sexta-feira, junho 30, 2006

Free Private Market

A free private market is a mechanism for enabling a complex structure of ooperation to arise as an unintended consequence of Adam Smith's invisible hand, without any deliberate design. A free private market involves the absence of coercion. People deal with one another voluntarily, not because somebody tells them to or forces them to. It does not follow that the people who engage in these deals like one another, or know one another, or have any interest in one another. They may hate one another. Everyone of us, everyday without recognizing it, engages in deals with people all over the world whom we do not know and who do not know us. No super planning agency is telling them to produce something for us. They may be of a different religion, a different color, a different race. The farmer who grows wheat is not interested in whether it is going to be bought by somebody who is black or white, somebody who is Catholic or Protestant; and the person who buys the wheat is not concerned about whether the person who grew it was white or black, Catholic or Protestant. So the essence of a free private market is that it is a situation in which everybody deals with one another because he or she believes he or she will be better off.

The essence of human freedom as of afree private market, is freedom of people to make their own decisions so long as they do not prevent anybody else from doing the same thing. That makes clear, l think, why free private markets are so closely related to human freedom. It is the only mechanism that permits a complex interrelated society to be organized from the bottom up rather than the top down. However, it also makes clear why free societies are so rare. Free societies restrain power. They make it very hard for bad people to do harm, but they also make it very hard for good people to do good. Implicitly or explicitly, most opponents of freedom believe that they know what is good for other people better than other people know for themselves, and they want the power to make people do what is really good for them.

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