Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Free Market Capitalism as the Antidote to the World’s Ills

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the Future of Freedom Foundation website on, “Free Market Capitalism as the Antidote to the World’s Ills.”

Following the everyday news about American and world events, it is easy to forget to step back and focus on the more fundamental and essential issue in the social and political arena: How should human beings live together.

Around the globe, whether in Western-style democracies or authoritarian regimes, the dominant system of human association is
collectivism of one type or another. It may be brutal and deadly as in some parts of the world or it may be wrapped in the appearance of freedom and rule of law. But regardless of which type, the presumption is the government is a means of legitimized privilege, plunder, power and paternalism. The key concept being: the right of government to use its ultimate coercive authority to manage, direct, control and command people’s lives in various and sundry ways through the policy tools of economic planning or the interventionist-welfare state.

But there is a different way for human beings to live an associate: the idea and ideal of individual liberty and freedom of voluntary association. Rather than force or its threat to bend people to other’s wills and desires, the philosophy of freedom insists that dignity, respect, and tolerance for real diversities and commonalities among human beings requires to view each of us as ends in themselves, who “own” themselves, and are a liberty to design and pursue their dreams, desires, and hopes as they think best, as long as they respect the equal rights of all others to do the same.

The arena of the free marketplace epitomizes the institutional setting in which every individual can only achieve his own ends through mutual agreement and trade with others in society, so all may gain for a greater betterment for all. This alternative system of human association is still occasionally given degrees of rhetorical lip service, but in reality it has been superseded by the collectivist conception that the individual should and must live and sacrifice for a “higher good.”

For as long as that group vision of human association remains predominant, both freedom and prosperity will be curtailed and threatened with loss. And human conflict will be the watchword as individuals and groups fight for control of government so they can do the coercing rather than someone else.




1 comment:

  1. A particularly superb piece from Richard Ebeling...Definitely one for the "Desert Island Folder."
    I mean, if this article in general, and this phrase in particular, aren't at the heart of libertarianism, I don't know what is:
    "The ideal and the social policy of the free market, capitalist system is equal freedom for all and privilege and favors for none. Government protects each person’s life, liberty and honestly acquired property, rather than violating them through its legitimized use of force to supply benefits to some at the expense of others who are less fortunate in grasping the necessary means to manipulate the political system for their alternative betterment."