Fredric Bastiat -The Law

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Fredric Bastiat -The Law

Post by Pbhead on Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:13 pm

I present to you the work of a frenchman, who died around the time of the french revolution. He was not killed in the revolution, but died of tuberculosis and thus wrote a text knowing that It would be his life's work, and that it would be how he would be remembered.

The site from which the text can now be found has its own, perfectly acceptable introduction:

When a reviewer wishes to give special recognition to a book, he predicts that it will still be read "a hundred years from now." The Law, first published as a pamphlet in June, 1850, is already more than a hundred years old. And because its truths are eternal, it will still be read when another century has passed. 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. This was the period when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism. As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism. But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic. The Law is here presented again because the same situation exists in America today as in the France of 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.

That Text can be found here:

http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

Before you click that link, let me tell you a bit about it.

Firstly, It is a short read, but a hard one. He has packed so much meaning and info into it that if you skim something, two sentences later you will find you have no idea what is being talked about anymore. It is broken up into many, little sections, I read them each almost twice, stopping at the end of each to think about what was written, and reread, and comprehend. It is like a poem, It needs to be digested, and it deserves to be digested, and in a few cases, one needs to be reminded that it was written in 1850. (For example, he mentions how the USA is by his definitions almost perfect except for two issues, one being slavery, and then effectively predicts the civil war.)

And again, one must consider the audience he was writing to in 1850.

The very first paragraph, he talks about the fundamental basics of everything he will talk about later. Life, Liberty and Property (or, so often for us, "the pursuit of happiness"). It is the very same language written in our founding documents, the declaration of independence, and the constitution, the highest law of the USA.

He calls these things natural rights, and then appeals to religion (Christianity) to justify them. This argument will probably not be acceptable to many people today, and may make the rest of the text off-putting, to perhaps the same degree it would have made it acceptable back then. The rest of the text is effectively secular, but understand:

This text is useless if you do not consider life, liberty and property to be the things which are to be highly valued, just as much as such considerations would render the US constitution, and thus, the US government useless. It does not matter how you justify your understanding of these natural rights -religious or not-, but only that you agree that they are natural, inalienable rights.

I feel that these words, life liberty and property, are still so baked-in to us that we can indeed take them upon assumption, without an appeal to -anything-, at least for now. Ok, I think you can go click that link now.


Pbhead

Posts : 9
Join date : 2014-06-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fredric Bastiat -The Law

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:49 pm

To anyone who detests religion: PLEASE do not hate a document or refute an idea because it comes from a spiritual or religious source. Though I myself may be agnostic at this time, I do see the merits of religion. They provide guidelines for a society to live and many of them are just . So, for that reason, I implore you to read this document.

Superb! I have read it all -- I can see how you view my educational idea as socialistic and evil and perhaps myself as thinking I am above all humans. I again, say I am not, I just am having a hard time with grasping an idea to inspire youth to be passionate about education! That is my goal-- let them study what they wish, but have the opportunity to do so without parents or community forcing views of what is a "good" path and what is not.

And yes, I did enjoy the parts of suffrage. It is true, who deserves the right to vote? PBhead (I wish I knew your name), what is your opinion? Who should vote? How does one gauge who is capable of voting logically? Who is incapable of voting without choosing choices that harm society?

Could you expand this idea of charity? Who would do charity for the people in need since Welfare is non-existent? People would willingly feel the goodness of helping others?

Feel free to expand, I just am curious as to your ideas. I do see the reasoning behind this writing-- and alas! I do believe in many of the ideas presented.


Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Fredric Bastiat -The Law

Post by Pbhead on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:11 pm

I had a long post, but it went away when I hit the "back" shortcut thumb button on my mouse. so this is going to be a little shorter.

You can not have "no forced views" and "study as they wish". They are mutually exclusive.  Here is the most silly example I can think of: What is Pluto?

If anyone has a right to impress views upon the next generation, it is the ones who conceived them, fed them, and clothed them. The whole point of reproduction is to "carry on", I do not see why that does not apply to views, as well as genes.

Ah. voting. tricky. and see, that's the bit. When the 99% wish to plunder the 1%, or the 51% force their views and laws on the 49%... known issue. "Tyranny of the majority."

I had a thought on how to solve this issue. Let everyone vote, with the caveat, that one must vote without help, and some test of some kind be included within the voting process, and the votes only count if the test is passed.

This, unfortunately, is a solution which wont work, for three reasons. Firstly, the tyranny of the majority has already been so infused into the system, that it has been declared to be 'ok' by, well, a majority. Such a majority would never let a test have it be a wrong answer. Secondly, voting tests have basically already been declared unconstitutional. by some majority. for some reason. Three, it creates a weakness, where a few men could tweak the test to suit their needs. this is kinda why it was declared unconstitutional. D's were using tests to keep blacks from voting R. (and then managed to flip it around, giving blacks all their rights back to "... have those <n-words> voting D for the next 200 years"  -LBJ )

In other words. "we are too late." probably.

Charity is back to the sandwich and the cart.  It is, again, incredibility noble to reach into your own pocket to help others, and dastardly to reach into someone else's pocket to 'help others', which is now so often the case.  

The Constitution was written in such a way that the founding fathers considered this obvious, and the relevant bits of it have never been amended to suggest otherwise, yet, here we are.

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
--James Madison

And the reasons given for this statement?

"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society. "
--John Adams


Such language and arguments should sound similar to Bastiat's.


Pbhead

Posts : 9
Join date : 2014-06-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fredric Bastiat -The Law

Post by Admin on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:14 pm

I understand. I just want to make the same level of education available to everyone, not just the rich, the lucky or what not.

So, in other words, we really DO need to make a new state/country perhaps to fix the problems? I agree with John Adams as always. Greed is always, always terrible. Is it not possible that the people behind the scenes, the puppet masters (wealthy, but hidden), purposely WANT this spreading of wealth to intentionally cause the working society, what they may see as lesser and albeit maybe they are at this point, down... specifically in a way to cause them just to want the scraps that the government/rich can provide while they actually reap all the spoils? I know you probably have an analogy for this, but The Time Machine comes to mind. In this case the sheep/ground people are the majority of citizens in the USA while the 1% or whoever are possibly the ones living underground, saturating the BASIC needs of society while ultimately just using them.

So, I am terribly curious (no lie, you are making me sway towards being Libertarian), what does the government you propose do then? First, let's talk about it if it was a city-state like Greece. What are the duties of the state government? How far does the power extend? How are leaders chosen?

Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Fredric Bastiat -The Law

Post by Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:36 pm

I have updated "Social Issues" index to hold "Politics" as well, so if you would kindly reply about Libertarian issues in that category-- that would be awesome (:

Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Fredric Bastiat -The Law

Post by Pbhead on Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:43 am

You are not going to be able to make the same level of education available to everyone. Some people will always be able to afford private tutors, and such, and you cant stop that without force, and you cant have 50% of the population be private tutors to give that level of education to everyone.

The truth of the matter is, with the advent of the internet, the baseline education is so amazingly high compared to with just 30 years ago. If you can read and peck at a keyboard, the quantity of free and/or cheap education available online is absolutely nuts. That doesn't mean someone will try to learn, but if they want to, they can, and one can only expect this baseline availability to increase over time, and that baseline is available to anyone.

I tend to be a bit pessimistic. I don't know if america is totally lost to statists just yet, but it does kinda feel that way. At least with the Democrats in charge we are currently going that way, and the republicans never seem bother to try to take things back towards the free market when they get in charge.

Its an interesting theory that the ups want to keep the lowers down. I certainly believe that the statist agenda the democrates push accomplishes it, but no, i dont think it is on purpose. I think they are well intentioned, but roads, and pavement, and cliches, and such.

The non-political rich certainly have no reason to keep the masses down. They want people to be able to afford whatever they are selling to generate their wealth, and they know that the the more people that get rich, the less likely the masses will vote to plunder them.

The government's job is to protect the people from those that would steal. That might actually be too broad a statement, but for the most part, that's its job. The powers that government "needs" to do, i feel, have actually decreased with time. In the constitution, the federal government is given the power of "postal roads". Its one of the very specific little bits which is such an oddity, and its existence both has very interesting meanings with respect to the constitution, and is the butt end of many political jokes, but that's a different topic. Free market companies like UPS and such have taken over this task. We don't really need the USPS any more. Most of what they do now is just distribute spam.

Another task which was almost always seen as governmental work, is that of currency. I am not sure if you are familiar with bitcoin, but it proves that a system of currency could work without governments or even banks.

Do I think governments will become completely obsolete over time? maybe, maybe not. but they certainly are rigid and slow to change. Which are not qualities you really want for whoever is "pulling the strings" on the economy, or whatever, but fine for, things that dont change. like. protecting from those that steal. That job is a job that just just never seems to stop being a job that needs to be done.

Pbhead

Posts : 9
Join date : 2014-06-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fredric Bastiat -The Law

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum