Law and Justice

‎”Every individual has the right to use force for lawful self-defense. It is for this reason that the collective force—which is only the organized combination of the individual forces—may lawfully be used for the same purpose; and it cannot be used legitimately for any other purpose.”
Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

Not a bad liberal quote in the old-fashioned sense. However the counter would be the other tradition in the West, that of the Augustinian Christianity that understands that force is also a tool for justice (as a guard or restraint on individual behavior, and on occasion as a proactive aspect — one does as well as react).

[A secondary note would be that Bastiat does not especially in this quote deal with the question of anarchy. This is Hobbesian territory, an area I probably should explore if I had time.]


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