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The Law [Kindle Edition]

Frederick Bastiat
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 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: #36,241 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
312 of 334 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading in Washington, D.C. 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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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCOMPARABLE December 9, 2011
By Kliment
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Teabag.
Bastiat opens up a can of whoop ass on the world of statist sheep in the 1850's, while their jaws are left open wondering how can they be a part of a system of "legal... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Justin
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written! Timelessly truthful!
It is a clear and concise exposition of what the law should and could be in a society that truly values liberty
Published 9 days ago by Mordecai Quarshie
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on! Freedom is a timeless principle.
It's as if this were present day and he was making the argument for freedom over socialism. Everyone should read this. Should be required reading in high school as well.
Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must reading for anyone who loves Liberty.
If there is one book that expresses Liberty and exposes the evil that is government it is this book. Read more
Published 14 days ago by whitebuffalo
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant And Timeless!
Frederic Bastiat explains the foundations of free market economics in a simple, clear and entertaining way. Read more
Published 16 days ago by D. Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Highly recommended.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The book is great and so are you!
I'm sharing it w/ everyone I know!
Published 16 days ago by krissy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Law
Delighted to have this little book. It was recommended to me, because a subject I'm interested in and I am very pleased. It was sent almost immediately when I made the purchase.
Published 22 days ago by paul mlachnik
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book.
I give this book five stars because it is so good at defining what a just law's purpose is. It was written in the same era as Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and describes a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andy Larson
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone like me
Waste of a good $5 dollars as the book only has 78 pages and really wasn't talking about anything pertaining to the law. I recommend not purchasing this book at all. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Damon Mize
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing read!
The main points of this book are right on however having been authored in the 1800s,the style of writing makes it a laborious read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bull Work
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