I started in on the next Economics book, The Law (that’s the actual text!) by Frederic Bastiat tonight, and it was so sparse I read it in a little over an hour.  I was not expecting that.

bastiatThis is more a novella than anything and is really a just a longer essay that explains the sole role of the law as we know it, which is to maintain justice.  He is a good writer and goes in depth as to why justice is the only reason law exists, and why fraternity can have no piece of the law lest it destroy the formerly mentioned.  I find it fascinating how these recent reads were written in the far and near past yet hold so much relevance concerning our current political landscape.  I suppose that the ideas written upon 200 years ago will hold relevance continually as they are what shape society and are constantly being molded by our governance.

This is an impassioned plea to understand that men and women are not merely raw materials to be handled and fulfilled by their governments, but individuals capable of their own improvement and work toward a better future.  The law is merely here to protect all of us as we search to develop ourselves and lives as we see fit.  At any other point when we begin to mandate that other provisions be handled by our laws, we are then forsaking the very reason that the law exists.  We are using it to achieve means counterintuitive to its purpose.  The law can and will be used to “plunder” through legal means otherwise.

Bastiat makes a wonderful point about lawmakers and others in society.  He says that far too many people place themselves above humanity and attempt to shape it in a “better” manner as they think themselves smarter than the masses, and he’s quite right.  This was a very fast read and for those of you who concern yourself with morality in politics, an easy and enlightening foray.