The law says: Do not unto others as you would not have them do unto you.
And I say to you: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Jesus Christ, cited by Frédéric Bastiat
Section 1 of 7
I can find the second part of this quote in the gospels of Matthew (7) and Luke (6:31) but I cannot find the first part. If anybody can help me find it out, please use the comments section at the end of this page. In any case, this first part is very dear to me and is the purpose of the Chinese header of this blog since I started publishing it, namely 己所不欲，勿施于人, which is a quote from Confucius that can be translated “Do not do unto others what you do not want them to do unto you”.
This quote is from the introduction to the pamphlet Justice and Fraternity in which Frédéric Bastiat attempts to explain how he sees fraternity, which has been part of the French republican motto since the revolution of 1789, namely “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. As a matter of fact, this last word creates a lot of misunderstandings and disagreements between liberals and the advocates of democratic centralism. In this introduction, he shows why fraternity should not be part of the legislative attributions, even if he himself does not ignore it – he exposes the logic of his opponents consisting in negating any respect to the content of ideas to anybody disagreeing on the form of theirs.
Thus, it is possible to demand justice from the law (the legislation) and at the same time refuse that fraternity be taken into account by the legislation because coercion is the only power given to the legislator. We find ourselves hereby confronted to the issue of defining society as an emergent order (developed later by Friedrich von Hayek) or society to be moulded by politicians in which collective outcome has priority over the individual.