It would be impossible to introduce into society a greater evil than… the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.
No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree, but the safest way to make them respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing respect for the law- two evils of equal magnitude, between which it would be difficult to choose.
..if under pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law may take from one party in order to give to another, help itself to the wealth acquired by all the classes that it may increase that of one class, whether that of agriculturalists, the manufacturers, the ship owners, or artists or comedians; then certainly, in this case, there is no class which may not try … to place its hand upon the law, that would not demand its right of election and eligibility, and that would overturn society rather than not obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will prove to you that they have a incontestable title to it.
From The Law By Frederic Bastiat first published in 1850