Friday, April 01, 2005

The "Free" Market

I think, with the thoughts I posted about boundaries in Creation, that the term 'free market', from an absolute standpoint, is a misnomer. Since the market is a created thing (potential-wise by God, actualized by man), it must follow in those created boundaries. Otherwise, it attains the status of 'principality and power', which is a larger symptom of cultural breakdown.

If we are talking from a human standpoint, though, the term does make sense. A market 'free' from civil government control. But I believe, in our post-Enlightenment context, that it is necessary to make that linguistic distinction, lest we find another way to succumb to economic idolatry.

In a way, we could say then that no market is ever 'free', since it is bounded by issues of place, time, people, etc. It's natural boundaries are non-negotiable in that sense (the market cannot be absolutized and, therefore, cannot be effectively globalized without extreme violence to the places, times, people, etc. that the market affects). It's artificial boundaries, however, are the proper place for our tradition of wisdom to take root and dialogue in a humble way.

Thanks for your time.

1 comment:

brian said...

Russ, I'm hoping you get an email when someone comments on your site...I saw your comment on DCH, but I don't seem to have your email address, and I couldn't dig it up via Blogger. I can certainly give you hand...send me an email at bmj[at]anklebiter[dot]net.

Interesting post, btw. I've been digging into Adam Smith again...