Furthermore, the Law is Perverted

But if the fatal principle should come to be introduced, that, under pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law may take from one party in order to give to another, help itself to the wealth acquired by all the classes that it may increase that of one class, whether that of the agriculturists, the manufacturers, the ship owners, or artists and comedians; then certainly, in this case, there is no class which may not try, and with reason, to place its hand upon the law, that would not demand with fury its right of election and eligibility, and that would overturn society rather than not obtain it.

Even beggars and vagabonds will prove to you that they have an incontestable title to it. They will say:

We never buy wine, tobacco, or salt, without paying the tax, and a part of this tax is given by law in perquisites and gratuities to men who are richer than we are. Others make use of the law to create an artificial rise in the price of bread, meat, iron, or cloth.

Since everybody traffics in law for his own profit, we should like to do the same. We should like to make it produce the right to assistance, which is the poor man’s plunder. To effect this, we ought to be electors and legislators, that we may organize, on a large scale, alms for our own class, as you have organized, on a large scale, protection for yours. Don’t tell us that you will take our cause upon yourselves, and throw to us 600,000 francs to keep us quiet, like giving us a bone to pick. We have other claims, and, at any rate, we wish to stipulate for ourselves, as other classes have stipulated for themselves!

How is this argument to be answered? Yes, as long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true mission, that it may violate property instead of securing it, everybody will be wanting to manufacture law, either to defend himself against plunder, or to organize it for his own profit. The political question will always be prejudicial, predominant, and absorbing; in a word, there will be fighting around the door of the Legislative Palace. The struggle will be no less furious within it. To be convinced of this, it is hardly necessary to look at what passes in the Chambers in France and in England; it is enough to know how the question stands. Is there any need to prove that this odious perversion of law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord, that it even tends to social disorganization?

The preceding excerpt was first published in 1850, from a classic essay entitled “The Law” written by Frédéric Bastiat, a great French economist and journalist. Bastiat heralded the United States as the best governmental system in existence but foretold the problems that would eventually arise due to the perversions of the law that existed then and the apparent evolution of perverted law as history unfolded. He found this very alarming.

Bastiat even highlighted Class Warfare, which has cyclically reared its ugly head throughout history by those that dared wage it. Our current day President of the United States has ventured into this divisive arena as simply a vehicle on which to win the next election. Predicting, since there are more middle class and poor than that of wealthy, the numbers look to be in his favor.

What the President failed to recognize is the increasingly difficult task of persuasion as the electorate wakes up to the truth – the basis of justice is that which is fair and impartial, justice is righteousness. It is widely understood that equally opportunity does not guarantee an equal outcome. Fair reasons for an unequal outcome are generally accepted. A perversion of the law using legal plunder is not.

I cannot imagine that a majority of the poor and middle class would rather strip a rich man of his wealth, thereby trading his opportunity to gain more wealth for himself. Rather than envy the man with the limousine and want to take it from him, most welcome the freedom to work towards earning his own limousine. Is that not the American Dream? Have millions not emigrated from countries all over the world to partake in a system where your pursuits are only hindered by your own limitations?

The real solution is not a part-time congress as proposed by Presidential Candidate Rick Perry. No, I believe it would take a full-time congress to re-evaluate every piece of legislation for constitutional consistency.

Thomas Jefferson was right about Strict Constructionists, arguing that “that government is best which governs least,” they desired a small federal government, one that would leave most power to the states and to the people. Thus, they argued Congress should only be allowed to exercise those expressed powers specifically listed in the Constitution, recognizing few or any other implied powers as legitimate. Jefferson wanted to ensure that government would charge few or no taxes, mostly leaving the people at liberty to pursue their own objectives free from government interference. Only a very strict reading of the Necessary and Proper Clause, he thought, would prevent the government from giving itself more and more unnecessary power over citizens’ lives.

And, here we are…

The Broad Contructionists have certainly capitalized on power and the fear of the people, whom in times of turmoil gladly cashed in their liberty for a bit of security. That was the power of persuasion. Enough liberties of the people have been handed over to up-end the whole premise of  a Republic. Citizens of the states provide enough wealth to the federal government to economically compromise the states and local governments. Both of which are now at the mercy of what the federal government is willing to give back. All of which over extend their power and consume more wealth than any of us can afford.

Image: dream designs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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7 Responses to Furthermore, the Law is Perverted

  1. Tom says:

    Bastiat, like many of our founding fathers, saw the inherent trend that happens to all democratic systems over the course of time. Here is a brief, entertaining video mentioning Bastiat’s topic of “Legal Plunder” in a very understandable way.

  2. Its great as your other posts : D, thankyou for putting up. “As experience widens, one begins to see how much upon a level all human things are.” by Joseph Farrell.

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  4. rederic says:

    the law is not perverted
    let me explain before you all hunt me down hang me
    a vehicle is no more dangerous than the driver
    a gun is no more dangerous than the ones wield them
    the laws were created by crooks,for crooks
    so they can steal more and more
    this is one reason why cops will lie in wait for victims
    this is a reason why a judge says ignorance of the law is no excuse
    so it is the ones who bring these laws forth that are perverted
    it might be of interest to know that all courts are a private corp
    who’s sole purpose is to create revenue,revenuers to be exact
    they are a profit generating enterprise,with the ability to create laws
    to steal more of your wealth
    check out manta.com, this site lists all corps
    courts are based on maritime law (admiralty law)
    the constitution does not uphold nor can it be used in their court rooms
    the gold fringe around means (corps) if truth be known people do not have to
    answer to corporate courts, i can hear some asking why
    well here is the skinny, in all cases their has to be a victim, if there are none then they cannot
    have case, in all victimless cases (crimes) no one has been injured so therefor
    no crime right? here is where the state steps in, they be the victim in all cases
    creating the need for punishment (payment) it is always about the money ( ALWAYS)
    in cases with no victims are involved the state assumes this role, and everyone is
    guilty, there are no innocent/guilty pleas anymore, it is rather guilty/not guilty
    the judge will ask you do you UNDERSTAND these?
    what he/she is actually saying is this do you STAND UNDER this and ALL
    the other laws, most of which average joe knows nothing about
    by telling any judge your name in court you have contracted with, now it is too
    late corporations, all of them work from contracts, between parties involved
    it can be written but word of mouth works too, as in the cases of court
    by stating your name in court you fulfilled your end of the commercial
    contract with them,and then are guilty of every law, a judge cannot contract
    with only one party, if this is the case their is no judgement and has to be
    thrown out of court (usually all quiet like)
    ever wonder why court rooms are all fancy like? it is a ship and the judge is its captain
    remember it is admiralty law
    what a judge will not ever say or let known is the fact that they commit treason
    by violating their oath by entering the court rooms
    the UCC states (which by the way isn’t used anymore where there is no victim, there is no crimes) american courts have all been hijacked and replaced with british law, yes i typed that correctly BAR comes to my mind BRITISH ACCREDITED REGISTAR
    how can this be you ask? the usa was incorporated in the late 1700”s and it has slipped
    into what we have today, we have the american BAR and federal BAR, but it is still
    british, how can this be if we indeed won our independence in 1776?
    good question and thank you for asking
    i will try to answer this when i come back
    for more on this see youtube winston shrout

    • Robin says:

      I’m pretty sure we’re talking semantics. The law is perverted by the people that have been trafficking in the law. I provided the link to the essay written in 1850, you’ll love it, you can also get it at mises.org. American law is the Constitution and the
      Declaration of Independence that has indeed been perverted. Here’s an excerpt from the book’s forward,
      “The Law.” First published in 1850 by the
      great French economist and journalist, it is as clear a statement
      as has ever been made of the original American ideal
      of government, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence,
      that the main purpose of any government is the
      protection of the lives, liberties, and property of its citizens.
      Bastiat believed that all human beings possessed the
      God-given, natural rights of “individuality, liberty, property.”
      “This is man,” he wrote. These “three gifts from
      God precede all human legislation.” But even in his
      time—writing in the late 1840s—Bastiat was alarmed
      over how the law had been “perverted” into an instrument
      of what he called legal plunder. Far from protecting
      individual rights, the law was increasingly used to deprive
      one group of citizens of those rights for the benefit of
      another group, and especially for the benefit of the state

      Our legislators are more often than not lawyers, if the law works against them at any given time…they change it accordingly. I believe “we the people” have been victims by the perversions in the system. There are probably just as many victimless crimes as there is unavoidable accidents – very few.

      Though we won our independence from the British Empire, I expect since many of our founding fathers were formerly British subjects, a great deal of what we consider American was sufficiently British tradition infused. More than likely, that which they found most distasteful was changed sufficiently from England’s laws (which I’m extremely grateful). Other solutions to things like slavery may have not been as readily evident but was expected to come to pass. Unfortunately, instead of fine tuning the law and continually making strides towards liberty, they succeeded in enslaving us all and perhaps brought things around full circle.

      Admiralty courts did not grant trial by jury, that’s one big, but welcome difference. I cannot dispute your claims with my limited knowledge, I’ll have to take your word for it. Thanks for providing us with this food for thought, we should probably learn where we’ve been to correct our trajectory for the future.

      I’ll look into Winston Shrout, it sounds interesting.

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