Monday, February 25, 2013

Quote of the Day: The Folly of All for One

And is not this the point that we have now reached? What is the cry going up everywhere, from all ranks and classes? All for one! When we say the word one, we think of ourselves, and what we demand is to receive an unearned share in the fruits of the labor of all. In other words, we are creating an organized system of plunder. 

Unquestionably, simple out-and-out plunder is so clearly unjust as to be repugnant to us; but, thanks to the motto, all for one, we can allay our qualms of conscience. We impose on others the duty of working for us. Then, we arrogate to ourselves the right to enjoy the fruits of other men's labor. We call upon the state, the law, to enforce our so-called duty, to protect our so-called right, and we end in the fantastic situation of robbing one another in the name of brotherhood. We live at other men's expense, and then call ourselves heroically self-sacrificing for so doing.
(italics original)

This is stirring quote, posted by CafĂ© Hayek’s Prof Don Boudreaux, is from Frederic Bastiat‘s 1850 treatise, Economic Harmonies  based on 1964 W. Hayden Boyers translation. Chapter 12, paragraph 21

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