In a word Bastiat was a rationalist; he deduced his theory of limited government and economic harmony directly from an abstract theory of natural law and natural rights. While he was indefatigable in his demonstrations of the beneficial consequences that inevitably flow from freedom and exposure of the dis-coordinating actions of government, his ultimate justification for liberty lay in an essentialist concept of man abstracted from time and place. In his work on jurisprudence, The Law, Bastiat espouses an individualist view of law and justice that derives not from those natural propensities and passions, as in Hume and Smith, but from reason, and ultimately God: "Each person has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty and his property." It is just this that the anti-rationalists reject on the ground that 'nature' does not furnish us with a permanent and universal standard of conduct independently of experience. This means that whereas Bastiat deduced the relationship between the individual and government axiomatically from the first principle of liberty—that each man has the right to protect his life, liberty and property—the evolutionary approach suggests that the ideal working of a social system is too complex to be captured in a simple formula, that no abstract system of rules can be rationally devised which can accommodate all future unknown cases.