"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."
by:
Frederic Bastiat
(1801-1850) 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
Source:
"The Law" by Frederic Bastiat (1848)
http://liberty-tree.ca/research/TheLaw
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Bastiat is the man
 -- Ben, Orem, UT     
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    The moral code that glorifies the legal system of plunder has seeped into the people of the nation and it's called greed.
     -- Anon     
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    Bastiat's one of my favorites. He should be required reading for anyone who wants to have and intelligent debate about social, political or economic issues.
     -- Bryan Morton, Stuart, Florida     
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    Anon, Greed isn't called greed when it's advocated by socialists and corporatists, and perpetrated by government. You should read some Bastiat. His writings are available on line at no cost.
     -- Imanontoo, Calamazoo     
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    The biggest batch or plunderers is seated in the US congress, and you ain't seen nutthin' yet. When our new Marxist president , with the aid of Nancy and the gang get through, you won't recognize this country.Change is acommin' but we aren't going to like it.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Frederic Bastiat was a very great man! This should be 'required' reading in gubbermint schools!
     -- libertyjack, Greensboro     
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    Imanontoo, I have a twenty five year old copy of 'The Law'. I will correct my statement above to the "IMMORAL code that glorifies..." To put Bastiats truths into different terms it is like this. "Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." -- Joseph Sobran In toto, legalized plunder based on greed.
     -- Anon     
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    Jim K who the hell, I mean heck, is WE. TV yesterday said 70% of the people back the President in his efforts to stimulate the economy. Be careful my friend when you try to infer or lay upon us unsuspecting ones your views and validate it by saying "we are not going to like it". Bastiat just speaks platitudes. While it sounds good and warms our hearts and sounds like fun whatever he is saying what does he really mean. Of course the Europeans who came to North America plundered the Native Americans, the Hawaiians, the Eskimos. All the conquerors plundered and wrote their laws upon society. Is Bastiat talking about the pluderers before the revolution of 1848 or after it. Yes it has fallen to humble man to write the rules as we did after WWII, what else is poor mankind suppose to do live like animals without trying to have some rules.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Religion is: real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men. (Bouviers Law Dictionary) That communal group of socialists, with its way of life, puking out moral code to glorify plunder via its new establishment of religion, has as one of its general cannons, entitlements as duties to our fellow men.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Waffler, I can't speak for Jim K but, I bet the WE he is referring to are all those who accept personal responsibility as individual sovereigns, loving liberty and freedom and don't worship at the socialist troff. The WE would also include those that would wish to continue a life style that is understood to be an American standard and better than that for their children. For your claimed 70%, I guess they want ignorance, slavery, and poverty. Bastiat is here speaking of a principle and law. It was as true before, as after 1848.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I would have to assume, since Bastiat wrote "The Law" in 1848 and died in 1850, that the plunder to which he referred was prior to that time. However, the moral principle which he espouses is ageless. Plunder is plunder and should be recognized and treated as such regardless of who the perpetrators are, their numbers, their rationale or their power to legitimize it. "70% of the people back the President in his efforts to stimulate the economy." The US Pravda said it, so it must be true.
     -- Bryan Morton, Stuart, Florida     
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    ... and an education system that instills it, and a press that propagandizes it, and a populace that is dependent upon it. Waffler is the poster boy for the brainwashed -- "but the TV said that 70% of the people want the stimulus package" -- oh, gee, what was I thinking. First of all, it isn't true about the 'TV' saying it (as if the 'TV' was an independent, unbiased and wise person). Otherwise I wouldn't be getting emails from the Democratic Party and MoveOn to call our representatives to ask them to pass the stimulus bill because there is merely 30% support for it. Secondly, do ANY of you really know what is in that bill? NO. And neither does anyone else (except the lobbyists who wrote it) -- they only know what earmarks THEY are getting. Another reason that direct democracy does not work -- because the people do not know what they are voting for!!! Using only a little bit of logic reveals the scam -- the US is on the verge of bankruptcy (some would say the US has already been in bankruptcy), and the solution is to 'borrow' printed money at interest in the sum of $1 Trillion -- and that is in week 1 of this administration -- the largest sum ever in a single bill that is laden with pork for special interests. "Creating jobs" is not the job of government -- especially government jobs -- this is just make-work projects in which insiders make millions as money passes from one hand to another and the buying of votes. And the country moves another step towards national socialist government. Sound money and private enterprise be damned apparently. This will be a one term president (if that long).
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler there is no stimulus package. WAKE UP. He is just making it so government will grow at record rates and the Dems will be entrenched in power forever. This is a political pay off. The package is intentionally going to make the economy worse so more will be ready to accept the government as their benefactor. That secures more votes for more handouts. The Obamanation is going to look nothing like freedom or liberty.
     -- warren, olathe     
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     -- Dick, Fort Worth      
    Ah, yes...the "swindle-us package" put forth by the Great Swindler Himself, the One, full of Hope and Change. Has buyer's remorse already set in?
     -- Anonymous     
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    Well said Archer!
     -- Anon     
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    warren, It has crossed my mind a few times that the total humiliation of the Republican Party in the last eight years was a direct attempt to, as you said, "entrench" the socialist philosphy further into the minds of their followers and to get moderate republicans into the fold with the goal in mind of perpetual Democracy. I also think it will have to depend on how Obama performs and how good he looks after his actions. If my theory has any legs to it Obama will be made to look the greatest president since JFK.
     -- Anon     
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    Yes he will be a hero. Just like FDR made a mess and caused the depression to get worse while we are being told that he led us out of the depression but government intervention deepened and lengthened the depression. Obama will be praised for all the attacks on our freedom and wealth by the press and all the bad consequences will be credited to Bush. The Obama machine will do what it can to eliminate opposition on the air waves and then they will come for us on the net unless we put the scare of public wrath into them quick.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Always remember: Republicans=Good, Democrats=Bad. Repeat five times daily while prostrating yourself in the direction of, well I cannot think of the correct direction since the Republicans have just kind of disappered everywhere. Wake up Warren, Bush/Cheney did'em in.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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     -- Anonymous      
    And they call it a "balanced approach." August 2011
     -- Eric Russ, Hendersonville, NC     
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    I think the Internet Scholars should actually read this. He doesn't get a dozen short paragraphs in before he starts talking about th erights of th e"collective". The only real power we have EVER had is what we created with each other's help, and if that's socialism, well, give me more.
     -- Tucker, Spokane     
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    Tucker, your stated scenario is not socialism. Your, 'individuals helping individuals', is loving your neighbor as your self while doing do unto them as you would have them do unto you (a recognition of individual sovereignty with inalienable rights). Socialism is an ownership / a criminal economics / a distributorship from totalitarian statists / a control system of an intangible phantasm (a philosophical forest - the collective). No recognition is given to the individual person (philosophically here, the tree) as an individual (but rather, recognition and interaction are given only to the collective). Socialism's moral code is authorized plunder. An accounting of such plunder justifies the feeding of the forest through an economic destroying dole.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Reading this quotation it makes me think of Bernie Sanders, all socialist or forsworn thieves lacking the courage to steal their neighbors property themselves but band together to hire a politician to do it for them then redistribute the plunder to purchase the allegiance of other useful idiots until individual prosperity itself is gone along with individual liberty as we all trudge down the road to serfdom towards that ever elusive socialist utopia that's been promised throughout history.

    How long are you socialist going to let Lucy hold the football for you before you figure it out?
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    " Careless seems the Avenger; history's page but record One death-grapple in the darkness 'twist old systems and the Word;
    Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,- Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, keeping Watch above his own.
    We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great, Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate, But the soul is still oracle; amid the markets din, List the Omnious Stern whisper from the Delphic cave within,- " They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin. " The Present Crisis " James Russell Lowell.
    Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefor the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgement and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. More over the profit of the earth is for All: the king himself is served by the field. ( Ecclesiastes.) Sentiments echoed by our Founding fathers. The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death. Proverbs 21:6 Chance happens to all.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
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    Well, America is doing a great job keeping this quote alive and well... A libertarian he was but definitely not a Liberal.... Free trade has been good and bad but it must be born from an equal perspective... otherwise plunder follows most undoubtedly..
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    I love Bastiat.....he enabled me to use the past to understand the present.
     -- Lisette, Planet earth     
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