Legal plunder

Legal plunder,[1] is the act of appropriating, under the laws, the property of others.[2] This was coined by Frédéric Bastiat, most famously in his 1850 book The Law. It has since become a concept in libertarian thought[3][4], and has been used similarly by others, including Daniel Lord Smail.[5]

Today it is the appropriation of the assets of another person by power groups through rules of public law that violate the principle of equality and the Constitution.

Throughout history there are many examples of legal plunder as the political and economic regimes that have followed: partial legal plunder are the result of tyranny and protectionism or universal legal plunder the result of socialism or communism.[6]

In the thought of Frédéric Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat thought that the law can only implement the individual rights: personality, liberty, and property.[7]

So, if the law goes against the person, liberty, property, it becomes perverse as it goes against the rights that should be protected.[8]

For him The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense.

So he prefers a government that intervenes as little as possible in the sphere of people, liberty, and property.

Every citizen is therefore responsible for his fortune or his failures.

First Book of Kings Chapter 21-7 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media)
Naboth was stoned so that the king could take his vineyard as a vegetable garden.

Frédéric Bastiat to defend his idea of what should be the purpose of the law, has set a specific definition of "legal plunder".

First he defines "extra-legal plunder" "such as theft, or swindling, which is defined, foreseen, and punished by the penal code.[9]

In that case, "magistracy, police, gendarmerie, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds" are the instrument of the State used against the plunderer and to defend the plundered party.

Legal plunder is when the law "takes from some persons that which belongs to them, to give to others what does not belong to them."

Examples of legal plunder include protectionist tariffs, redistributive taxation, crony capitalism, welfare, etc., which Bastiat terms (only two years after the publication of the Communist Manifesto, and before it was a firm political science term of art), "socialism:"

Now, legal plunder may be exercised in an infinite multitude of ways. Hence come an infinite multitude of plans for organization; tariffs, protection, perquisites, gratuities, encouragements, progressive taxation, free public education, right to work, right to profit, right to wages, right to assistance, right to instruments of labor, gratuity of credit, etc., etc. And it is all these plans, taken as a whole, with what they have in common, legal plunder, that takes the name of socialism.

Now socialism, thus defined, and forming a doctrinal body, what other war would you make against it than a war of doctrine? You find this doctrine false, absurd, abominable. Refute it. This will be all the easier, the more false, absurd, and abominable it is. Above all, if you wish to be strong, begin by rooting out of your legislation every particle of socialism which may have crept into it—and this will be no light work. [10]

In that case, "magistracy, police, gendarmerie, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds" are the instrument of the State to defend the plunderer and treat the plundered party that tries to defend his property as a criminal.

See also


  1. ^ David Hart. "Frédéric Bastiat on Legal Plunder". Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  2. ^ David Hart. "Frédéric Bastiat on Legal Plunder". Retrieved 2014-04-30. the State (which he often wrote as THE STATE) is a vast machine that is purposely designed to take the property of some people without their consent and to transfer it to other people.
  3. ^ Legal Plunder
  4. ^ Legal Plunder
  5. ^ Legal Plunder: Households and Debt Collection in Late Medieval Europe
  6. ^ Frédéric Bastiat. "The law" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-29. p. 15 - Partial plunder. This is the system that prevailed so long as the elective privilege was partial; a system that is resorted to, to avoid the invasion of socialism. Universal plunder. We have been threatened by this system when the elective privilege has become universal; the masses having conceived the idea of making law, on the principle of legislators who had preceded them.
  7. ^ Frédéric Bastiat. "The law" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-29. p. 2 - If every man has the right of defending, even by force, his person, his liberty, and his property, a number of men have the right to combine together to extend, to organize a common force to provide regularly for this defense
  8. ^ Frédéric Bastiat. "The law" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-29. p. 3 - For who will dare to say that force has been given to us, not to defend our rights, but to annihilate the equal rights of our brethren? And if this be not true of every individual force, acting independently, how can it be true of the collective force, which is only the organized union of isolated forces?
  9. ^ Frédéric Bastiat. "The law" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-29. p. 13 - As to extralegal plunder, such as theft, or swindling, which is defined, foreseen, and punished by the penal code, I do not think it can be adorned by the name of socialism. It is not this that systematically threatens the foundations of society.
  10. ^ Frédéric Bastiat. "The law" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-07-09. p. 14-15


  • Frédéric Bastiat (2007). The Law (PDF). Ludwig von Mises Institute. ISBN 978-1-933550-14-5.
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Customary land

Customary land is land which is owned by indigenous communities and administered in accordance with their customs, as opposed to statutory tenure usually introduced during the colonial periods. Common ownership is one form of customary land ownership.

Since the late 20th century, statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge. The gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation.In the Malawi Land Act of 1965, "Customary Land" is defined as "all land which is held, occupied or used under customary law, but does not include any public land". In most countries of the Pacific islands, customary land remains the dominant land tenure form. Distinct customary systems of tenure have evolved on different islands and areas within the Pacific region. In any country there may be many different types of customary tenure.The amount of customary land ownership out of the total land area of Pacific island nations is the following: 97% in Papua New Guinea, 90% in Vanuatu, 88% in Fiji, 87% in the Solomon Islands, and 81% in Samoa.

Intangible property

Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, describes something which a person or corporation can have ownership of and can transfer ownership to another person or corporation, but has no physical substance, for example brand identity or knowledge/intellectual property. It generally refers to statutory creations such as copyright, trademarks, or patents. It excludes tangible property like real property (land, buildings, and fixtures) and personal property (ships, automobiles, tools, etc.). In some jurisdictions intangible property are referred to as choses in action. Intangible property is used in distinction to tangible property. It is useful to note that there are two forms of intangible property: legal intangible property (which is discussed here) and competitive intangible property (which is the source from which legal intangible property is created but cannot be owned, extinguished, or transferred). Competitive intangible property disobeys the intellectual property test of voluntary extinguishment and therefore results in the sources that create intellectual property (knowledge in its source form, collaboration, process-engagement, etc.) escaping quantification.

Generally, ownership of intangible property gives the owner a set of legally enforceable rights over reproduction of personal property containing certain content. For example, a copyright owner can control the reproduction of the work forming the copyright. However, the intangible property forms a set of rights separate from the tangible property that carries the rights. For example, the owner of a copyright can control the printing of books containing the content, but the book itself is personal property which can be bought and sold without concern over the rights of the copyright holder.

In English law and other Commonwealth legal systems, intangible property is traditionally divided in pure intangibles (such as debts, intellectual property rights and goodwill) and documentary intangibles, which obtain their character through the medium of a document (such as a bill of lading, promissory note or bill of exchange). The recent rise of electronic documents has blurred the distinction between pure intangibles and documentary intangibles.

List of types of formally designated forests

This is a list of types of formally designated forests, as used in various places around the world. It is organized in three sublists: by forest ownership, protection status, and designated use.

Plunder (disambiguation)

To plunder is to indiscriminately take goods by force, notably:

Legal plunder, appropriation of other people's wealth through public law laws

Nazi plunder, art theft and other items stolen during World War II as part of the organized looting of German-occupied European countries on behalf of Germany′s ruling Nazi PartyPlunder may also refer to:

Plunder (serial), a 1923 film serial

Plunder (play), a 1928 stage farce by Ben Travers

Plunder (1931 film), a British comedy film, based on the stage play, above

Plunder, 1948 novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams

Looten Plunder, a villain in the television program Captain Planet and the Planeteers

Operation Plunder, a World War II operation

Stevie Plunder (1963–1996), guitarist, singer, and songwriter

Plundering Time (1644–1646), also known as "Claiborne and Ingle's Rebellion"

Plunder (comics), a villain in DC Comics

A former slang term for baggage

A former term for household goods

A former term for personal property

Slush fund

A slush fund, also called a black fund, is a fund or account that is not properly accounted, such as money used for corrupt or illegal purposes, especially in the political sphere. Such funds may be kept hidden and maintained separately from money that is used for legitimate purposes. Slush funds may be employed by government or corporate officials in efforts to pay influential people discreetly in return for preferential treatment, advance information (such as non-public information in financial transactions), and other services. The funds themselves may not be kept secret but the source of the funds or how they were acquired or for what purposes they are used may be hidden. Use of slush funds to influence government activities may be viewed as subversive of the democratic process.

In accounting, the term slush fund describes a general ledger account of commingled funds to which all manner of transactions can be posted, with debits and credits cancelling each other.

Tangible property

Tangible property in law is, literally, anything which can be touched, and includes both real property and personal property (or moveable property), and stands in distinction to intangible property.In English law and some Commonwealth legal systems, items of tangible property are referred to as choses in possession (or a chose in possession in the singular). However, some property, despite being physical in nature, is classified in many legal systems as intangible property rather than tangible property because the rights associated with the physical item are of far greater significance than the physical properties. Principally, these are documentary intangibles. For example, a promissory note is a piece of paper that can be touched, but the real significance is not the physical paper, but the legal rights which the paper confers, and hence the promissory note is defined by the legal debt rather than the physical attributes.A unique category of property is money, which in some legal systems is treated as tangible property and in others as intangible property. Whilst most countries legal tender is expressed in the form of intangible property ("The Treasury of Country X hereby promises to pay to the bearer on demand...."), in practice banknotes are now rarely ever redeemed in any country, which has led to banknotes and coins being classified as tangible property in most modern legal systems.

Taxation as theft

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