Regulation without intervention

Many people imagine that in a free market, as the one liberals would like to have, there would be no sort of control over what goes on. This just shows the natural lack of understanding of most people of how free markets work. Something you would expect, since the majority of people today, have never seen a truly unregulated market at work.
The key issue here, is that no intervention doesn’t mean no regulation. Ineed, what us liberals defend is no intervention and self regulation.
The simple regulation that comes as a response to what consumers demand, will always be superior to any attempt by a central agency to control things. Superior how?
Well firstly, it will be more effective, since two eyes are better than one.
Secondly, it will be more accurate, because it will represent the actual desires of every single market participant. The alternative, would be to leave this to the whim of some bureaucrat, which, at best, if he were free of any corruption or vested interest, would simply represent the desires if the majority of the electorate. There are two problems with this. The most obvious, is that individual choice is squandered, and we are enslaved to the rule of the majority. Also, it’s very probable that part of the electorate doesn’t even participate in the market in question. In this case, they have neither the right, nor the neccesary information to make that choice.
As I was saying before, it’s not easy imagining how this decentralised regulation that arises from the market would work. This requires a certain power of abstraction. On the other hand, it is much easier to think of some appointed person making these decisions for everyone.
But it is precisely the complexity of the first system which should dissuade us from trying to replicate something that we don’t even understand.
Ultimately, the situation we live today, is the result of two very powerful human emotions.
On one hand, fear. The fear that other people will try to take advantage of us. This distrust in people and markets has only grown in the age of globalisation. This is part of human nature. It’s easy to trust and socialise with your family or your  neighbours. But what about people in other countries, and other continents?
The other force that is pushing us down this road, is greed. The search for power of politicians, who exploit our fear to gain more power. Worst of all, more often than not, this power is used to serve private, rather than public interests. Many of the regulations imposed today, are used to limit competition, to create monopolies, and in sum, to rob everyone else in society of the possibility of living in a free and just world.
Is this a price you are willing to pay?


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