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The Law Paperback – June 8, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books (June 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1614270570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614270577
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''Full of truths that are not merely relevant but are absolutely vital to our future.'' --Dick Armey, former majority leader, US House of Representatives

''No work before or since has made such a compelling case for freedom. Bastiat's message will influence students of liberty for years to come.'' --Laissez Faire Books --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is a very short book that is an easy read, but repetitive.
Ares
Frederic Bastiat makes one infallible argument for the purpose of law and the gov'ts role of enforcing it.
MERICA!
Bastiat's 1850 classic is very politically inconvenient to today's liberals and conservatives.
Jason Seagraves

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

315 of 337 people found the following review helpful By Penfist VINE VOICE on January 31, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What book is is important enough that I read it once a year? The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Written in 1848 as a response to socialism in France, this book essay is just as relevant today as it was then.

"What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right-from God-to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

If every person has the right to defend - even by force - his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right - its reason for existing, its lawfulness - is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force - for the same reason - cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers?
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I read F.A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom," I thought I had read the most inspired and compelling book ever to discredit socialism and other collective-isms. I was wrong...very wrong. I cannot believe Bastiat wrote "The Law" in the middle of the 19th century since it has so much applicability to the 20th (and soon to be 21st) century. If ever there was a concise and powerful argument for defending Liberty and the Law against every social engineer, this has to be it (only 75 pages!). Bastiat is a master of words and the analogy. Every lover of freedom who wishes to get a nutshell understanding of why Liberty and Law matters ought to read this book. Every enemy of freedom (e.g. liberals, socialists, communists, etc.) ought to fear it.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Fredric Bastiat was a 19th century French law-maker, economist and author. He wrote a number of highly technical works of economic theory, books that are still considered valuable contributions to free-market economic thought. But his least technical work, a pamphlet called The Law, has proven to be perhaps his most enduring from a modern political standpoint.
Written in 1850, just two years after the French Revolution of 1848, the Law is part treatise and part polemic, an appeal to the French people reminding them of the proper sphere of the law and government and begging them to turn away from their descent into socialism. The Law is also a summary of much of what Bastiat considered to be important from his own work; at the time The Law was written he was very sick, and he would be dead within a year of its publication. As a French patriot, Bastiat was deeply moved by the disintegration he saw in French society.
As the last vestiges of the class-society were replaced and the new "democratic" order was being instituted, the State was more and more being used as a means by which groups of citizens (special interests) could plunder one another through taxes, transfer payments, tariffs, etc, committing what Bastiat calls "legal plunder." As he saw it, the law was being perverted into a so-called "creative" entity, through which controlling groups would seek to enforce their particular agendas at the expense and through the pocketbooks of the people in general.
Bastiat argues that the law should be properly viewed as the formal embodiment of Force. That is, human laws should be the organized and formal construction of justice. Just law, he says, is nothing more than the organization of the human right to self-defense.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kliment on December 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Historically speaking, it is not infrequent that tyranny presents itself as good. Skillful rhetoric and unjust laws can accomplish a greater level of public plunder and serfdom than guns and brute force. It is not the tyranny of the aristocracy or the royalty that is most dangerous, but the popular tyranny - the tyranny of democracy - when the envious poor - the dumb majority - empowers the elite government to enact unjust laws, to abrogate personal freedoms, to eliminate the free market and free competition, to regulate economic activity, to cancel the right to private property and private freedom and to become that omnipotent and mandatory big brother without whom no significant aspect of human life can be lived. And all of that in the name of justice and public benefit. Frederic Bastiat unmasks the carefully implemented political and economic process through which the American and European people have been losing their individual freedoms bit by bit now for two centuries. The book demonstrates that very little of our freedom once bestowed by God and guaranteed through the constitution is left.

Besides Bastiat, I highly recommend reading the following books

1. Freedom and Prosperity in the 21st Century by George Stasen, Zviad Kliment Lazarashvili, etc.
2. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
3. American Heroes: Thoreau and Brown by Zviad Kliment Lazarashvili
4. The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek
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