Frederic BastiatFrederic Bastiat, (1801-1850) [Claude Frederic Bastiat] French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before -- and immediately following -- the French Revolution of February 1848

Frederic Bastiat Quote

“Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter -- by peaceful or revolutionary means -- into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.”

Frederic BastiatFrederic Bastiat
~ Frederic Bastiat

"The Law" by Frederic Bastiat (1848)

Ratings and Comments

Logan, Memphis, TN

I would include another supposition and that is of the slave mentality. It has been said that Americans are so enamored with equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom. There is a third choice wherein people accept the world around them for the corruption they see, and merely "go along" because that's what society tells them to do. Retaliation for abuse and plunder is often worse than the original harm. The Aristotelian model describes largely the same premise; the poor will typically seek to regain their rights at the expense of the wealthy's property-- the wealthy respond by securing their property at the expense of the poor's rights. This ultimately makes both classes "plundered" as they seek retribution at the expense of their perceived tormentors. Such plunder WILL increase, until at such a time when it will suddenly stop. This is difficult to do, however, because when was the last time anyone saw government shrink in size? It is the nature of government (especially bad government) to create exponential government. America has lost the moral center wherein were used to teach and abide by correct and civil principles and left people alone to govern their own lives. John Adams was right, our Constitution was made for a religious and a moral people and it will not survive with any other -- as it has also been said, if men were angels, there would be no need for government; however, what happens when government becomes the criminal? Bastiat talks a lot concerning "legalized plunder"; this is the real danger when government becomes the perpetrator of plunder. Leave me alone, don't tread on me, and I'll fight along side you to stop unlawful plunder.

jim k, austin,tx

A perfect example of unlawful plunder is the income tax, as well as any tax that is not voluntary.

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RobertSRQ    5/5/08

Like the first quote - I like this one too! We are such funny creatures...

J Carlton, Calgary

This quote underlines the problem I have with a "Legal" system as opposed to a "Justice" system. the Law can be a sword, while Justice is a shield.

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Anonymous    5/5/08

NO tax is "voluntary". ALL taxes are imaginary when all that we have in banks is numbers and the Fed said their system of plunder :"works only with credit" that would keep its value "if there were fewer people bidding against each other." The purpose of the IRS (Imaginary Revenue Scam or Scum) is to regulate our consumption by regulating our use of the numbers. With credit existing only in the mind, they must control the minds of most to work all of us with credit--and they do! Don't most believe the lie that government spends money? Don't most believe the lie that government wants us healthy when for 11 years, the professionals at the EPA hadve been telling he world that fluoride is killing people? Search: nteu fluoride for their site and related sites and see: www, and Cancer cure suppressed 70 years, HISTORY: pass these sites on.

jim k, austin,tx

To the extent that consumption taxes can be avoided by simply not purcasing a certain item, they would be voluntary. Example: I avoid the sales tax on a Rolex by not voluntaring to buy the watch. The lottery is considered the same as a tax and I don't have to buy tickets, if I do it's on a voluntary basis. And , of course , the income tax is considered to be voluntary, which is a joke ,a really bad joke.

Ken, Allyn, WA

How convenient for the State that manhood is now reviled. That eliminates the rebellion against injustice.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Give me one man or one class of men who will do the righteous thing and not the get even thing or share in plunder thing and we can change the world. There is no such thing as a VOLUNTARY TAX. The word tax is defined as: A compulsary contribution levied upon persons, or business for the support of government. The US Income Tax is compulsory. The use of the word voluntary has to do with whether or not the taxpayer will prepare the paper work and do the calculations himself or wait for the government to do it for him. If he fails to "volunteer" to do it himself by April 15 when the government does it for him he may owe interest and will definitely owe a penalty for failing to file timely. There is a penalty for failing to volunteer to file.

E Archer, NYC

Bastiat writings on Liberty and The Law are genius. "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." -- Ben Franklin

Dave Wilber, St. Louis MO

A dumb argument that taxes are voluntary when the Fed says your bank deposits are "merely book entries." TAXES ARE IMAGINARY SINCE 1968. Nobody wants us to pay taxes, they want us to PlAY taxes oe be jailed.

J Carlton, Calgary

World English Dictionary
slave (sleɪv)

— n
1. a person legally owned by another and having no freedom of action or right to property
2. a person who is forced to work for another against his will
3. a person under the domination of another person or some habit or influence: a slave to television
4. a person who works in harsh conditions for low pay
5. a. a device that is controlled by or that duplicates the action of another similar device (the master device)
b. ( as modifier ): slave cylinder

— vb (often foll by away )
6. to work like a slave
7. ( tr ) an archaic word for enslave

[C13: via Old French from Medieval Latin Sclāvus a Slav, one held in bondage (from the fact that the Slavonic races were frequently conquered in the Middle Ages), from Late Greek Sklabos a Slav]

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Rita    4/9/13

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