Bastiat’s Politics of Plunder
In the 1800’s, a very eloquent man named Frederic Bastiat wrote something very interesting in which he described the politics of his day, “The Politics of Plunder”. Here I present to you a summary of this outrageous philosophy.
What this philosophy basically says is that liberty is the same as slavery and slavery is the same as freedom. That giving is the same as stealing and stealing is the same as giving. That protection is done through coercion and that the law is the one that gives authority to coercive stealing. Doing this, they let all people come to the assumption that stealing by force or plunder is legal. Let me explain Bastiat’s idea a bit more.
The people want to receive benefit at no cost, so they use the state government to oppress or steal from their fellow neighbor and get what they want. They use the state, that they may not go directly to the person they want to steal from, point a gun to them, and tell them to give them their wallet. In this way, they may win through the state making the state the thief and not lose by doing something ignorant and going to jail.
In other words, people allow plunder because, either they are greedy, or because they want the state to play Robin Hood. How is that? Well, stealing from everyone, not just the rich, but every citizen and giving it to someone else. What we call charity. This is like a man that walks into a store pointing a gun, to force the owner to give him the money from the cashier because, either he wants the money for a “brother” that needs help, or he’s just being a Good Samaritan and wants to donate what he steals to charity. “Oh, for charity? Of course my friend with the gun, take all the money you want, just please… don’t… shoot me.” The outcome of those thieves is the same, jail, or death, or at least it is supposed to be.
Law is supposed to bring justice, but it is quite opposite. Democracy is supposed to give the power to the people, but it really makes the people look like fools when the man they voted for treats them like mice from a science laboratory in which he is the scientist. Bastiat said that this happens because people treat the state government as if it were God. Where they cannot do nor have anything without them. Plus, if they didn’t exist the people would eventually end up killing each other.
In short terms, but this is Bastiat’s basic idea of the politics of plunder. That the government is supposed to protect through law the personality, liberty, and property of the people, but they really just do an involuntary transfer of wealth on the people