Thursday on the Tom Woods Show, host Tom Woods asked libertarian communicator Ron Paul what one book Paul would suggest someone read as an introduction to Paul’s views. Paul responded that he would suggest The Law by Frédéric Bastiat.
Paul says in the interview that The Law’s advantages as a book introducing people to new ideas include that The Law is a rather simple book and that it has a focus on making “one crystal clear point.” Paul explains that the point The Law addresses so well is “the principle on nonaggression,” which holds that “we can’t do harm to anybody else and the government shouldn’t be able to do it either.”
The Law was first published in 1850, the same year Bastiat died at the age of 49. Bastiat wrote regarding economics and politics. He was also an elected member of the French legislature.
Like Paul, Bastiat was a strong promoter of liberty across-the-board, as indicated by this quote from The Law:
I believe that my theory is correct; for whatever be the question upon which I am arguing, whether it be religious, philosophical, political, or economical; whether it affects well-being, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, property, labor, exchange, capital, wages, taxes, population, credit, or Government; at whatever point of the scientific horizon I start from, I invariably come to the same thing—the solution of the social problem is in liberty.
You can find The Law here.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.