"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause
is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
Frederic Bastiat
(1801-1850) [Claude Frederic Bastiat] French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before -- and immediately following -- the French Revolution of February 1848
"The Law" by Frederic Bastiat (1848)
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Reader comments about this quote:
A very insightful truth wherein I have experienced two devestating losses in courts because of early oversights in the defense that precluded appeals to be retained in jurisdiction for later challenge. In both cases the significant focus was not identified for the first decision, and the issues could then not be raised in appeal.
 -- Dick Balser, Everett, WA     
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    Very insightful Dick. Better keep your powder dry.
     -- Anon     
     -- jim k, austin      
    Like the cause of Liberty in America. Neither Rs or Ds make any attempt to defend the Liberty of the People -- only to secure control of the treasury usually by creating 'emergencies' caused by past 'solutions.' As Dick said, the first mistake is often granting jurisdiction to the government to begin with -- most federal laws should not apply to private citizens who have not contracted with the federal government for special privileges.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Frederic, you would have made a great Libertarian - and yes you are right such as California's Proposition 8 "Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers?" FB "The Law"
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Self belief is so much part of advancing a good cause. Be prepared for the slings and arrows that will come your way not just concerning the cause but concerning your self personally. You will have a credibility crises which you must also fight.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Robert, are you speaking of the right to be secure in one's property and persons as those that were commiting domestic terrorism were attempting to change thousands of years of religious ordinances, desimate sacremental covenants, and implement an establishment of religion that would do away with all competing beliefs that would be positive advancements of the specie? Even though the good cause has been ineptly defended, a slim majority in this case, still remembers the source of freedom and liberty. Might, or fear of repriasals, never made anything right. I have no doubt that such skillful attacks of which you speak will one day subdue the good cause's inept defenses. The powerfully immoral and unlawful government, with its PR division - the media, and an ignorant populous are with you.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    To make a Liberterarian of Bastiat is to downgrade him from a great revealer and exposer. The Libertarians have the power to wreck the New World Odor but will not because they are part of it like the John Birch Society or the National Rifle Association are. They need only teach these truths to their members and to the world. 1. The dollar was permanently fixed as a measure of silver in the Coinage Act of 1792. If you have no silver coins, you have no substance measured in dollars. 2. It is mpossible to pay taxes with dollar bills that the IRS said: "are not dollars." No one wants us to pay taxes, we must pretend or risk punishment, 3. Government spends NOTHING, not even the paper bills erroneously called 'money'. Real estate, income and inheritance taxes filled the first 3 planks of Marx's Communist Manifesto.
     -- Dave Wilbur, St. Louis     
    Mike, ignorance in this case is in the eye of the beholder. Read what I said and again and you might, just might, get it right. Marx's Communist Manifesto, well, that's for another day...
     -- RBESRQ     
    Waffler demonstrates this perfectly. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    In this day and age the worst thing for a good cause is to be ignored. Any time someone notable has a good idea he is ignored if possible. If he is in a position that prevents him from being ignored he will be attacked. It will not be his cause that is attacked directly, it will be him personally. That way his cause can be defeated with out having to debate the worth of it. Now if a leftist comes up with one of his usual harebrained ideas the idea or cause will be championed in the same way. All those that would try to debunk his idea would be personally attacked and be disqualified to have an opposing opinion. That is how it is done in this country.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Yes, this is exactly right. Too often you see this in society, however. If only people would think things through... I wish that, instead of teaching students to memorize facts, our schools taught their students to think.
     -- Anonymous     
    Someone said, "The best offense is a good defense"... or was't t'other way 'round ??
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
    We the People have certainly been bestowed with a multitude of inept elected and appointed people Serving Us Up in government who told us their "cause" was for the defense of the founding Limited Government Republic. And yet, they have displayed a complete lack of ability to "defend" the U.S. Constitution that they've sworn a sacred oath to uphold. That is due to the fact that they've never truly read or completely fully intellectually discerned the document that was written to protect each of our sovereign individual rights and freedoms.
     -- Mary - MI     
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