Prompt: Describe Bastiat’s concept of the politics of plunder.
Bastiat described plunder as a universal longing to live at the expense of someone else. He says this is the root of all evil, and that its extremely easy for man to succumb to this sin. So easy in fact that government is very likely to be buckle and give way to all sorts of legal plunder. Although one of governments primary goals is to do away with greed, opportunities of taking from one and redistributing to another can be very tempting. Bastiat’s quote on government is “Government is and ought to be nothing whatever but common force organized, not to be an instrument of oppression and mutual plunder among citizens; but, on the contrary, to secure everyone his own, and to cause justice and security to reign.”
Bastiat also talked about how we must not look to the state for our releif. The state is not the orgin of our success, therefor it cannot be the orgin of our releif. Looking at the state as if it were God and expecting as much from it only leads to manipulation of the people. It leads to tyrannical forms of governing. If the people put their utter trust in the government, looking to them for their answers and salvation, it can attract power hungry people who would happily take advantage of that blind trust. There needs to be a delicate balance of power between the state and the people, and the people need to keep a keen eye on the state. If the government were to lose its morality and began a legal plunder of the people, the people need to be strong enough to stand up for their own sense of legality and justice.