Katherine's Reviews > The Law

The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
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Sep 09, 08


While I agree with Bastiat entirely, the way that he has presented "the classic blueprint for a just society," is exactly why people who lean more towards socialist ideas scoff at those who are for capitalism, economic stability, and most importantly honoring the fundamentals of the need for law: to protect life, liberty, and property.

The first chapter started out wonderfully, articulately and simple. It was accessible and easy to understand and apply. I was excited as I hoped to share this with my husband to allow him to open up to my ideas on politics which are different from his (he's a democrat/socialist).

However, the rest of the book just seemed to be a rant that got more and more impassioned as it went along, which to me seemed to take away from the reader's ability to take what he was saying seriously. I was disappointed because even though I agreed with everything he said and thought his applications of his ideas were great, I felt sort of embarrassed about his inability to keep calm in expressing his ideas.

The book is sound, based on sound ideas and should appeal to any libertarian. I nodded a lot as I was reading it. "Yes!" I kept telling myself, "this is definitely true." Unfortunately the truth was told, in this case, in a way that I don't think would be very accessible to the people that Bastiat was intent on reaching. I think a democrat/socialist might mislabel it "too radical" when they really mean, "too impassioned."

It is for that reason, I'm sorry to say, I was unable to rate this any higher.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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zikafus Wow, how could you not love The Law. It's perfect.


Katherine : ) The idea behind it is perfect. The presentation I just didn't like.


message 3: by Am (new) - rated it 4 stars

Am Jam This is a great review.


John Hamilton Maybe we need more passion. Seems to work for Obama. Keep in mind Bastiat was dying of T.B. as he was writing this, so he was highly motivated to get his ideas across before he was gone. Quite honorable of him to care so much for the world he was leaving behind.


Katherine Wow. I didn't know that about him having T.B.. Still, in my memory it was a bit of an overload on that side. Haven't read it in a few years. Perhaps it's time?


Mark As someone who leans more socialist, you perfectly described exactly why I did not like 'The Law'.

I prefer persuasive literature made wholly of intellectual and logical appeals, not passionate emotionally charged ones. That isn't to say The Law wasn't quite cohesive and intellectually appealing. It was quite so- but I still found Bastiat's "passion" very much distracting from the arguments he was making.


Collin I'm confused by people who say that "passion" distracts from logical arguments. If the logic is sound, the passion is irrelevant. Is anyone here saying the logic was unsound? Refusing to accept an intellectually sound idea because it is presented in an "emotionally charged" way seems like a poor excuse for the rejection of logic.


Mark Collin, neither I or anyone else here "refused to accept an intellectually sound idea because it is present in an "emotionally charged" way."

Katherine agreed with Bastiat's The Law. She merely expressed valid criticism of what she deemed to be a poor presentation of his sound argument.

While I disagree with Bastiat's presuppositions on a fundamental level, I am reasonable enough to recognize the internal consistency of his arguments. So my only criticism of the book is a stylistic one. I believe it is valid criticism.

These difference of presuppositions between Bastiat and I are a topic for another thread. This thread is about a stylistic problem.


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