What is “Legal Plunder”?


The prevailing illusion of our age is that it is possible to enrich all
classes at the expense of one another—to make plunder universal under
the pretext of organizing it. Now, legal plunder can be
committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are an infinite
number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses,
subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the
right to employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right
to relief, the right to the tools of production, interest-free credit,
etc., etc. And it is the aggregate of all these plans, in respect to
what they have in common, legal plunder, that goes under the name of socialism.

Bastiat, Frédéric. Selected Essays on Political Economy – 1848
Advertisements