Portrait of Frédéric Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat argues that socialism hides its true plunderous nature under a facade of nice sounding words like “fraternity” and “equality” (1850)

Found in: The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 2: The Law, The State, and Other Political Writings, 1843-1850

The French economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) argues that under socialism’s facade of nice-sounding terms like fraternity, solidarity, and equality lies the “monster” of legal plunder and state coercion:

Socialism & Interventionism

For all its theories about systems and (all) its efforts it appears that socialism, however indulgent it is toward itself, cannot avoid catching a glimpse of the monster which is legal plunder. But what does it do? It cleverly shrouds it from all eyes, even its own, under the seductive names of fraternity, solidarity, organization, and association. And because we do not ask so much of the law since we require only justice from it, (socialism) presumes that we are rejecting fraternity, solidarity, organization, and association and hurls the epithet “Individualist!” at us. It ought to know, therefore, that what we are rejecting is not natural organization, but coerced organization.