The aim of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In reality it is not justice that has its own existence, it is injustice.
Section 5 of 9
After assessing that plunder created by legislation is at the source of numerous wrongs, Frédéric Bastiat analyses why is it possible to get there and comes to the difference between positive legislation and negative legislation.
He clearly sees that, in the same way as it is impossible to use decrees to fly aircrafts against the law of gravity, legislation cannot be positive (or at least, cannot be both positive and legitimate). He even gives the reason for that, albeit without insisting on it: individual intelligence. Indeed, positive legislation dictates to individuals what they need to do and consequently, they do not require to use their own intelligence to take action. This is obvious when one observes the absence of creativity in industries that are highly regulated whereby acting in compliance with legislation and regulation allows only for the implementation of identical solutions for each situation, thus preventing all potentially better solutions that would be innovative (it is not impossible that the sluggish growth observed in Europe in this beginning of the 21st century may be impeded by the legislative and regulatory framework within which companies are struggling).
The logical conclusion is that the legislative reach needs to be constrained and limited to prohibit certain actions in order to prevent Injustice, not to prescribe actions in order to create Justice.