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16 Frederic Bastiat Quotes That Will Sizzle a Socialist

16 Frederic Bastiat Quotes That Will Sizzle a Socialist

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Frederic Bastiat was a French economist and author of the famous parable of the broken window.

Member of the French National Assembly, Bastiat was an intellectual force to be reckoned with. He was an articulate writer and a prominent member of the French Liberal School.

The French Liberal School, in the 1800s, was a powerhouse defender of free markets and laissez-faire economics. They were the forerunner of the Austrian School of Economics. Remember, classical liberalism was essentially what we know today as libertarianism. (in other words, classical liberalism is a good thing!)

Frederic Bastiat has been a thorn in the side of statists, socialists and leftists for over a hundred years. Here, we will examine a few of his quotes that really sizzle socialists.

Frederic Bastiat Shirt
We'll start with one of my favorites, written in Bastiat's 1850 book La Loi, or The Law, as we know it in English. It was written two years after the third French Revolution and just months before Bastiat passed.


  1. "Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

  2. "The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

  3. "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

  4. "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."

  5. "Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone."

  6. "When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will."

  7. "The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."

  8. "When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law."

  9. "The mission of law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even thought the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect property."

  10. "It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property. The existence of persons and property preceded the existence of the legislator, and his function is only to guarantee their safety."

  11. "The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder."

  12. "There are two principles between which there can be no compromise—liberty and coercion."

  13. "the purpose of the socialists is to suppress liberty of association precisely in order to force people to associate together in true liberty."

  14. "Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups."

  15. "But what do the socialists do? They cleverly disguise this legal plunder from others -- and even from themselves -- under the seductive names of fraternity, unity, organization, and association. Because we ask so little from the law -- only justice -- the socialists thereby assume that we reject fraternity, unity, organization, and association."

  16. ""The law is guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish."


There you have it folks, 16 Frederic Bastiat quotes that are bound to sizzle a socialist. Feel free to share this article with your friends and tell them about Frederic Bastiat if they do not already know about him.

And if you enjoyed this, you will also like 12 Thomas Sowell Quotes Every Socialist Should Read.


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