It is not the law that created property, but on the contrary, property which required to write the law.

Frédéric Bastiat
Complete Works, Volume 2, pages 328 to 339 (in French)
December 16th, 1847

This speech pertains to literary property and reveals some critical aspects there can be in recognising it or not.

Today’s quote is preliminary to the discussion and pertains to property in general. It is here a crucial point of the liberal thought in its opposition to marxist thought. Indeed, if the law creates property as it is ascertained by constructivists, it may well have been defined in an unjust way by those who used to be in power previously. This opens the door to review the definition of property and, potentially to suppress it. In such a case, marxists could be wrong in the way they redefine property but redefining it could be legitimate.

What Frédéric Bastiat shows us here is that there is no such legitimacy in redefining property and plunder the existing property owners. Property is created by the faculties of individuals in producing goods and services while legislation is here only to guarantee it and define the framework in which it can be used and exchanged (which can be a delicate topic when pertaining to intellectual property).

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