Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, author and advocate of classical liberalism. He was a member of the French Liberal School and the French National Assembly. His attitudes towards free trade and protectionism provided the basis for libertarian capitalism and the Austrian school.

Quotes by Frédéric Bastiat:

How is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

The Law. How to Identify Legal Plunder.

The mission of the law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect persons and property.

The Law. Law and Charity Are Not the Same.

When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it—without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud—to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.

The Law, Plunder Violates Ownership.

Life, Faculties, production – in other words, individuality, liberty, property – this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws for the protection of them in the first place.

The Law, p. 5-6.
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