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.
------from "The Law," Frederic Bastait (1801-1850)
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. This was a 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.
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