“That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen” is Bastiat’s most famous ‘sub-essay’, but there are others he wrote. Two titled ‘Government’ and ‘Law’ were also written by him, and are also works I have read this week. This concludes my studies of his works, but, as always, the questions will always come. So here’s what I was assigned this week: “Describe Bastiat’s concept of the politics of plunder.” Now here is an interesting one.
Before I answer, here’s a little bit of background to this assignment. In Bastiat’s ‘Law’, he states that law is not what it is supposed to be. By this I mean it has ben corrupted, or perverted to be more precise. The law is supposed to defend individual rights, but, in reality, it has been seeking to eliminate them. Now, he wrote this in the 1800’s, so this is not a recent occurrence. Anyway, this not only has been happening in law, but in the very government everyone is under the authority of.
So this brings us back to what was asked. Bastiat’s concept can be easily be described as two hands, as he wrote in his works. One takes from some people, and the other gives what was taken to others. This is basically plunder, and the most common form of this is taxes. The universal desire is for someone to do all the work so they don’t have to, and the law is only feeding this human greed. It is, and I quote,”the instrument of plunder”, but the government doesn’t care. If there are people who ask them to give them what they need, then they give it, and the problem is that these resources have to come from some where, so they take it from others. They can’t satisfy one party without taking from another. What’s worse is the inevitable out come of this game of ‘take N’ give’ is war and oppression and, yes, plunder.
There are few solutions to this problem of government. Basically, it’s either everyone takes from everyone else, or no one takes anything from anyone. Now which one is more appealing? The law nor government should be the ones to decide who get’s what. They should, but don’t, let man develop in his own ways, without anyone interfering. But the issue is socialists don’t trust the people to make their own choices. They virtually play God, like they are the only intelligent beings on earth, so they think they have the ‘right’ to provide to the parties who won’t work, by taking the working man’s hard earned dollars!
In short, the politics of plunder he has described is that the government takes it upon themselves to be responsible for everything in a person’s life. But in order to do this, they need resources, which they take away from those who deserve it more. It’s no wonder this country is falling apart, isn’t it?