The Law by Frederic Bastiat

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

The Law was first published in French in 1848.  The book was written in response to a socialist movement that was occurring at the time of publication in France.  Though the book was written 170 plus years ago, the book is as relevant today as it was when the book was first published. Frederic Bastiat in a short 70 pages provides a fully comprehensive argument for protecting freedom, liberty as well as the law from social engineers.  Bastiat utilizes “The Law” to support his argument of individual right to legal defense. Though the book can easily be read in an hour to fully comprehend the books premise along with the principles contained therein requires time to ponder the concepts and ideas presented.  This book “The Law” is packed with eye-opening information making the book invaluable to understanding man’s rights.    


Frederic Bastiat Frederic Bastiat was a French author, economist and law maker.  As an author Bastiat had written several books on economics.  Many of these books are still prized for their contribution to free market economics.  His pamphlet “The Law” is highly prized today for its comprehensive treatise on the purpose of law to protect man’s unalienable rights. Bastiat was ill when he wrote “The Law”.  He died a year after its publication.  Bastiat was a French patriot concerned that the valued things of the society he cherished and loved were being allowed to disintegrate Bastiat uses “The Law” to argue that law is force utilizing government authority.  He calls legal plunder specialty groups desiring advantages over groups currently not in power.  Bastiat felt that society would be better off with fewer leaders along with our fellow beings seeking control over their own actions.  The Law describes how as citizens of a free society freedom can be preserved avoiding excessive government creating legal injustice.


This book is a must read for anyone desiring to understand freedom, liberty along with the proper role of government required to protect man’s unalienable rights.  Reading “The Law” will alter your present assumptions about the purpose of government as well as our individual obligation to society. The Thomas Jefferson Center highly recommends reading Frederic Bastiat’s treatise “The Law”.  Reading this book will increase your overall understanding of life, liberty, freedom along with the role of government.  This is an important book that every student should be introduced. The book is available online as an ebook as well as in a paper back version.

Leave a Reply