Does “Free Market” Even Mean Anything?
Whenever you read the words “our free market system,” it should raise a red flag. See, for example an article titled “Nobel Prize Economists Say Free Market Competition Rewards Deception and Manipulation,” by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller (Evonomics, Jan. 6). Now, if “free market” means anything, it means an economy where all market exchange is free and voluntary, without coercive constraint. But as used in mainstream discourse, “the free market” means something like “neoliberal capitalism” or “the kind of corporate economy we have right now.” When right-wing politicians and talking heads, and mainstream (i.e. right-wing) libertarians defend the ungodly power and profits of big business against criticism, they refer to “our free market system.” And all too many critics of capitalism — although not all — slip into the lazy habit of referring to neoliberal corporate capitalism as “the free market.”
Go to the GEO front page
A weekly email newsletter connecting you with our latest issues, articles and special features. Subscribe now!
- 2: Building Regional Solidarity Economy Networks-NEW!
- 1: Expanding the Reach of Food Co-ops
- 18: The Southern Cooperative Movement
- 17: Scaling-Up the Cooperative Movement
- 16: Intentional Communities and Solidarity Economics
- 15: Advancing the Development of Worker Co-ops-ADWC 2013
- 14: The Anniversary Issue
- 13: The Frank Lindenfeld Memorial
- 12: International Year of the Cooperative
- 11: Lessons for Today from "Black Like Me"
- 10: Occupy! Connect! Create!
- 9: Collective Action: Research, Practice and Theory
- 8: Worker Cooperative Development Models
- 7: The Cooperative Advantage
- 6: Inter-cooperation is Key
- 5: Education For Economic Liberation
- 4: Land, Food, Childcare, Laundry, and a Book
- 3: Worker Cooperative Replication
- 2: Strengthening the Movement
- 1: Grassroots Democracy In Action