Litmus test: Morality of law

Cover of "The Law"

Can the eye on the cover see the unseen?

In his latest column, Walter Williams quotes French economist/philosopher Frederic Bastiat.   Bastiat provided a great litmus test for judging the morality of a law and government action:

See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Bastiat added in his book The Law:

When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.

4 thoughts on “Litmus test: Morality of law

  1. It’s amazing how contemporary Bastiat’s words are. Amazing how people think they can avoid the pitfalls of the past when repeating the past.

  2. Pingback: Aren’t Taxes Immoral? | Koinonia

  3. Pingback: Again With the Moral Law | Tangled Up in Blue Guy


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