- Paperback: 72 pages
- Publisher: Tribeca Books (November 24, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612930123
- ISBN-13: 978-1612930121
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (602 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Law Paperback – November 24, 2015
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Full of truths that are not merely relevant, but are absolutely vital to our future. --Congressman Dick Armey
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. --Andrea Millen Rich, Laissez Faire Books
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
History repeats itself. Seemingly, it's all it's been doing in the annals of mankind. The similarites, nay the identical political atmospheres, drawn between now and Bastiat's 19th century references of American and Europe should make any thinking citizen, of any country, motivated to understand what a country is and the role of its governing body.
This book is not a bible. It is just an additional thinking voice in a world which has become diluted by inane "debate" and "issues". Read this book and think with it.
Some of my favorite passages:
"...the statement, 'The purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign,' is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent."
"Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."
[And this quote perfectly expresses why collectivist and socialist governments DO NOT always have the intended charitable results that are promised, but are often best suited to those (rich or poor) willing to game the system:]
"When under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices. Now, is it the most unfortunate who gains from this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating."
Our public education has an agenda and it seems to run counter to this book. All we have to do is look at the quality of the student's education of today compared to those who were taught before public schools were fully implemented in this country. Sadly lacking to say the least considering the fact that our literacy rate is deplorable compared to the 1800's. Few Harvard graduates today could have entered the Harvard freshman class in the 1600's! *Harvard students then entered college at 16yrs. of age, graduating around 18 or 19! The college graduation requirements back then far exceed the requirements of today. THE LAW should be required reading in every college, unfortunately, due to the political intent of many a university this will probably not occur any time soon.
We live in an interesting time, where, with the click of a mouse a question may be answered. Sadly the questions weighing heavily upon the minds of many of our youth lack the gravity of our current situation. More importantly, it shows ignorance or complete disregard for what our forefathers and so many others like Bastiat have established. People with complete lack of regard are enjoying the very fruits of their labor, while allowing the luxury of freedom to slip from our grasp.
Bastiat's THE LAW is a timeless read that can be easily digested in a day. I strongly recommend this translated edition by Dean Russell. Compare these two translations:
Feb 6, 2009 edition from Seven Treasures Publications:
"Existence, faculties, assimilation - in other words, personality, liberty, property - this is man. It is of these three things that it may be said, apart from all the demagogue subtlety, that they are anterior and superior to all human legislation."
Dean Russell translation:
"Life, faculties, production - in other words, individuality, liberty, property - this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it."
Keeping a positive attitude he said, "And now the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: may they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgement of faith in God and His works."
If Bastiat were alive today he would shudder at what has become of his beloved homeland and stare in disbelief at what is becoming of ours.
*TEACHING THE TRIVIUM by Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn