According to wikipedia, free market means that the buyers and the sellers agree to a mutual exchange of property without external coercing or anyone of them coercing the other.
Free market is a self-contradictory concept because even if we start with economic agents of equal power, small wealth inequalities become economic advantages, that is, coercion tools, which morph into larger inequalities in avalanche. This is called positive feedback in engineering and is bound to lead to a catastrophic instability or to the end of the system that created it. These catastrophes are the bubble bursts.
The economic bubbles are the proof that economic coercions do exist (exerted upon some economic agents by the ones who have the economic advantage at the time), the coercions are temporarily accepted by the coerced through credit/debt, which postpones/softens the consequences of the transaction. Those who were lucky enough to escape a bust (there is no rational way of escaping a bust, it is a random pick, unless some agents become so powerful that they could time/initiate the bust in their favor, which is a low probability event) think that the
free market has worked for them and enforce their stupid belief that this is a universal feature onto the others because they happen to have the economic upper hand after the bust. And these are the genuine
free market believers. The rest of the
free market believers are just slaves on the property of the genuine ones, ultimately the instruments of the coercion itself that they’re hiding away from the
free market concept. That, assuming they’re not all stupid…
free market world picture is this: most people, the fetish of the lottery and the few (random) people who run the lottery.
The bubble bursts are proof that the
supply=demand expression is also a fake: there’s a very low probability that a critical mass of (demanding) people suddenly change synchronously their minds into not willing to buy houses or gas or whatever, that’s why if
supply=demand had any truth value in it relative to the reality we live in, bubble bursts should not happen, but they do, so the bubble bursts are only sudden significant changes in the flavor/direction of coercion. Today’s money can simulate demand or supply with equal rights, so at any time one set of rich economical agents can fake a part of the demand or the supply using money.
supply=demand means nothing as long as money (through their capacity to partly impersonate either term of this equation), or any other coercion tool, exist.
free market concept is also meaningless in a world of commercial ads: it’s one thing to find out once in a month who’s polishing shoes in the ‘hood for the time being, and it’s a different thing to get hit several times a day by the news that you have to buy bottled water. The latter is not only psychological torture of scale, it is economical coercion of one (set of) agent(s) by another, it’s creating and growing the demand at the ultimate expense of the buyer, through credit.
free market concept is as meaningless as the concept of particle trajectory in quantum mechanics, it is not a concept valid in ideal conditions; the
free market concept is, rather, a fake concept when applied to living beings.
This fake concept is also tragic in its applications, in the sense of a classical Greek tragedy: we know it is a fake, but we proceed nevertheless, because that’s the only toolkit available. Because no negative feedback is really built in a “free market” economy, stability or continuity have no chance to ever settle in such a model. I’ve seen no humans naturally willing to jump for the entirety of their lives from job to job, from land to land, just to feed themselves and their children, or to keep their moral integrity. They only do that after they are coerced into an economic exchange in which they didn’t believe, or they find themselves immersed in an economic system which uses them as simple, coerced, input (expression: human resources).
The coercion is sustained (intentionally or not) through the following sequence of acts: have children (to the point that we are so many, and resources so scarce, that you either have to suicide, to become a slave, to continuously avoid becoming a slave, or to get picked up by the waves as a temporary economic master; all in all we are coerced into competing against each other, that is, to behave as primitive raptors although our brains allow us to do better as a species), buy a house on credit, buy something else significant on credit; one ends up conditioning its entire life in advance: ultimately one cannot afford to live even a simple, authentic life, because the coercion is working its way with the help of the rest of the coerced/slaves. One cannot afford any morality in these conditions. That’s why credit has to be strongly limited, and with
There is no symmetry here between supply and demand. They do not exist simultaneously, first one has to have the demand, then figure out a way to supply for it. And when the supply has been provided, what about the people who no longer have to work on the supply side? If the social unemployment guarantee is not there, these people will have to invent new ways of rising/reorienting the demand again (to be able to “earn a living” supplying, that’s a civil war in disguise). That’s why “earn a living” is a stupid concept also, which keeps coming back because the society still doesn’t protect its citizens from unemployment by definition.
I find it interesting that there are, at any time, people who insist on pushing this
free market model onto others: those people are morally criminals in my view, especially those of them who claim to have professional reasons (as economists) to coerce this model onto the rest, their
free market theories are genocidal for any group of people.
The only alternatives I can imagine to the
free market crap, which have a built-in negative/stabilizing feedback are:
a. continuous government tempering/monitoring of economic forces or
real market, or
genuinely fair market: a market in which economic exchange is defined as valid only when the efforts of the buyer and the seller are equal; as an objective measure, the economical effort spent by somebody to produce some thing can be estimated and verified as a percentage of its wealth at the time of the exchange; its wealth should be measured with a unique, universal measure; these new “money” cannot themselves be exchanged, bought or sold, the only role of them is to set up a unique standard for evaluating wealth; they have yet to be defined universally; something like meter, kilogram, second, I would call it re (from resource), or eco. This kind of market has nothing to do with profit, but with real demand, real supply, real productivity and efficiency, ultimately with real quality of life; belief or psychological terrorism can play no role in establishing the economical effort to be exchanged (the price). Any market model which neglects this equality of efforts on both sides of the exchange relies on an ill-defined concept of exchange, which is, in fact, a giving or a taking, if not a coercion.