Frederic Bastiat Government Intervention

Frederic Bastiat, Government Intervention

As everything in the field of value and distribution tends to work out harmoniously, if left alone, Bastiat considered that the science of government is exceedingly simple. Government performs its functions by the exercise of force, and there is only one place where it has, in his opinion, a moral right to exercise force. That is in estab­lishing justice. The action of government is "essentially lim­ited to the maintenance of order, security, and justice. All action of government beyond this limit is a usurpation upon conscience, upon intelligence, upon industry; in a word upon human liberty." This, of course, begs the question as to the justice of present arrangements, and assumes the state of natural harmony of which he conceived, to exist in fact.