By Neil T
How many undiscovered classics are there in the world?
Well, I discovered one today that sends the balls and the badmen flying, and its from 1850, written by a Frenchman dying from tuberculosis, by spine tingling irony, just as Orwell was when he wrote 1984!
This little book is it. This is high grade ammunition, almost solid quotable from end to end, better I would say than Hayek’s ‘The Road to Serdom’ which is none the less another brilliant classic I cannot consider myself educated without having read. Click the link, read it, and use it! Be made invincible with its help, because it articulates so well that which we have been robbed of the language to articulate for ourselves, but have been desperately striving together to find. Bastiat takes us back to the absolute fundamentals of human society, and shows us where we should start from, which is most certainly not from where we happen to find ourselves!
Ever since the nightmare children families and schools bill hit us over the head, I’ve been searching for something written to explain what the law should be, what it is for, and what it is not for, what commends itself to us that we might want to obey it as opposed to merely doing so out of fear of violence against us for not doing. The new bill is so inescapably such an intended radical violation of us, such an outrage and trauma, that it forces one to ask the questions ‘what is the law? ‘ what is it for’? ‘How can it do this?’ Is the law not there to protect us from predators, usupers and thieves? If so then how can it sanction predators, usurpers and thieves, setting them over us, and their fangs sinking into the flesh of our children and devouring them, making a mockery of any idea of humans as sovereign beings belonging to themselves, robbing us of all legal defence against their predations, making us into the criminals for trying to defend oursleves against law which should be protecting us? Can it really do this without destroying any last vestige of respect for the law itself, and thereby plunging society into an abyss?
Well, Bastiat also poses exactly that question:
“No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.”
While I would want to say that losing respect for the law is forced on me at the point it holds me in such vile contempt, he’s right that to have to make that choice, staying faithful to the law, even in its gross injustice and violence towards one, or, staying faithful to ones own beliefs, is a choice we should not be forced into in the first place, and cannot be without dire consequences for us either way.
‘The Law’ is a sort of ‘law for dummies’, except that Bastiat would never use such an insult of the reader, not even tongue in cheek, so passionately did he believe that we are all created equal, and that there are no sheeple, only the abused and confused. Having said that he wrote in a plain (French) style that is immediately accessible to anyone, as all the greatest writing surely must be.
He considers that before there was law there was life, liberty and property. Our minds have been confused by collectivist brainwashing about property somehow being a dirty word, but this is what he means by it:
“Each of us has a natural right-from God-to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?”
Clearly at the most basic level, property is the product of the individual, constituting the necessities of life itself that they have worked to secure, and ‘plunder’, the lovely word he uses in place of ‘theft’ as we would say now, is taking that away from someone without their consent. Taken in context with everything else he says, property cannot also mean stately homes set in hundreds of acres of land, maintained by an army of slaves. His word for that is ‘legalised plunder’.
How to Identify Legal Plunder
“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”
Straight away this is instantly recognisable as a description of the badman process, where that which is ours, ‘our’ children, and responsibility for their upbringing, including their education, is taken from us, handed to others, for their benefit and our loss, and we become legally prevented from defending ourselves against this attack, this usurpation! Badman fails the test of just law, and is clearly seen to be committing ‘legal plunder’. The CSF Bill puts the law in contempt of the people.
A commentary by Sheldon Richman at the end says:
“For Bastiat, law is a negative. He agreed with a friend who pointed out that it is imprecise to say that law should create jus- tice. In truth, the law should prevent injustice. “Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.” That may strike some readers as dubious. But on reflection, one can see that a free and just society is what results when forcible intervention against individuals does not occur; when they are left alone.”
Isn’t this precisely why the law should say what it does in s437 “if it appears…. that a child… is NOT receiving…. education…”. LEAs have always tried to make it into ensuring, and this fascist government is set to turn the law into meaning that too, and it wasn’t until a lawyer, Ian Dowty, actually pointed out that the injunction is framed in the negative, and on this apparently subtle distinction, which half the time even seems like a pedantic point to many of us, hangs the difference between getting left alone on the presumption of innocence, unless there is an appearance to the contrary, and on the other hand being invariably and routinely subject to a state inspectorate which potentially will never be satisfied in its ensuring role, for as long as there is a mismatch between your plans for you, and its plans for you.
Laws that permit legal plunder should be abolished “without delay.” But, he warns, “the person who profits from such law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights,” his entitlements. Bastiat´s advice is direct: “Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else.”
So away with all ‘stakeholders’! – invalid concept – just a word for rent seekers as EG West called them, or ‘vested interests’, assuming ‘acquired rights’ (in us).
Here are the words we surely want to quote to the badmen and ballsups:
To the “do-good-ers and would-be rulers of mankind”, he angrily cries:
“Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don´t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.”
I could stay up all night re-reading this book and presenting all the other stunning articulations of what is happening to us, but I’m not going to, because I don’t want to hog all the fun, and I’m tired and wish to sleep!
Only if enough others take stuff like this on board for themselves and apply it and share their insights with the rest of us, are we ever going to prevail over our oppressors, and I know who you are, (well some of you at least!)
One final insight that has been triggered in me as a result of reading this book is to begin to realise, (building on the idea) that the idea that the labour party abandoned socialism and became capitalist, or ‘the Tory party’, couldn’t be further from the truth, its collectivism and total control of everything and everyone is intrinsic to socialism, and to big business, and Ed Balls spills the beans on the Fabian connection right on cue for anyone that doubts this. What we are poised to line ourselves up for next as a nation, is the delusion that somehow the Tories are significantly less socialist or collectivist than labour! It wasn’t Labour that became Tory, but the Tories that became socialist.
Reality is always the opposite of what is sold to us! Look at their record, and look at the collectivist laws they will administer and not repeal. Anyone watch Graham Stuart in parliament verbally emphasising the hated bit in his divisive petition that place-marks the Tory intention to conduct its own review into home education?
But we sussed him and his Trojan horse, and place-marked this move against us, and I have no doubt we will enjoy telling them where they can shove the merest thought of picking up where the last lot left off. When this lot lose their flat out, no holds barred attack on us, we will have defeated the best that illegitimate government could throw at us. Are we really going to then meekly sigh and put up with going through all that again on a treadmill without end? I don’t think so. When this bill and the other measures are run out of time, or whatever it takes, it will no longer be possible to take our liberty from us, because we will have properly learned what it means, and we will also have experienced our own strength, our own power, and thereby the limits to theirs.