Claude-Frédéric Bastiat, a French economist, politician and author, wrote in the mid-19th century that plunder is exercised on a vast scale around the world.

Violence and trickery distinguish plunder from the voluntary, and mutually beneficial, exchange of wealth. There are two types of plunder—”illegal plunder” undertaken by thieves and robbers, and “legal plunder,” usually undertaken by the government and officials “legally” exempt from the usual prohibitions against taking other people’s property by force.

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