Eager to Prove Neither Understands How Government Works, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Plan “Defund Obamacare” Rally

cruz-paulIn an apparent joint attempt to prove that neither of these men understand how our government works, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are planning an anti-Obamacare rally for the first day when Congress returns from their August recess.

What’s the main focus going to be?  You guessed it — defunding the Constitutionally-upheld law.

Two of the biggest names in the “let’s shutdown the government if we don’t get our way” cheerleading squad, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are apparently aiming to capitalize on the first day Congress returns from recess to make fools of themselves — which, of course, right-wing voters will eat right up.

But make no mistake, this little event which is being organized by ForAmerica and the Tea Party Patriots is just the beginning of what we can all expect to be a fall filled with right-wing nonsense; and conservative politicians falling all over themselves to prove that they don’t understand how our government works.

But it does promise to make for good drama considering there are quite a few Republicans who strongly oppose these “shutdown the government” conservatives, and the infighting which I’m sure will commence should make for some quality entertainment.  Because that’s what politics is about, right?  Entertaining the voters with outright stupidity rather than doing anything constructive to help the country.

And even though I know a government shutdown would be disastrous for many Americans, I’m almost hoping they get enough support to do it.  Because I know one thing, it won’t be President Obama or Democrats that get blamed — Republicans will be the only ones the vast majority of Americans place the blame on.

So go right ahead, let these clowns hold their rally and get their far-right radicals standing in unison cheering to shut the government down.

It’ll be like every time these tea party supported Republicans get the national stage to themselves.  After all the dust settles they come out looking like out of touch radicals who are pandering to a far-right base, while President Obama and Democrats enjoy a popularity bump in the polls.

After all, this was the “big political movement” that swept through the 2010 midterms promising a “brand new direction for the Republican party” in “strong opposition to Obamacare” by…

Selecting Mitt Romney as their Presidential candidate!  (A man who, while governor, signed nearly an identical version of Obamacare into law in Massachusetts.)  Simply because every tea party candidate that ran, once given attention on the national stage, came off looking like some out of touch wacko that didn’t know what the heck they were talking about.

So while I know the insane comments that come from the likes of Senators Paul and Cruz over the next few weeks (heck–years) will infuriate me, I will just have to try and remind myself — the more attention they get, the better it is for moderates, independents and Democrats in 2014.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Charles Vincent


    The Results of Legal Plunder
    It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

    What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

    In the first place, it erases from everyone’s conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

    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.

    The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.

    The Fate of Non-Conformists
    If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is boldly said that “You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theorist, a subversive; you would shatter the foundation upon which society rests.” If you lecture upon morality or upon political science, there will be found official organizations petitioning the government in this vein of thought: “That science no longer be taught exclusively from the point of view of free trade (of liberty, of property, and of justice) as has been the case until now, but also, in the future, science is to be especially taught from the viewpoint of the facts and laws that regulate French industry (facts and laws which are contrary to liberty, to property, and to justice). That, in government-endowed teaching positions, the professor rigorously refrain from endangering in the slightest degree the respect due to the laws now in force.” [1]

    Thus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law.

    Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.

    I could prove this assertion in a thousand ways. But, by way of illustration, I shall limit myself to a subject that has lately occupied the minds of everyone: universal suffrage.”
    “But of what plunder was he speaking? For there are two kinds of plunder: legal and illegal.

    I do not think that illegal plunder, such as theft or swindling — which the penal code defines, anticipates, and punishes — can be called socialism. It is not this kind of plunder that systematically threatens the foundations of society. Anyway, the war against this kind of plunder has not waited for the command of these gentlemen. The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. Long before the Revolution of February 1848 — long before the appearance even of socialism itself — France had provided police, judges, gendarmes, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. The law itself conducts this war, and it is my wish and opinion that the law should always maintain this attitude toward plunder.

    The Law Defends Plunder
    But it does not always do this. Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim — when he defends himself — as a criminal. In short, there is a legal plunder, and it is of this, no doubt, that Mr. de Montalembert speaks.

    This legal plunder may be only an isolated stain among the legislative measures of the people. If so, it is best to wipe it out with a minimum of speeches and denunciations — and in spite of the uproar of the vested interests.

    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.

    Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

    The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

    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; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

    Legal Plunder Has Many Names
    Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole — with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism.

    Now, since under this definition socialism is a body of doctrine, what attack can be made against it other than a war of doctrine? If you find this socialistic doctrine to be false, absurd, and evil, then refute it. And the more false, the more absurd, and the more evil it is, the easier it will be to refute. Above all, if you wish to be strong, begin by rooting out every particle of socialism that may have crept into your legislation. This will be no light task.

    Socialism Is Legal Plunder
    Mr. de Montalembert has been accused of desiring to fight socialism by the use of brute force. He ought to be exonerated from this accusation, for he has plainly said: “The war that we must fight against socialism must be in harmony with law, honor, and justice.”

    But why does not Mr. de Montalembert see that he has placed himself in a vicious circle? You would use the law to oppose socialism? But it is upon the law that socialism itself relies. Socialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder. Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon. And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism? For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.

    To prevent this, you would exclude socialism from entering into the making of laws? You would prevent socialists from entering the Legislative Palace? You shall not succeed, I predict, so long as legal plunder continues to be the main business of the legislature. It is illogical — in fact, absurd — to assume otherwise.

    The Choice Before Us
    This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:

    The few plunder the many.
    Everybody plunders everybody.
    Nobody plunders anybody.
    We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.

    Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism.

    Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.

    No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate). [2]

    The Proper Function of the Law
    And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.

    Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law — that is, by force — this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization — justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?”

    Frédéric Bastiat The Law

    • dancerboots

      Obama Care was passed by Congress, It was challenged in the courts by the very body of government that passed it ,as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court determined Obama Care was Constitutional as far as mandating under the tax provision in the Constitution. Mandating the states to expand Medicaid was found to not be Constitutional. The states have the choice. Congress goes outside its authority under the Constitution refusing to fund a legitimate Constitutional Act they passed. It has the power to repeal it, change it, expand it, but It cannot refuse to fund it. Those in Congress that refuse to appropriate the funds for bills they have already wracked up by raising the debt limit, are also going against the Constitution. This was done without any fanfare for every Administration until President Obama was elected. Under Reagan, the debt ceiling was raised over a dozen times to cover the cost of the bills committed by Congress. This is also against the separation of powers of the different branches of the government as well. When Congress passes legislation/creates programs/departments etc…and then refuses to fund them, it prevents the President from implementing them as is his duty and authority under the Constitution to carry them out.

      • Charles Vincent

        This fits the definition of legal plunder and people like you are exactly who bastiat was referring to when he wrote that work over a hundred years ago. You seek to use the law to inflict injustice on others and to steal the property of others to enrich yourself.


        The Law and Charity
        You say: “There are persons who have no money,” and you turn to the law. But the law is not a breast that fills itself with milk. Nor are the lacteal veins of the law supplied with milk from a source outside the society. Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in. If every person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it, it is true that the law then plunders nobody. But this procedure does nothing for the persons who have no money. It does not promote equality of income. The law can be an instrument of equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to other persons. When the law does this, it is an instrument of plunder.

        With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.”

      • dancerboots

        It is Constitutional law…are you suggesting these laws were created to plunder. Congress has gone outside its authority and against the separation of powers refusing to fund a Constitutional law/act they created and passed and signed by the President. This prevents the President to carry out his duty.

        I suppose we could also refer to legal plunder as when addressing the laws passed in states that strip the right of employees to collective bargaining and the right to form a union. It is now “legal” for corporations to fire without cause in some states. Corporations, however have no laws to prevent it from feeding upon the profits, in large part, created by the labor of their workers. This is why today, we see such a huge divide in wealth and income. It is the working class that has been plundered. At any rate, this is an opinion one hundred years old. A Libertarian view that suggests if we just give everyone the right to do what they want, it will not harm others.
        Conveniently, you characterize those receiving government assistance (have no money) as never contributing to the “treasury”. Nothing can be further from the truth. The poor pay plenty of taxes and the assistance they receive immediately gets spent.

      • Charles Vincent

        No I am saying people like you perverted the law to do what it is now doing. Your lack of knowledge is apparent here the parts I posted are relevant to your post. They are also parts of his whole treatise on law and even in his writings he plainly states that people like you would use your line of arguement in an attempt to dismiss anyone that dissents or speaks out against this sort of perversion of the law.

      • Debater

        Bastiat was a pretty stupid political theorist, especially given that the parts you give here give no tale of the origin of rights or what it means to be an individuals. A Rawlsian interpretation of society speaks firstly to why Universal Healthcare is not plunder and secondly refutes the nation of individuality that Bastiat and other libertarians rely upon. Individuals are not independent, but rather are interdependent. I could get into the debate between libertarianism and the Rawlsian social contract more specifically, but it is honestly a lost cause. Libertarianism has never been a truly viable theory of government.

      • Charles Vincent

        The beginning of bastiat’s work do give tale to the origin of rights. Had you read his work you would have known that. And if his ideas were so stupid why have others implemented his theory and have success with it?
        “Universal Healthcare is not plunder and secondly refutes the nation of individuality that Bastiat and other libertarians rely upon. Individuals are not independent, but rather are interdependent.”

        Universal health care takes property of one and gives it to another, that is the definition of plunder in either iteration be it legal or illegal.
        As to the second part people are individuals and they can also be a group bastiat covered this here.
        “What Is Law?
        What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

        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? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

        Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

        If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.”

      • dancerboots

        I didn’t pervert the law. I am not a legislator. Are there laws that enable plundering? I am sure there are…more likely..it is the lack of laws that could prevent it. While we all may be created equal to pursue life/liberty and our freedoms, our history does not support that. In fact our history is pretty ugly when it comes to those that have none to little power…you know the ones with “no money”. Personally, the opinions of Bastiat, in my opinion are the same ones spewed by the Libertarians today. The poor Libertarians whose rights have been trampled on because they were not given absolute control over their financial endeavors…no matter whom it may harm. Socialism today is the communism of yesterday, used as a propaganda tool to scare the dumbed down masses.

        Perhaps, if our history proved Bastiat’s opinion was correct, there would be something in his opinion to embrace. It doesn’t. The right to vote was not gleefully handed to the blacks and women. It took deaths, injuries, incarcerations, beatings and years of fighting for that right.

        Our Labor history, also bears this out. It has taken deaths, injuries, incarcerations, beatings, loss of the job that continues today, to prevent the working class a voice in the work force for collective bargaining and the forming of unions.The poor continue to pay taxes that weigh heavily on their purchasing power, yet the writings of Bastiat characterize them as leeches taking from the accomplished. History proves otherwise.

      • Charles Vincent


        Socialism Is Legal Plunder
        Mr. de Montalembert has been accused of desiring to fight socialism by the use of brute force. He ought to be exonerated from this accusation, for he has plainly said: “The war that we must fight against socialism must be in harmony with law, honor, and justice.”

        But why does not Mr. de Montalembert see that he has placed himself in a vicious circle? You would use the law to oppose socialism? But it is upon the law that socialism itself relies. Socialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder. Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon. And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism? For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.

        To prevent this, you would exclude socialism from entering into the making of laws? You would prevent socialists from entering the Legislative Palace? You shall not succeed, I predict, so long as legal plunder continues to be the main business of the legislature. It is illogical — in fact, absurd — to assume otherwise.

        The Choice Before Us
        This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:

        The few plunder the many.
        Everybody plunders everybody.
        Nobody plunders anybody.
        We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.

        Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism.

        Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.

        No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate). [2]

        The Proper Function of the Law
        And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.

        Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law — that is, by force — this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization — justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?

        The Seductive Lure of Socialism
        Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

        This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.

        Enforced Fraternity Destroys Liberty
        Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: “Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity.” I answered him: “The second half of your program will destroy the first.”

        In fact, it is impossible for me to separate the word fraternity from the word voluntary. I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed, and thus justice being legally trampled underfoot

        Legal plunder has two roots: One of them, as I have said before, is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy.

        At this point, I think that I should explain exactly what I mean by the word plunder. [3]

        Plunder Violates Ownership
        I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance — as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it — without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud — to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.

        I say that this act is exactly what the law is supposed to suppress, always and everywhere. When the law itself commits this act that it is supposed to suppress, I say that plunder is still committed, and I add that from the point of view of society and welfare, this aggression against rights is even worse. In this case of legal plunder, however, the person who receives the benefits is not responsible for the act of plundering. The responsibility for this legal plunder rests with the law, the legislator, and society itself. Therein lies the political danger.

        It is to be regretted that the word plunder is offensive. I have tried in vain to find an inoffensive word, for I would not at any time — especially now — wish to add an irritating word to our dissentions. Thus, whether I am believed or not, I declare that I do not mean to attack the intentions or the morality of anyone. Rather, I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which appears to me to be unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of the suffering.

        Three Systems of Plunder
        The sincerity of those who advocate protectionism, socialism, and communism is not here questioned. Any writer who would do that must be influenced by a political spirit or a political fear. It is to be pointed out, however, that protectionism, socialism, and communism are basically the same plant in three different stages of its growth. All that can be said is that legal plunder is more visible in communism because it is complete plunder; and in protectionism because the plunder is limited to specific groups and industries. [4] Thus it follows that, of the three systems, socialism is the vaguest, the most indecisive, and, consequently, the most sincere stage of development.

        But sincere or insincere, the intentions of persons are not here under question. In fact, I have already said that legal plunder is based partially on philanthropy, even though it is a false philanthropy.

        With this explanation, let us examine the value — the origin and the tendency — of this popular aspiration which claims to accomplish the general welfare by general plunder.

      • Charles Vincent


        A Confusion of Terms
        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.

        The Influence of Socialist Writers
        How did politicians ever come to believe this weird idea that the law could be made to produce what it does not contain — the wealth, science, and religion that, in a positive sense, constitute prosperity? Is it due to the influence of our modern writers on public affairs?

        Present-day writers — especially those of the socialist school of thought — base their various theories upon one common hypothesis: They divide mankind into two parts. People in general — with the exception of the writer himself — form the first group. The writer, all alone, forms the second and most important group. Surely this is the weirdest and most conceited notion that ever entered a human brain!

        In fact, these writers on public affairs begin by supposing that people have within themselves no means of discernment; no motivation to action. The writers assume that people are inert matter, passive particles, motionless atoms, at best a kind of vegetation indifferent to its own manner of existence. They assume that people are susceptible to being shaped — by the will and hand of another person — into an infinite variety of forms, more or less symmetrical, artistic, and perfected. Moreover, not one of these writers on governmental affairs hesitates to imagine that he himself — under the title of organizer, discoverer, legislator, or founder — is this will and hand, this universal motivating force, this creative power whose sublime mission is to mold these scattered materials — persons — into a society.

        These socialist writers look upon people in the same manner that the gardener views his trees. Just as the gardener capriciously shapes the trees into pyramids, parasols, cubes, vases, fans, and other forms, just so does the socialist writer whimsically shape human beings into groups, series, centers, sub-centers, honeycombs, labor-corps, and other variations. And just as the gardener needs axes, pruning hooks, saws, and shears to shape his trees, just so does the socialist writer need the force that he can find only in law to shape human beings. For this purpose, he devises tariff laws, tax laws, relief laws, and school laws.

        The Socialists Wish to Play God
        Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. This is so true that, if by chance, the socialists have any doubts about the success of these combinations, they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set aside to experiment upon. The popular idea of trying all systems is well known. And one socialist leader has been known seriously to demand that the Constituent Assembly give him a small district with all its inhabitants, to try his experiments upon.

        In the same manner, an inventor makes a model before he constructs the full-sized machine; the chemist wastes some chemicals — the farmer wastes some seeds and land — to try out an idea.

        But what a difference there is between the gardener and his trees, between the inventor and his machine, between the chemist and his elements, between the farmer and his seeds! And in all sincerity, the socialist thinks that there is the same difference between him and mankind!

        It is no wonder that the writers of the nineteenth century look upon society as an artificial creation of the legislator’s genius. This idea — the fruit of classical education — has taken possession of all the intellectuals and famous writers of our country. To these intellectuals and writers, the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.

        Moreover, even where they have consented to recognize a principle of action in the heart of man — and a principle of discernment in man’s intellect — they have considered these gifts from God to be fatal gifts. They have thought that persons, under the impulse of these two gifts, would fatally tend to ruin themselves. They assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange.

        The Socialists Despise Mankind
        According to these writers, it is indeed fortunate that Heaven has bestowed upon certain men — governors and legislators — the exact opposite inclinations, not only for their own sake but also for the sake of the rest of the world! While mankind tends toward evil, the legislators yearn for good; while mankind advances toward darkness, the legislators aspire for enlightenment; while mankind is drawn toward vice, the legislators are attracted toward virtue. Since they have decided that this is the true state of affairs, they then demand the use of force in order to substitute their own inclinations for those of the human race.

        Open at random any book on philosophy, politics, or history, and you will probably see how deeply rooted in our country is this idea — the child of classical studies, the mother of socialism. In all of them, you will probably find this idea that mankind is merely inert matter, receiving life, organization, morality, and prosperity from the power of the state. And even worse, it will be stated that mankind tends toward degeneration, and is stopped from this downward course only by the mysterious hand of the legislator. Conventional classical thought everywhere says that behind passive society there is a concealed power called law or legislator (or called by some other terminology that designates some unnamed person or persons of undisputed influence and authority) which moves, controls, benefits, and improves mankind.”

      • Charles Vincent

        “Perhaps, if our history proved Bastiat’s opinion was correct, there would be something in his opinion to embrace.”

        He covered this here.

        Perverted Law Causes Conflict
        As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the French and English legislatures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

        Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States [in 1850]. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person’s liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation. But even in the United States, there are two issues — and only two — that have always endangered the public peace.

        Slavery and Tariffs Are Plunder
        What are these two issues? They are slavery and tariffs. These are the only two issues where, contrary to the general spirit of the republic of the United States, law has assumed the character of a plunderer.

        Slavery is a violation, by law, of liberty. The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property.

        It is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime — a sorrowful inheritance from the Old World — should be the only issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union. It is indeed impossible to imagine, at the very heart of a society, a more astounding fact than this: The law has come to be an instrument of injustice. And if this fact brings terrible consequences to the United States — where the proper purpose of the law has been perverted only in the instances of slavery and tariffs — what must be the consequences in Europe, where the perversion of the law is a principle; a system?”

        He could not have been more correct about slavery in America and the fact the he predicted that slavery would cause problems in our form of government 11 years before the civil war is proof he knew what he was talking about and if we look at his other theory about tariffs we can see in our history how they were a detriment to our country to this day. Your argument fails.

      • Charles Vincent

        The Complete Perversion of the Law
        But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

        How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

        The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let us speak of the first.

        A Fatal Tendency of Mankind
        Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.

        But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.”

    • S.R. Smith

      Unregulated ‘Free Market Capitalism’ is the legalized theft of the wealth that only a “laborer” can create. The capitalist can only steal the wealth that is created by workers. No Workers, No Wealth. So Capitalism is the legalized plunder of wealth.

      • Charles Vincent

        That is a logical fallacy. Some one pays the worker for his labor this is a voluntary contract. People pervert the law bastiat covers this as well.

        The Complete Perversion of the Law
        But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

        How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

        The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let us speak of the first.”

      • MitchMoreland

        This is getting laughable. When you say someone commits a “logical fallacy”…you probably should at least attempt to provide a reason WHY it’s a logical fallacy. You said “That is a logical fallacy. Some one pays the worker for his labor this is a voluntary contract. People pervert the law bastiat covers this as well.” An observation of the employer/employee relationship is NOT a logical fallacy.

        I am curious. Insert “highway building” for every time you mentioned “obamacare” and you can state the same drivel. “It’s plundering……it’s a perversion of law.’ We make laws in an attempt to better society. (Cut and paste response coming in 3….2……1….)

      • Charles Vincent

        It is a logical fallacy the business man cannot force me to work. If I don’t like the amount he wishes to pay I can go somehwere else, or attempt to negotiate a better price for my labor. Your second “point” is a poor attempt at obfuscation and deflection. Highways are financed by an excise tax placed on gasoline. I posted bastia because it was relevant to the posts being made. Its well established that unjust laws are not laws, calling those laws a perversion is the same as calling them unconstitutional or unjust. Your whole premise about law seems to rest on the infallability of our duly elected legislators. This is an incorrect assumption.

  • AlfredLehmberg

    You can’t communicate with “crazy”; you can’t deal with “crazy”; your can’t legislate with “crazy”; you can’t govern with “crazy”; you can’t have consensus with “crazy”… How much longer are we going to try to, remotely, get along with crazy? You _can’t_ get along with crazy!

    See? There are many things you can’t do with crazy, but one of the bigger ones is that you can’t put crazy in CHARGE! If you do! Well… you’re crazy!

    • Suzie

      LOL! Good one! We need a lot less “cra-cra”, and a lot more “common sense” in our politicians. These clowns need to be voted out in the next elections! Please people: you cannot take these people seriously! They truly are “cra-cra”, it’s as simple as that!

  • soupgoblin

    Is this sort of like having a “Klan Rally”? I mean, all the same people will show up.

    • Shawn Dunwoody

      It’s the “We’re no Longer the KKK But We Act Like Them” Rally

  • D_C_Wilson

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

    And the tea party began spreading kerosene.

  • Judy Byrd

    They did not ‘get in trouble’ the last time. Don’t hold your breath, don’t get flippant. They’ll do it and the rethugs will still blame the president.

  • Pipercat

    Seems to me, this section should be renamed from comments, to see how I can cut and paste!!!!