Tom's Reviews > The Law

The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
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's review
Jan 30, 12

Read in June, 2010

I listened to this as an Audiobook and just now remembered that I have not added it to my collection. This is a reminder that I need to read it in print. It's a foundational book for anyone interested in the philosophy of Politics (with a capital "P") and wanting to understand whence comes any legitimacy of the Law itself. Hint: Much of what purports now to be legitimate law is not, per Bastiat. Only the truly heroic dare flout it, but the rest of us obey illegitimate law only out of fear of the consequences of disobedience (sometimes coupled with ignorance of its illegitimacy). And therein lies the fear and ignorance that permits tyranny to "govern". Of course, the innate human tendency to desire to control the lives of others allows lawmakers to pass illiberal laws with the full backing of illiberal constituents, whose natural inclination is to support any law that only appears to affect the freedom of others.
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