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This Author: Frederic Bastiat
This Narrator: Marvin Payne
This Publisher: FreeAudio.org

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

The Law

by Frederic Bastiat

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
2 Hrs. 5 Min.
User Rating
  4.4  Stars Based on 20 ratings
Frederic Bastiat's "The Law" produced by FreeAudio.org is one of the best free audio books available. Bastiat's brief treatise on law is a passionate cry for his belief that law should only be put in place to maintain life, liberty, and property. He denounces legislators and philosophers who seek legalized plunder, moral coercion, and numerous other methods of force through law which encroach on liberties. The production quality is professional and Marvin Payne's narration is superb.

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Reviews & Ratings
User Reviews         Rate this title  

Why Sheriffs Never Get Parking Tickets
Reviewer 01juan01
 September 29, 2010
I read this book today, just a few days after reading The Prince by Machiavelli, and a month after Plato's Republic; so you know I am tripping!

Bastiat reminds us that every time we ask the government to solve a problem we are giving away one more liberty. This book should be banned, "Why doesn't the government do something?" And then one day my favorite author is tossed into the pyre by a sheriff who is double parked. Ouch, because I am my favorite author!

A lot of people nowadays like to say, "Freedom isn't free." Well . . . yes it is. The Law reminds us also that freedom is costly only AFTER it has been given away to an organized force.

Certainly, Frederic Bastiat pondered over Thomas Jefferson’s ideologies: “It is an axiom in my mind that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. This it is the business of the state to effect, and on a general plan.”

So if that seems tangled then:

Read this book!

The only disappointment I found in Bastiat's discourse was that the author seemed overly against socialism and, today, this book might be offensive to those millions happily living in a socialist country. I think Socialists, as well as all others, should keep the dialog presented in this book going until every human being has an equal share and say in the solar system.

Thank you.

P.S. It is well read recording and I thank the publisher FreeAudio.org and LearnOut.com for these gifts.

Are you being robbed by our goverment?
Reviewer cliffwhitaker
 February 17, 2006
The sound quality if very good. The issue is with sibilance. The listener, if you can, should turn the treble down a bit. The reader is easy to understand with good modulation in his voice. Seems to have a real passion for what he is reading. There is a forward and and introduction to “The Law,” that seem overly long. However, the book itself is well worth the wait.

The author, Bastiat, is a Frenchman writing during the 1840's—just after the American and French Revolutions yet before the American Civil War. He has a good perspective on Liberty, Justice, how the law interacts with these concepts, and the American experiment with Democracy. Bastiat is a Liberal in the classical sense. This means that he believes in limited government. By limited govern­ment, he means that government should only act to protect the life, liberty, and property of the individ­ual. The is government is not to engage in redistributing wealth or teaching morality according to Bastiat.

Bastiat does a good job of arguing for limited government and against socialism. His main point is that Liberty and Property are God given prior to the existence of Law. The Law was created out of the collective right of defense of individuals to defend their liberty and property.

The problem with Law, according to Bastiat is that often times it is corrupted so that what you end up with is legalized robbery. He means that when the Law take ones property (or money) and gives it to someone else, either through welfare or subsidy of one industry or another, the result is legalized theft.

Bastiat complements the United States during his time, because he felt that the Law here was closest to the way it was intended to be. Keep in mind, when Bastiat was writing, the United States had no income tax, the federel goverment consisted basically of the department of war and the department of state. There was no FBI, CIA, FEMA, EPA, DEA, HUD, SSI, etc., in the United States. The federal goverment was not expected to take care of us when we were poor, old, or sick. Neither was the Federal Govermnet expected to make us fine moral people. Bastiat would be horrified if he could see
America as it is today. Now everyone from the Conservative Christians on the Right to the Humanist Liberals on the Left, expect the Federal Goverment to solve their problems. We are as Socialistic now as the French goverment he was complaining about then.

Even if you do not agree with Bastiat, it is time well spent listening to this audio book. He will make you consider the Rights that we are giving up here in the "Land of the Free"

More Details

  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T006936
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