Frédéric Bastiat on socialism

“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.”

— Frédéric Bastiat
(1801-1850) [Claude Frederic Bastiat] He did most of his writing during the years just before — and immediately following — the French Revolution of February 1848
http://libertytree.ca/quotes/Frédéric.Bastiat.Quote.7A6C

[Ol’ Freddy had it going on, I tell you what. ” … every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all” – what a brilliant way to put it! Nothing is new under the sun. We really do ourselves a disservice by not knowing the thoughts of our forbearers (?). Those who came before us. We keep reinventing the wheel. – The Seer]

Dogged!

“It must be admitted that the tendency of the human race toward liberty is largely thwarted, especially in France. This is greatly due to a fatal desire — learned from the teachings of antiquity — that our writers on public affairs have in common: They desire to set themselves above mankind in order to arrange, organize, and regulate it according to their fancy.”

— Frederic Bastiat

(What’s really great about these historical quotes is that it highlights how we doggedly refuse to learn from the past, and insist on reinventing the wheel every other generation or so. That sort of ignorance is to be expected when government is in charge of education.)

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