Journal of Social Philosophy 22 (3):42-51 (1991)

In 1848 Frederic Bastiat wrote an article in the Journal des Debats in which he said, Man struggles against pain and suffering. However, he is condemned by nature to suffering and to privation if he does not take upon himself the effort of work. Hence he has only the choice between two evils….Up to now, however, no remedy has been found for it, except for one man to avail himself of the work of others…so that all work is for the one and all enjoyment is for the other. Hence [we have] slavery and robbery.[Today] the oppressor no longer directly compels the oppressed through his own strength. There is still a tyrant and a victim, but now the state, i.e. the law itself, is placed as a mediator between the two. What could be better for the purpose of stifling our doubts and vanquishing all resistance? We turn to the state and say to it: I find that between my enjoyment and my work there exists no relation that satisfies me. In order to bring about the desired balance, I would like to take away a little from others. However, that would be dangerous were I to do it myself. Can you, state, facilitate matters for me? Can you not assign me to a favorable position, or assign a more unfavorable one to my competitor? Can you not grant me a special “protection” and, not without plausible reason, lend me capital which you have taken from its possessors? Or, can you not educate my children at public expense? or guarantee me a carefree life from age 50 onwards?… In this case the law would be acting for me, and I would have all the advantages of exploitation without its risks and its onus
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9833.1991.tb00047.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 61,025
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

How to Achieve Global Justice.James P. Sterba - 2005 - Journal of Global Ethics 1 (1):53 – 68.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Unrealistic Assumptions in Rational Choice Theory.Aki Lehtinen & Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):115-138.
Unanswered Questions, Unquestioned Answers.Monica J. Taylor - 1996 - Journal of Moral Education 25 (1):5-20.
Abstraction and Unrealistic Assumptions in Economics∗.Steven Rappaport - 1996 - Journal of Economic Methodology 3 (2):215-236.
Ontological Assumptions: Descartes, Searle, and Edelman.Gregg E. Franzwa - 1997 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 4 (3):14-18.
Unobservability, Tractability and the Battle of Assumptions.Frank A. Hindriks - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (3):383-406.
Psychophysical Supervenience: Digging in its Foundations.Giovanna Hendel - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:115-141.
The Insanity Plea: Szaszian Ethics and Epistemology.Lee S. Weinberg & Richard E. Vatz - 1982 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 3 (3):417-433.


Added to PP index

Total views
13 ( #733,220 of 2,439,471 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #433,110 of 2,439,471 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes