The Reasons Behind The Relentless Ideological Onslaught Against Free Markets

Friday, April 5, 2019
By Paul Martin

Brandon Smith
Friday, 05 April 2019

I sometimes think that the free market concept is treated like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’s Quasimodo in the long novel of global economic history. It is considered ugly and undesirable by most people who judge it at a mere glance without bothering to understand it. It is a bogeyman; a scapegoat for numerous societal problems that it has nothing to do with. In reality, the only time free markets do cause trouble is when they are manipulated or misused by elitists seeking to turn them into something other than free markets. And, even when free markets display their great value and internal beauty, many still prefer other systems that are intrinsically corrupt but flashier on the surface.

There are many reasons behind this persistent attitude. However, they are not coincidental or natural. Human beings actually tend to gravitate toward free markets over and over again in history, and away from centralized government interference and dominance in economic trade. But whenever they do, they get hammered down by the-powers-that-be. In our modern era, establishment elites have chosen to be more subtle (for now) and dissuade people from free markets through disinformation and propaganda.

To break it all down to a simple observation – Whenever disaster strikes economically, free markets are blamed. Whenever something is fixed, even if that fix is a temporary band-aid on a sucking chest wound, government involvement and socialism are applauded. And so the cycle continues until free markets become a pariah with no place in our world and centralization becomes the prevailing answer to everything.

Free market trade is ever present at a local level and always has been. But, those who favor globalism are hell-bent on putting an end to any and all private unregulated commerce forever.

Before the increased lockdown in the 20th century, domestic trade in the U.S. was loosely regulated, if at all. The income tax didn’t exist, except for a trial run during the Civil War which was eventually repealed. There was no permanent central bank managed by unaccountable elites arbitrarily dictating interest rates or inflating the economy through asset purchases. Businesses were formed around partnerships which were limited in their scope, and while government grants and aid were afforded to some of these partnerships (as during the construction of the transcontinental railroad), these grants or bonds had an expiration date set for the moment the job was completed. At that point, the partnerships were dissolved and the company heads were expected to pay back the government on the grants given.

This is not to say that corruption in business did not exist pre-20th century; it certainly did. And in most cases this corruption was fueled by collusion between business moguls and government officials. Without the aid of government (the opposite of free markets) such criminal companies and monopolies cannot exist.

The suppression of free markets began in the aftermath of the Civil War and the passage of the 14th Amendment, which was intended to protect the citizenship rights of former slaves, but was instead used as a legal loophole by the elite to establish what we now know as “corporations”.

Corporations are defined by their corporate charter, which is granted by the government, as well as their “corporate personhood” derived from the exploitation of the 14th Amendment. Corporate personhood allowed for limited liability as well as many other government protections. Unlike partnerships, leaders of corporations cannot in many cases be prosecuted criminally and their personal assets are protected if those crimes were executed by “the company”. There are exceptions in history, but how often do you see corporate CEO’s prosecuted and suffer anything more than a slap on the wrist?

The company can be sued as a “legal person” in civil court, or fined by the government, but in general CEO’s and major shareholders are protected from any consequences, even if they were directly involved in the commission of a crime.

This relationship between government and corporations has become so egregious that today these monopolies receive special legal protections and immunity from some civil lawsuits, aid in the form of taxpayer funded welfare, massive tax cuts which smaller businesses and less connected corporations do not enjoy, and even central bank bailouts which keep them afloat. Major corporations are not allowed to fail, and no one is allowed to compete with them on a level playing field.

This is the exact antithesis to free markets. This is socialism. Yet many socialists point the finger at free market “capitalism” as the source of all our economic problems. This is impossible, because free markets on a level any higher than local trade do not exist today and have not existed for at least a century.

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