CLAUDE FREDERIC BASTIAT was a French economist, legislator, and writer who championed private property, free markets, and limited government. Perhaps the main underlying theme of Bastiat’s writings was that the free market was inherently a source of “economic harmony” among individuals, as long as government was restricted to the function of protecting the lives, liberties, and property of citizens from theft or aggression. To Bastiat, governmental coercion was only legitimate if it served “to guarantee security of person, liberty, and property rights, to cause justice to reign over all.”
The Blackstone Institute honors Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780). Blackstone was the great Eighteenth Century English legal scholar whose philosophy and writings were infused with Judea-Christian principles. The Ten Commandments are at the heart of Blackstone’s philosophy. Blackstone taught that man is created by God and granted fundamental rights by God. Man’s law must be based on God’s law. Our Founding Fathers referred to Blackstone more than to any other English or American authority. Blackstone’s great work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, was basic to the U. S. Constitution. This work has sold more copies in America than in England and was a basic textbook of America’s early lawyers. It was only in the mid-Twentieth Century that American law, being re-written by the U. S. Supreme Court, repudiated Blackstone. An attack on Blackstone is an attack on the U. S. Constitution and our nation’s Judea-Christian foundations. The Blackstone Institute is committed to reviving the Constitution and its Blackstonian foundations.