Bastiat Predicts the Civil War

I collected this note while reading the Bastiat Collection on my Kindle a couple of years back.  Unfortunately, I am going to have to do some digging in order to point you to the specific essay.  However, I found it to be an incredible tid bit of history that a Frenchman who died in 1850 would predict with such accuracy the roots of the War Between the States:
Look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain—which is, to secure to everyone his liberty and his property. Therefore, there is no country in the world where social order appears to rest upon a more solid basis. Nevertheless, even in the United States, there are two questions, and only two, that from the beginning have endangered political order. And what are these two questions? That of slavery and that of tariffs; that is, precisely the only two questions in which, contrary to the general spirit of this republic, law has taken the character of a plunderer. Slavery is a violation, sanctioned by law, of the rights of the person. Protection is a violation perpetrated by the law upon the rights of property; and certainly it is very remarkable that, in the midst of so many other debates, this double legal scourge, the sorrowful inheritance of the Old World, should be the only one which can, and perhaps will, cause the rupture of the Union.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...