Coercion or Freedom: Make Your Choice
What is the free market? What is capitalism? The short answer is they are both freedom. They are not a system of strings meant to be pulled by a select group of powerful individuals, they are simply the keys to a life of freedom and an individual pursuit of happiness. One of the greatest misunderstandings about capitalism and free markets is that they are locked into a certain setting. The “Invisible Hand,” supply and demand, or any other explanations given for capitalism make it sound like a man-made system or some mystical network mysteriously established in ways that only economists can understand.
Free markets are not rooted in the creation of man; they are not the creation of people or an act of government. Free markets are rooted in freedom and exist only due to freedom itself. Freedom is the natural state of mankind, it is the neutral being that governs existence. Freedom comes naturally, any other government or economic system must come forcefully. The beauty is that freedom not only “allows” but encourages creative solutions to common problems, it does not suggest or mandate that we only look for the “Invisible Hand” or supply and demand to solve an issue that might arise.
A free market is not a system set in stone: it’s not as if the success of the free market hinges on the success of a certain product or business. A free market is merely an extension of the gifts of freedom; everything, whether it be exchange, living styles, or those who you involve with, is based on voluntary action. Freedom thrives on non-coerced and voluntary decisions. When one person or a group of people use force to push forward one objective or another, freedom is assaulted.
Freedom provides the foundation for full individual and group creativity, which the human condition thrives upon. Each individual is uniquely creative, and only in a truly free society can that creativity be unleashed. Freedom is not a mere “system” of government. Freedom does not mandate that you are a “capitalist,” it merely limits your abilities to use force upon others (which would destroy the freedom they too are born with). The only thing freedom restrains is aggressive force.
All measures or goals that require aggressive force are unnatural. Peace is the natural state of being; anything that can expand or thrive only through coercion (such as taxation, subsidies, or wars) is in no way natural. With freedom you must convince and demonstrate, not coerce, your beliefs. President Obama (and many preceding presidents and politicians) would have to clearly demonstrate how Americans are better off paying into a system that in turn forces them to purchase certain products and services. Government programs and institutions are built on the pinnacles of force and survive only through extortion of the American people. If the IRS, Department of Education, Social Security, and the barrage of D.C. institutions are so pivotal to the U.S., why not make their survival depend upon voluntary contributions rather than forceful taxes? Surely if people are better off by contributing to the institutions they will voluntarily do so. The truth is that they cannot last because they are not legitimately natural, necessary, or sustainable.