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In Honor and Memory of Frédéric Bastiat´s The Law

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  • Alvarado Eduardo Mayora

    (Universidad Francisco Marroquín)

Abstract

Many people believe today that legislation is a tool powerful enough to shape society and to cure social diseases. Others think that legislation is useful to gain political support from special interest groups in search of privileges, at the expense of those whose cost of rejecting these actions is higher than their individual share of cost of such protection. Yet others think that legislation is the appropriate tool to implement public policy, according with their own utopia.To all those people, both of his era and ours, Frédéric Bastiat wrote one of the most persuasive and clearest discussions on the nature and the ends that the law must pursue. In his book The Law Bastiat shows how and why pursuing ends other than justice (or the prevention of justice) ultimately leads to the perversion of the law and the fragmentation of society into special interest groups.De nos jours, beaucoup de gens pensent que la législation est suffisamment puissante pour modeler la société et remédier aux maux sociaux. Dautres pensent que la législation est utile pour acquérir les faveurs politiques de groupes dintérêts spéciaux à la recherche de privilèges, au détriment de ceux pour qui le coût du rejet de telles actions est supérieur à leur part individuelle du coût dune telle protection. Dautres encore pensent que la législation est loutil approprié pour instaurer des politiques publiques en accord avec leur propre utopie.A tous ces gens, à la fois ceux de son époque et ceux de la nôtre, Frédéric Bastiat adressa une des discussions les plus convaincantes et les plus claires de la nature de la loi et des finalités que celle-ci doit poursuivre. Dans cet ouvrage, La Loi, Bastiat montre comment et pourquoi la poursuite de fins autres que la justice conduit de manière ultime à la perversion du droit et à la fragmentation de la société en des groupes dintérêts spéciaux.

Suggested Citation

  • Alvarado Eduardo Mayora, 2001. "In Honor and Memory of Frédéric Bastiat´s The Law," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-9, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:2:n:7
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