Liberty As God's Gift: A Christmas Reflection On The Legacy Of Frederic Bastiat
by Alejandro Chafuen
Christmas is an ideal day to reflect about liberty. Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), the author of “The Law,” one of the most widely read and translated books about liberty, is acclaimed by lovers of free enterprise. Awards and associations across the United States and the world, such as the Bastiat Society, are named after him. Christmas is also an important day to highlight a major aspect, usually neglected, of the philosophy of this French writer and political economist: his grounding on God.
Bastiat’s “The Law,” starts with a recognition of God as the source, and ends with and acknowledgment of the connection between God and liberty. In the second paragraph of this work he writes: “We hold from God the gift that, as far as we are concerned, contains all others, Life—physical, intellectual, and moral life. But life cannot support itself. He who has bestowed it, has entrusted us with the care of supporting it, of developing it, and of perfecting it. To that end, He has provided us with a collection of wonderful faculties; He has plunged us into the midst of a variety of elements.”
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