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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:02 PM

When plunder becomes a way of life...

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Frederic Bastiat - 1850


More here: http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quotes_by/frederic+bastiat


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:07 PM

1. Excellent quote! ... basically what we see here in the US, glorification of plunder! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:35 PM

7. An examination of context might be in order

Bastiat asserted that the sole purpose of government is to defend and protect the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. From this definition, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies, which are inherently opposed to these very things. In this way, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the only things (life, liberty, and property) it is supposed to defend.

He was also a strong supporter of free trade. He "was inspired by and routinely corresponded with Richard Cobden and the English Anti-Corn Law League and worked with free-trade associations in France."

In The Law, Bastiat explains that, if the privileged classes use the government for "legalized plunder", this will encourage the lower classes to revolt or use socialist "legalized plunder" and that the correct response to both the socialists and the corporatists is to cease all "legalized plunder". Bastiat also explains why his position is that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies. When used to obtain "legalized plunder" for any group, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the thing it is supposed to defend.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Bastiat

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:51 PM

9. Thanks!!! n/t

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 04:28 PM

10. Even a stopped watch...? But thank you for this. n/t

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 06:47 PM

11. It depends when the watch stopped

A watch stuck at 12:01 never did Cinderella any good.

If Bastiat is claiming social spending is legalized plundering rather than being an indictment of capitalism as so many seem to hope then what they're really applauding is the condemnation of welfare.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 06:55 PM

12. Welfare that can't be sustained, that keeps people in a subservient position, never did

anyone any good either. No opportunity, no hope, $4 a day for food, while 10,000 people a day turn 65, 12 million home loans are underwater, foreclosures are higher than anytime in the past 2 years, 25 million of our brothers and sisters need jobs, and several hundred billion in junk bonds that have to be refinanced in the next couple of years to avoid firing a few million more people.

This won't be the last time we see this move, and one day they will be successful.

I agree with your analysis, however. Whether it is bankers or no, people do try change the law so their side can profit.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #12)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:09 PM

13. "I agree with your analysis, however."

I was just pointing out to those enthusiatically endorsing the OP who Bastiat was historically/philosophically. I only recognized his name because hubby has read him (hint: hubby is a conservative). OK, so I peeked at a few pages -- but I felt dirty afterwards and immediately took a shower! Sometimes folks endorse things out of context if they project their own presuppositions onto those things. Personally, I'm not analyzing, endorsing or even commenting on what Bastiat said; I'm just offering context.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:16 PM

14. I thought your post was great and right on point.


And I know that feeling about the shower. I get the same feeling every time I have to go in Chase bank.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:27 PM

15. And... I Can See Conservatives Claiming Him As One Of Their Own... But...

I can also see Libertarians doing the same...

According to Wikipedia:

Claude Frédéric Bastiat (pronounced: ) (29 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly. He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost.


Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Bastiat

Classical liberalism is a political ideology that advocates limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, individual liberties including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets.

Classical liberalism developed in the 19th century in Europe and the United States. Although classical liberalism built on ideas that had already developed by the end of the 18th century, it advocated a specific kind of society, government and public policy as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization. Notable individuals whose ideas have contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo. It drew on the economics of Adam Smith and on a belief in natural law, utilitarianism, and progress.


Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

But I found the quote on the front page of LIBERAL Jim Hightower's newsletter 'Lowdown'.

Either way... the quote still stands... and nobody could possibly know what Bastiat would make of the way things work today, 162 years after his death.


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:13 PM

2. interesting quote


I am reading a lot of books about the plight and survival of POWs in the Pacific in WW2. Even with all the diaries and personal accounts, I suspect that we are only hearing part of the story -- and not the worst of what happened. Survival became paramount for each person, but civility and honor still trumped plunder as a way to survive. Interestingly, Australians survived at a significantly higher rate than Americans, English, Dutch, etc. This is attributed to their leadership, their camaraderie, their culture, their loyalty to their "mates."

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Response to grasswire (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:20 PM

3. I think this is something severely missing in America.

"This is attributed to their leadership, their camaraderie, their culture, their loyalty to their "mates.""

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:26 PM

4. And we have done nothing else since reagan. K&R

 

We allowed them to steal our legacy, leverage it, and rent it back to us.

We've switched from exporting finished goods for sale around the world to exporting raw materials that are turned into finished goods and shipped back here and sold to us at enormous profit. We subsidize the richest and take ever more from those with nothing.

But somehow this is all going to work out for the best?

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:36 PM

8. +1.

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:26 PM

5. In a world run by liars, cheats, thieves and criminals, those at the top won't rest until it's all theirs .

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:27 PM

6. Well Said Indeed, Sir

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