Frédéric Bastiat (29 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly.
Bastiat asserted that the only purpose of government is to defend the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. From this definition, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty and property if it promotes socialist policies inherently opposed to these very things. In this way, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the thing it is supposed to defend.
The Anti-Marxists Internet Archive E-Library has updated its page on Bastiat to include several letters and essays, including his magna opus, That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen. Bastiat had the foresight to see the harmful economic effects of socialism and central planning. It's no coincidence that many harmful trends today are recognizable in this 150 year old classic. Bastiat's works can be read online or downloaded to your computer or e-reader device.