Quotes by Frédéric Bastiat

"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."

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

"If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?"

"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."

"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."

Books by Frédéric Bastiat

  • The Law
  • 11,040 ratings
  • June 30th 2011 by Ludwig von Mises Institute

    (first published November 14th 1849)

  • La Loi
  • 11,040 ratings
  • May 24th 2020
  • Economic Sophisms
  • 592 ratings
  • September 1st 1996 by Foundation for Economic Education

    (first published 1845)

Frédéric Bastiat
  • Frédéric Bastiat

  • Date of birth: June 30, 1801
  • Died: December 24, 1850
  • Born: in Bayonne, Aquitaine, France.

  • Description: Claude Frédéric Bastiat (29 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly.