“Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
-John Stuart Mill
Free markets are the moral choice.
That was our conclusion to yesterday’s episode. And today we’re going to give you six reasons why this is true.
Yesterday, you’ll recall, we introduced our new project to cure our newfound Baltimore boredom. We call it “Talking to Strangers Who Hate Capitalism.”
Yes. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), we suffer no shortage of free market zetetics. According to them, as mentioned yesterday, capitalism has only weighed us down via a lack of artificially intelligent socialism and an overflow of culturally imperialistic yoga studios.
But when it comes down to it, we realize, free market haters all share one common trait. They all have a deep distrust in the free interactions of human beings.
They sincerely believe that human beings aren’t to be trusted to run their own lives. The world, they claim, is Neverland. And everyone is a child that needs taken care of.
We admit. People interacting freely (so long as they don’t hurt people or take their stuff) isn’t a perfect solution. Humans are not perfect creatures.
But the problems created when people are not allowed to interact freely are far worse, in our opinion, than they would be if governments simply let go of all arbitrary laws.
Freedom is, very simply, the absence of force and coercion. Force and coercion, in all its forms, create conflict. Naturally, the less force and conflict in a society, the more peace it’s likely to enjoy.
In a truly free society, no man, woman, government or gang may use force — even to the tiniest degree — against even the most unimportant individual, so long as the individual has not initiated force first.
And if any individual — whether from the streets or a cushy corner office — fails to abide by this simple principle of non-aggression, he or she must be held accountable for his or her actions.
(What a concept, eh? We wonder… when’s the last time a government actor was held responsible for his or her actions?)
Of course, there’s nothing anyone can do to fully eliminate the use of force in any society.
But it’s possible for rational men and women to create a society which encourages cooperation to solve problems and discourages the use of force.
Yes, it’s possible to curb violence peacefully rather than institutionalize it (thus, making it an integral part of society) with jackboots, guns, tasers and billy clubs.
History has revealed, time and time again, that an equalitarian utopia is not only impossible — it is, in the end, a nightmare.
You can not force your way into peace and equality. You cannot eliminate criminals by wrapping every individual’s life in arbitrary laws.
Instead, what appears to work best for everyone is a world free from unnecessary restrictions on opportunity and legal privilege.
Fix the inequality of power in our social structure and you fix all other vast social inequalities that such an imbalance of power creates.
Top-down government intervention into the interactions of individuals creates hierarchies, rigid monopolies and cartels. In the end, this only serves to make the “well-connected” rich while impoverishing those at the bottom. And even worse, it creates the need for even more intervention in the future to keep the boat afloat.
Case in point: America has spent the past 100 years on the fast-track to full-blast government “service and protection.”
Through the creation of the Fed, as just one example, the government has erased over 90% of the value of our national currency.
Couple this with increasingly-rising barriers to entry into the market and notice the smooth unclimbable wall built around those who happen to slip into poverty. (These people are what some clever bureaucrat would call “beneficiaries” of the State.)
“America used to be a place where you could conduct business and make a profit serving a need that others had,” Peter Schiff said in a recent interview with Guillermo Barba of Global Financial Intelligence.
“It’s not like that anymore. As government has grown over the years, so has their appetite. They want to regulate everything. They want to tax everything. They want to make it harder on everyone else so they can finance their own programs and projects.”
Constant government intervention isn’t just immoral — it’s a recipe for catastrophe. Unfettered markets, we say again, are the only moral choice.
And, says Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek, here are six reasons why. Free markets, unlike any feasible alternative, he says:
- “are driven by voluntary choices rather than by diktats;
- “concentrate the costs and the benefits of each choice as closely as possible on the individual who makes that choice;
- “allow for great diversity of choices and lifestyles;
- “create mass flourishing; they raise the living standards of the poor far more than they raise the living standards of the rich;
- “‘churn’ over time the rich and poor; dynastic wealth, while not unknown in markets, is less common than unthinking and historically uninformed people suppose, and such wealth is always exposed to the forces of creative destruction;
- “bring together literally hundreds of millions of strangers from around the globe and from many different cultures and religious faiths into a peaceful and cooperative productive effort.”
The more vibrant and free the human interactions, the more open we become for spontaneous cooperation and participation.
This, ultimately, fosters peace between otherwise disparate individuals. And helps more and more people get what they want and need out of life peacefully.
Prosperity, peace and freedom are the only moral response to terrorism, poverty and corruption. And free interactions between consenting adults, despite what Strangers Who Hate Capitalism will tell you, are the only thing that can lead the way.
“Far too many professors, pupils, politicians, pundits, preachers, priests, and popes,” Boudreaux says, “screech and preach about matters on which they are ignorant.
“They should instead look with open minds on the great system of social cooperation that is the global market economy.
“They will see the marvelous cooperation of hundreds of millions of strangers working cooperatively and productively in ways that greatly enrich each other’s lives; they’ll see also the unleashing as never before of human creativity, dignity as never before for ordinary people and their peaceful pursuits, and mass, live-giving and life-sustaining flourishing.”
[Ed. note: Fortunately, whether the bureaucrats like it or not, the free market is making an amazing comeback. In case, you missed it, we revealed the future of free market banking in Monday’s episode. It’s a way to collect up to $9,517 a month in extra income — with interest payouts as high as 28.99%. And, yes, it’s 100% legit. In fact, you can start as soon as today: Click here for all the details.]
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
P.S. Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.