The Law

By Frédéric Bastiat


Bastiat provides an argument regarding the proper domain of law, and against late 19th Century socialism the use of the law coercively, to enforce an involuntary philanthropism and mould society to the lawmaker’s ideals. A hardcore libertarian will find this text friendly, but for me it strays perhaps a little too close to ancap territory - Bastiat perhaps over-constrains law to the domain of solely protection of property and person against violence - this would of course exclude the vast majority of today’s statutes, including all taxation. It’s short, witty like Voltaire, and worth a read.