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The Law [Kindle Edition]

Frederick Bastiat
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book has been specifically formated for the Amazon Kindle.

The Law, first published as a pamphlet in June, 1850. Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before - and immediately following -- the Revolution of February 1848. The same socialist-communist ideas and plans that were then adopted in France are now sweeping America. The explanations and arguments then advanced against socialism by Mr. Bastiat are -- word for word -- equally valid today. His ideas deserve a serious hearing.

Editorial Reviews


''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

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

Product Details

  • File Size: 94 KB
  • Print Length: 60 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1419168878
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Misbach Enterprises (June 1, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001B5VPXY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,278 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this short book in a single sitting. Originally published in 1850, "The Law" is a surprisingly current analysis of the role of law in human society, and of the causation and negative effects of expanding the law beyond its proper role. It is a very succinct and punchy argument for the importance of liberty.

One note: Bastiat quotes at some length from contemporaries. The Kindle edition formats these quotes inconsistently, sometimes italicizing and sometimes not. Due to this inconsistency, I occasionally found it difficult to distinguish the quotes from Bastiat's own writing.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never wrote an internet review in my life. December 24, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely amazing. I read it now, as a 27 year old military veteran trying to make sense of what is going on in the free market and I see we don't even have a free market. I get introduced to a couple crazy ideas about history predicting the mess we are in and I find things like "War is a Racket" and "The law" and I have to sit back and be amazed about how it took me 27 years to really look at how we got to where we are. So much wasted time thinking obscure thoughts for entertainment purposes. Thankfully things like that have stood the test of time for new generations to latch on to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! January 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this publication is applicable now as much as it was when it was originally written. I recommend everyone read this regardless of your political affliciation. It's well written, easy to understand and gives a sound arguement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic book March 16, 2012
By Steve
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the "Communist Manifesto" recently that a friend lent to me. I learned a lot about communism from reading it. It made me even more glad that I am not a communist.

This same friend also lent me the book "The Law." After reading it, I decided to purchase it for reference. The book is about economic theory from a legal standpoint. I agree with the author's viewpoint to a great extent. It is a different way to explain capitalism.

I liked this book a lot. I highly recommend to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The law should protect our liberty July 20, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is disturbing that in my public education I was not introduced to Mr. Bastiat's classic masterpiece. His perception of liberty parallels the great men that founded our great nation. Required reading for all Americans!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Against Legal Plunder May 25, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What is the law? Politial economist Frederic Bastiat suggests that the law is a negative, rather than a positive, concept: law is not justice, but a safeguard against injustice. As humans, Bastiat says, have a natural right to person, liberty, and property, one of the key criteria of justice is that it safeguards people's persons, liberty, and property. Thus, the government's legitimate role is to prevent theft and incursion onto individuals' liberties.

Needless to say, this was not then, and is not now, happening. Governments do not generally seem to limit themselves to protecting individual liberty, but go well beyond this, mistakenly supposing that they can legislate their way to justice. Whether it is social justice, a particular moral code, "fair trade," etc, governments often feel that the people cannot be trusted to recognize their own interests; government must enforce people's adherence to the government's interest.

Bastiat's greatest insight in this book is the concept of legal plunder. He suggests that while every government everywhere recognizes that it is wrong to steal someone's property (no matter how noble one's intent), government gives itself a free pass to take property, often taking from one class to give to another. Bastiat asks repeatedly this rhetorical question (for we already know the answer): if I may not steal from you to give to my friend without legal consequence, why can the government do this? If it is not fair when I take your property without your consent, why is government exempt from moral outrage when it follows suit?

Bastiat wrote "The Law" shortly after the French revolution, but it is not exaggeration to say that this terse and clearly argued book is every bit as necessary today as it was then.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe it was written 150 years ago October 27, 2008
Format:Kindle Edition
I tend to hop between books I read, having 10 or more in progress at the same time. Therefore, when I hop back to "The Law" for my second reading, I still forget occasionally that this book was written 150 years ago. I will get it confused with books written in 2007 or 2008 (other than the slightly odd grammar), as it deals with the exact same issues which are plaguing our government today.

You will recognize very similar topics to today's government. Read about bailouts for large businesses which are in trouble, when the government should mind its own business. Read how politicians protect their power by calling people "isolationists" (though it is called "individualists" in the book) when they ask for less government interference in foreign affairs.

The thing I enjoyed the most was the crisp line which was drawn for where the government belongs. He says that people have the right to protect their liberty and property. The people also have the right to organize together as a group (IE: government) to more effectively protect their liberty and property. Therefore, "The Law" should be used only as a means to protect liberty and property. The forced liberation of any group's wealth (property) for the benefit of another group is completely against the true purpose of government/law.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Yaunette Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Any freedom loving patriot would devour this book and refer ...
Any freedom loving patriot would devour this book and refer to it many times.
"The responsibility of any patriot is to protect his country from its government" Thomas... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pastor Ed
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely, 100%, essential reading.
Published 2 months ago by stringbox
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by charles
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know
Beautifully and succinctly describes everything that is wrong with government, then and now. The perfect book for liberals, elitists and do-gooders with short attention spans.
Published 2 months ago by msnova
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarity and precision - must read!
Should be required reading for anyone thinking of law or poltics. A guide to true justice.
Published 2 months ago by Taracat
5.0 out of 5 stars I Now Understand THE LAW!
I chose this rating because this book, although almost 300 years old, because it really illustrated how our government is using the law to steal from the citizens of this country... Read more
Published 3 months ago by William Adkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Centuries Old, but Applies Today
An explanation of how every society eventually suffers as some groups find ways to use the force of government to enrich themselves. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BBCReview
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn how government plunders the people
Frederic Bastiat captured the real role of government and how it is supposed to work. He also shows how it can get out of hand and make laws that contradict the mission of that... Read more
Published 3 months ago by William Pressgrove
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding presentation of what the Law should be/do, and what it...
Nice short essay on what the law should do, and what it shouldn't. To summarize, Mr. Bastiat helps explain that the only thing that the law should do is to, basically, protect... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Charles H. Rosa
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