Once we establish the principle that the legislator is responsible for arranging, combining, and molding both people and property at will, there is no limit to the imaginable means by which people and property can be arranged, combined, and molded.

Frédéric Bastiat
Section 4 of 6

After having explained the difference between Rousseau’s views and his on the anteriority of property over legislation, Frédéric Bastiat then proceeds to deduct the consequences of it. The first is that, if property were defined by the law, there would be no reason why legislators could agree on a long term basis as to what it should be.

Short of a tyrannic dictatorship that would be able to impose its definition of property, society would enter a phase of instability that would resemble a devilish chaos, even if the word is not uttered here.

Other quotes from Property and Law:
Section 1 of 6 – Section 2 of 6 – Section 3 of 6 – Section 4 of 6 – Section 5 of 6 – Section 6 of 6

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