Frederic Bastiat Quotes

Enjoy the top 70 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Frederic Bastiat.

Frederic Bastiat Quotes

Let us first of all frugality in government-peace and freedom we will have as a bonus.
— Frederic Bastiat —

Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation. This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat: these two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other.

— Frederic Bastiat

If socialists mean that under extraordinary circumstances, for urgent cases, the State should set aside some resources to assist certain unfortunate people, to help them adjust to changing conditions, we will, of course, agree. This is done now; we desire that it be done better. There is however, a point on this road that must not be passed; it is the point where governmental foresight would step in to replace individual foresight and thus destroy it.

— Frederic Bastiat

The law has been perverted through the influence of two very different causes-naked greed and misconceived philanthropy.

— Frederic Bastiat

Competition is merely the absence of oppression.

— Frederic Bastiat

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain - and since labor is pain in itself - it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it. When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor. It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

— Frederic Bastiat

In war, the stronger overcomes the weaker. In business, the stronger imparts strength to the weaker.

— Frederic Bastiat

We cannot but be astonished at the ease with which men resign themselves to ignorance about what is most important for them to know; and we may be certain that they are determined to remain invincibly ignorant if they once come to consider it as axiomatic that there are no absolute principles.

— Frederic Bastiat

And this is what has taken place. The delusion of the day is to enrich all classes at the expense of each other; it is to generalize plunder under pretense of organizing it.

— Frederic Bastiat

Taking Five and Returning Four is not Giving

— Frederic Bastiat

Thus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law. Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.

— Frederic Bastiat

All you have to do, is to see whether the law takes from some what belongs to them in order to give it to others to whom it does not belong. We must see whether the law performs, for the profit of one citizen and to the detriment of others, an act which that citizen could not perform himself without being guilty of a crime. Repeal such a law without delay ... [I]f you don't take care, what begins by being an exception tends to become general, to multiply itself, and to develop into a veritable system.

— Frederic Bastiat

The impulses of my heart are the voice of Nature, which is never mistaken. The institutions that stand in my way are man-made and are only arbitrary conventions to which I have never given my consent. In trampling these institutions underfoot, I shall have the double pleasure of satisfying my inclinations and of believing myself a hero

— Frederic Bastiat

As proof of this statement, consider this question: Have the people ever been known to rise against the Court of Appeals, or mob a Justice of the Peace, in order to get higher wages, free credit, tools of production, favorable tariffs, or government-created jobs? Everyone knows perfectly well that such matters are not within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals or a Justice of the Peace. And if government were limited to its proper functions, everyone would soon learn that these matters are not within the jurisdiction of the law itself.

— Frederic Bastiat

[Socialists claim] that we reject fraternity, solidarity, organization, and association; and they brand us with the name of individualists. We can assure them that what we repudiate is not natural organization, but forced organization. It is not free association, but the forms of association that they would impose upon us. It is not spontaneous fraternity, but legal fraternity. It is not providential solidarity, but artificial solidarity, which is only an unjust displacement of responsibility. Socialism ... confounds Government and society.

— Frederic Bastiat

The balance of trade is an article of faith.

— Frederic Bastiat

The law is the collective organization of the individual's right to lawful defense of his life, liberty and property. When it is used for anything else, no matter how noble the cause, it becomes perverted and justice is weakened. Thus, the law has become perverted by stupid greed and false philanthropy.

— Frederic Bastiat

It is easier to show the disorder that must accompany reform than the order that should follow it.

— Frederic Bastiat

Treat all economic questions from the viewpoint of the consumer, for the interests of the consumer are the interests of the human race.

— Frederic Bastiat

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