. That is to say, simply legalizing a particular undertaking does not change that undertaking's morally problematic nature. An legalized taking from another may still be wrong, whatever ink on paper may say.

You can download a PDF copy of this book from the CyberAtlantis Library here.