From the Wikipedia entry on Bastiat:
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.
As pointed out by a reader, the Wikipedia entry contains links to many good articles and short books in PDF format. I include a couple of good ones:
Friedrich A. Hayek
The Wikipedia entry does a good job with this paragraph:
Hayek was one of the leading academic critics of collectivism in the 20th century. Hayek argued that all forms of collectivism (even those theoretically based on voluntary cooperation) could only be maintained by a central authority of some kind. In his popular book, The Road to Serfdom (1944) and in subsequent works, Hayek argued that socialism required central economic planning and that such planning in turn leads towards totalitarianism. Hayek posited that a central planning authority would have to be endowed with powers that would impact and ultimately control social life, because the knowledge required for central planning an economy is inherently decentralized, and would need to be brought under control.
The Road To Serfdom in condensed format for the April 1945 edition of Reader’s Digest.