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Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

"Liberty is an acknowledgement of faith in God and His works"
concluding words of Bastiat's The Law.

Bastiat on education: 
"So let us leave education free. It will perfect itself through trial and error, example, rivalry, imitation and emulation. Unity is not at the starting point of the efforts made by the human mind; it is the result of the natural gravitation of free intellects towards the center of all attraction: Truth.
That does not mean to say that the powers that be should withdraw in complete indifference. As I have already said, their mission is to supervise the use and repress the misuse of all our faculties. I accept that they should accomplish this mission to the fullest extent, and with even greater vigilance regarding education than in any other field; that the State should lay down conditions concerning qualifications and character-references; that it should repress immoral teaching; that it should watch over the health of the pupils. I accept all that, while yet remaining convinced that its solicitude, however scrupulous, can offer only the very slightest guarantee compared to that instilled by Nature in the hearts of fathers and in the interest of teachers." (Letter to the Electors of Saint-Server)

Bastiat on self-sacrifice: “For my part, I will join the combat at whatever level I am placed, for apart from the fact that I put our noble cause a thousand times higher than our little individual ideas.  I have learned from Mr. Cobden, the one man in the world in whom I have the fullest confidence, that individual self-sacrifice is the soul and cement of any voluntary association.”

More on self-sacrifice:

“Economists are accused of not taking self-sacrifice into account and perhaps despising it. Please God, we will never fail to recognize the power and grandeur in self-sacrifice. Nothing that is great and generous, nothing that arouses fellow feeling and admiration in men can be accomplished except through selflessness. Man is not just an intelligent man, and he is not merely a calculating being. He has a soul, and in this soul there is a germ of fellow feeling which may be developed until it attains universal love, to the point of the most absolute sacrifice, at which point it produces the generous actions that, when narrated, bring tears to our eyes.”

 

(Bastiat, Frederic. “The Law”, “The State”, and the Other Political Writings, 1843-1850. Jacques de Guenin, General Editor, 2012.  Chapter 6, Individualism and Fraternity p.91-92)"


"When human institutions infringe on divine laws, not only error,
but evil is the result; but this evil deviates and falls on people whom it should never have injured."

“Bastiat had absorbed into his soul the essence of the message of Jesus Christ: that God is a Creator who so loved the world that He gave us His Only Son. “To be really communicating with God,” Bastiat commented only days before his death, “man needs to rely on a Revelation. I myself took the matter the right way: I do not discuss dogma; I accept it.” Xiii. Preface by Leonard Liggio, Jacques Garello and Sam Gregg.

 “What could interest a kind heart more vividly than that the life of Jesus, that evangelic morality, and that mediation of Mary! How moving they are . . . “ Frederic Bastiat, from a letter to Victor Calmètes, September 1820; Tome 1, 4. 


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