"And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Claude Frédéric Bastiat

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First published in 1850. This is an English translation from the original French.

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Section Index

The Law

Life Is a Gift from God

What Is Law?

A Just and Enduring Government

The Complete Perversion of the Law

A Fatal Tendency of Mankind

Property and Plunder

Victims of Lawful Plunder

The Results of Legal Plunder

The Fate of Non-Conformists

Who Shall Judge?

The Reason Why Voting Is Restricted

The Answer Is to Restrict the Law

The Fatal Idea of Legal Plunder

Perverted Law Causes Conflict

Slavery and Tariffs Are Plunder

Two Kinds of Plunder

The Law Defends Plunder

How to Identify Legal Plunder

Legal Plunder Has Many Names

Socialism Is Legal Plunder

The Choice Before Us

The Proper Function of the Law

The Seductive Lure of Socialism

Enforced Fraternity Destroys Liberty

Plunder Violates Ownership

Three Systems of Plunder

Law Is Force

Law Is a Negative Concept

The Political Approach

The Law and Charity

The Law and Education

The Law and Morals

A Confusion of Terms

The Influence of Socialist Writers

The Socialists Wish to Play God

The Socialists Despise Mankind

A Defense of Compulsory Labor

A Defense of Paternal Government

The Idea of Passive Mankind

Socialists Ignore Reason and Facts

Socialists Want to Regiment People

A Famous Name and an Evil Idea

A Frightful Idea

The Leader of the Democrats

Socialists Want Forced Conformity

Legislators Desire to Mold Mankind

Legislators Told How to Manage Men

A Temporary Dictatorship

Socialists Want Equality of Wealth

The Error of the Socialist Writers

What Is Liberty?

Philanthropic Tyranny

The Socialists Want Dictatorship

Dictatorial Arrogance

The Indirect Approach to Despotism

Napoleon Wanted Passive Mankind

The Vicious Circle of Socialism

The Doctrine of the Democrats

The Socialist Concept of Liberty

Socialists Fear All Liberties

The Superman Idea

The Socialists Reject Free Choice

The Cause of French Revolutions

The Enormous Power of Government

Politics and Economics

Proper Legislative Functions

Law and Charity Are Not the Same

The High Road to Communism

The Basis for Stable Government

Justice Means Equal Rights

The Path to Dignity and Progress

Proof of an Idea

The Desire to Rule over Others

Let Us Now Try Liberty

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