Statist claim: Free Markets are the same as corporatism.


A state-regulated crony "capitalist" market is a "free market," and its failures are blamed thereupon.

For example, the housing crisis or Wall Street bailouts are blamed on the "free market".


Do not confuse libertarian capitalism with "crony capitalism" or "corporatism", which is the (incestuous) marriage of government and business. A business with one or one primary customer, that customer being the state, is no more "private" than the state military; and the same goes for one whose existence or profits are protected by state violence (i.e., those that depend on IP laws, prisoners delivered to them by laws against victimless "crimes", state-enforced monopolies, and the like). Voluntaryists are in no wise supporters of such corporations, or, at least, not their privilege (a business providing trash pickup services is fine; one given an exclusive contract to operate in a city is not, because of the state's threat of harm to other competing businesses, and not due to the nature of their service, which is a useful one in isolation.)

Certainly state bailouts have nothing whatsoever to do with a free market—they represent taking money by force from people and giving it to banks that are in bed with government (remember the revolving door between lobbyists, government, and big corporations?) It's neither free nor market-oriented; it is entirely an involuntary process for the victims.

While "free market" by itself may not imply the Non Aggression Principle, it certainly implies that, duh, there is an actual market, and people are free to trade, which certainly rules out bailouts and any other plunder. However, you can be sure that when a voluntaryist is talking about a free market, one in a generally free society where the NonAggressionPrinciple is respected is being posited. This means (sorry statist) no "free market" in slaves, because of course it is aggression to kidnap someone and force them to labor for you, or appropriate their labor. (DBR)

The "invisible hand" of the free market has been swatted aside by the iron fist of the state. Blaming the economic crisis on the free market makes as much sense as blaming 9/11 on unicorns. Reagan was no advocate of the free market aside from paying lip service to it on occasion.

Subsidies and bailouts are political plunder, not market exchange. Corporate charters are created by the state. Mega-corporations write regulations through their lobbyists to prevent new competing businesses from starting up while grandfathering most of their existing procedures. Government taxes are an exponential drain on the economy by adding to the cost of every link in the chains of economic exchanges. The Federal Reserve distorts the monetary system by setting interest rates at arbitrary levels that send the wrong signals for production, investment, and savings. (LT)

See Also: Deregulation Caused Housing Crisis, What is Capitalism, Non Aggression Principle.