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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, September 18, 2006

Let Us Now Try Liberty

[Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French farmer, author, politician, and economist. He first entered the public arena to fight trade protectionism. His famous essay, The Law was published in the year of his untimely death.

Following are the final four paragraphs of The Law. Consider these thoughts in light of all that has transpired in the 156 years since Bastiat's death.

What Bastiat said in The Law about universal suffrage is also highly relevant today-- especially in terms of the so-called Voting Rights Act, the opposition to voter ID, the notions of letting convicted felons and illegal aliens vote, etc.]


My attitude toward all other persons is well illustrated by this story from a celebrated traveler: He arrived one day in the midst of a tribe of savages, where a child had just been born. A crowd of soothsayers, magicians, and quacks - - armed with rings, hooks, and cords -- surrounded it. One said: "This child will never smell the perfume of a peace- pipe unless I stretch his nostrils." Another said: "He will never be able to hear unless I draw his ear-lobes down to his shoulders." A third said: "He will never see the sunshine unless I slant his eyes." Another said: "He will never stand upright unless I bend his legs." A fifth said: "He will never learn to think unless I flatten his skull."

"Stop," cried the traveler. "What God does is well done. Do not claim to know more than He. God has given organs to this frail creature; let them develop and grow strong by exercise, use, experience, and liberty."

God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.

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