“Leonard Read was already swimming against the modern stream when he wrote “Liberty Versus Tyranny.” How much legislation and regulation today inhibits infractions of the moral law compared to how much enables them to be violated? For instance, “thou shalt not steal” seems to have lost even more ground to government domination. So it is worth rethinking Read’s thoughts on the subject, which echo Frederic Bastiat’s inspirational classic, The Law:
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…this act that it is supposed to suppress.
The law…is to protect persons and property…if the law acts in any manner except to protect them, its actions then necessarily violate the liberty of persons and their right to own property.”