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Government 1A Lesson 20: Describe Bastiat’s concept of the politics of plunder

People have always wanted to get somewhere in life with the labor of others. Bastiat describes this as the origin of slavery, and plunder. Bastiat also says that Government is the source of plunder. “Government is and ought to be nothing whatever but common force organized, not to be an instrument of oppression and mutual plunder among citizens; but, on the contrary, to secure everyone his own, and to cause justice and security to reign.”

You see, the state is not the source of our success; therefore the state is not the source of our relief. He says, “The desire to live at another’s expense is the origin of plunder.” The law is supposed to increase the risk of plunder; but instead the law has become an instrument of plunder. Then he goes on to say that. The results of state plunder are loss of moral sense, loss of respect of law, legitimizing slavery, protection, and monopoly. People want to engage in the plunder, they desire to get the vote in order to engage in the plunder. That is Bastiat’s concept of the politics of plunder.

Politicians say that they feel our frustration and pain and say, that they wouldn’t want that to happen to ‘people like them’. They tell us that the state will be the source of our relief, which is not. The state is the reason that we are in this state of plunder in the first place! Plunder came from greed and misconceived philanthropy. While greed makes sense, people want more than they needed, they want to fill their pockets and to be above everyone else. Misconceived philanthropy means that when taking money away from people and giving it to the wrong people, the government takes hard earned money from working people and gives it to people who will spoil wasting it. After the people have up the money they spent, they come back for more, this time, demanding for more money. 

When the cycle of taking away the hard earned income and giving it away to the ones spending it left and right, then people might end homeless because of the amounts of money taken away from them. As for the spenders, they won’t be able to spend because the money they got from (hard workers), are going to be out of it eventually. One can’t benefit if the other isn’t able to provide. This cycle will end on a very bad note which is whenever nobody benefits and the economy is going down, supporting no one.

The law used to be one with morality, but now the law stands opposing morality, which of course isn’t good. The law is used to taking money and freedom from the people and this stands against the morals of the people, causing conflicts. The law becomes a collective force, making people commit to the states regulations. The state now oppresses people, decreasing their freedom just because they want a bit more power/more money.

In conclusion, what’s Bastiat’s concept of the politics of plunder? The state changes the law, the law oppresses the people causing plunder.

Thanks for reading this essay. I hope you liked this message or learned something new. I’ll be posting more soon and have a great rest of your day!

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