Posts Tagged ‘frederic bastiat’

TheLawPreviously we had discussed the first law of decline; Sturgeon’s Law. This law stated that 90% of everything is crud, and showed how you can’t count on 90% of leaders and politicians to do the right thing without some kind of check in place to stop them. 90 percent of them will undoubtedly fall to the second law of decline; Bastiat’s law.

These laws come from Orrin Woodward‘s book ‘Resolved‘ as well as his and Oliver DeMille‘s book ‘LeaderShift‘.

A couple of years ago I read a book by Frederic Bastiat called ‘The Law‘. In this book, Bastiat goes through the concept of having a law; what it is supposed to be used for and what it then actually get’s used for. He shows how laws are supposed to be there to protect a persons property, and thus people themselves, but end up getting used to steal or harm people’s property.

Bastiat’s Law

Bastiat wrote a profound passage that Orrin Woodward takes for his second law of decline, which he first outlined in ‘Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life.’

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain—and since labor is pain in itself—it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor. It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work.

– Frederic Bastiat, The Law

Bastiat’s law: Since men are naturally inclined to avoid pain, which labor is itself, it follows that they will resort to plunder whenever it is easier than work. (more…)