Either-Or?

2006-06-19

Seth Wagoner (whose blog I've found via Stowe Boyd) quotes an interview with George Soros as follows:

We need to maintain law and order. We need to maintain peace in the world. We need to protect the environment. We need to have some degree of social justice, equality of opportunity. The markets are not designed to take care of those needs. That's a political process. And the market fundamentalists have managed to reduce providing those public goods.

So we have a distinction between market fundamentalism and, presumably, government enlightenment (those wonderfully reality-based bureaucrats).

Since I'm essentially a market anarchist, I tend to think that many more human needs can be met through the market than people like Soros might imagine -- yes, even needs for law, order, peace, justice, and environmental protection. But the choice is not only between profit-oriented companies and government force. There is a wide range of voluntary solutions that do not require the exchange of money -- mediation, arbitration, charitable giving, neighborhood organizations, international networks, educational institutions, student exchanges, boycotts, letter-writing campaigns, public protests, and much more. These endeavors share with market exchanges an essentially voluntary nature (which government force distinctly lacks). So call me a volutarist rather than a market fundamentalist, but no matter the nomenclature I encourage people like Soros to keep their political processes to themselves -- or, at the least, to an absolute minimum.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal