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Bastiat Says It Best

In this rapidly changing modern world, it’s often easy to feel like your problems are unique, and unlike those of people who lived hundreds of years ago. That’s why I was so struck recently when I came across this quote 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.”

Bastiat, The Law

If I didn’t know better, I never would have guessed that this quote was first published in 1850. You’d think after all this time the level of common debate would have advanced passed this. You’d think that the average modern socialist would at least understand the absolute basics of the libertarian position.


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