The word “freedom” implies in itself the absence of fraud and violence. Because fraud and violence infringe freedom.
Complete Works, Volume 2, pages 7 to 11 (in French)
January 3rd, 1847
After founding the Association for the Freedom of Trade, some criticisms were immediately made against it. Frédéric Bastiat adresses two of them here. No, freedom is not anarchy and no, the objective is not to suppress taxes and thus, suppress government. On the latter point, he makes an interesting note on the way to distinguish protective tariffs from fiscal tariffs, which are not detrimental in and of themselves. This difference is that “the less the foreign products enter the country, the more the protective tariffs reach their goal” while “the more the foreign products enter the country, the more the fiscal tariffs reach their own”.
Today’s quote is a direct consequence of the fact that, when a liberal defends freedom, it is not only his own but everybody else’s as well. The objective is not to obtain a blank check in order to do whatever one fancies for himself while ignoring others but to put in place an institutional framework in which every one of us can flourish indeed. Warren Meyer will express this approach later when he writes what he calls the First Rule of Governement’s Authority, viz. “Never support any government power you would not want your ideological enemy wielding.”