Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 24, 2013

in Other People's Money, Seen and Unseen, Self-deception

… is from page 350 of the 1964 W. Hayden Boyers translation, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, of Frederic Bastiat‘s 1850 treatise, Economic Harmonies (available on-line here) (original emphasis):

Unquestionably, simple out-and-out plunder is so clearly unjust as to be repugnant to us; but, thanks to the motto, all for one, we can allay our qualms of conscience.  We impose on others the duty of working for us.  Then, we arrogate to ourselves the right to enjoy the fruits of other men’s labor.  We call upon the state, the law, to enforce our so-called duty, to protect our so-called right, and we end in the fantastic situation of robbing one another in the name of brotherhood.  We live at other men’s expense, and then call ourselves heroically self-sacrificing for so doing.

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