"In short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism -- including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self-defense; of punishing injustice?"
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
What Is Liberty? "The Law" by Frederic Bastiat (1848)
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Reader comments about this quote:
He sure sounded like a Libertarian to me.
 -- Jim k, Austin     
  • 1
    Logical reasoning, " Rational sphere of organizing the right of the Individual to Lawful self-defense; of punishing injustice ?
    Peter carried a sword in the garden, and I think very much so, he was not the only one !!!!!!!!!!!!! The restricting of ( Man made laws ) by way of democratic vote, affording legalized plunder and that that would infringe upon Individual Liberty at Nature Law.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
  • 2
    YES ! ! ! Absolutely, We hold this truth to be self evident ! ! !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 3
    "Liberty [is] the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self-defense."

    There it is folks, the quintessential foundation of republican government. It all starts with the natural born right (and dare I say, responsibility) to defend oneself against predators. All 'legislation' (called 'laws') are to serve this purpose, not transfer our responsibility to the government (which is nothing more than other citizens with the same rights).
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    Most sublimely, to be free to be free is to be liberated from licentiousness, thus to do the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way and at the right time.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    More Brilliant and sound Wisdom from the French Economist, Frederic Bastiat
     -- Mary - MI     
  • 1
     -- jim k, Austin      
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