Capitalism and Freedom
"The Relation Between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom,
"Brace Yourself! The American Empire Is Over & The Descent Is Going To Be Horrifying!"
June-13-2012-- Economic arrangements play a dual role in the promotion of a free society. On the one hand, freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.
that individual freedom is a political problem and material welfare an economic problem; and that any kind of political arrangements can be combined with any kind of economic arrangements. The chief contemporary manifestation of this idea is the advocacy of "democratic socialism" by many who condemn out of hand the restrictions on individual freedom imposed by "totalitarian socialism"
Clearly, economic freedom, in and of itself, is an extremely important part of total freedom.
Viewed as a means to the end of political freedom, economic arrangements are important becuase of their effect on the concentration or dispersion of power. The kind of economic organization that provides economic freedom directly, namely, competitive capitalism, also promotes political freedom because it separates economic power from political power and in this way enables the one to offset the other.
capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom The "really" important ethical problems are those that face an individual in a free society - what he should do with his freedom. There are thus two sets of values that a liberal will emphasize -- the values that are relevant to relations among people, which is the context in which he assigns first priority to freedom; and the values that are relevant to the individual in the exercise of his freedom, which is the realm of individual ethics and philosophy.
Social organization to be as much a negative problem of preventing "bad" people from doing harm as of enabling "good" people to do good; and, of course, "bad" and "good" people may be the same people, depending on who is judging them.
In a free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. economic limitation on freedom and the other a political limitation,
deprivation of religious freedom, which all would regard as "civil" or "political" rather than "economic",
The basic requisite is the maintenance of law and order to prevent physical coercion of one individual by another and to enforce contracts voluntarily entered into, thus giving substance to "private". Aside from this, perhaps the most difficult problems arise from monopoly - which inhibits effective freedom by denying individuals alternatives to the particular exchange -- and from "neighborhood effects" -- effects on third parties for which it is not feasible to charge or recompense them.
freedom of the individual, or perhaps the family, as our ultimate goal in judging social arrangements. Freedom as a value in this sense has to do with the interrelations among people;
So long as effective freedom of exchange is maintained, the central feature of the market organization of economic activity is that it prevents one person from interfering with another in respect of most of his activities. The consumer is protected from coercion by the seller because of the presence of other sellers with whom he can deal. The seller is protected from coercion by the consumer because of other consumers to whom he can sell. The employee is protected from coercion by the employer because of other employers for whom he can work, and so on. And the market does this impersonally and without centralized authority.
are all societies that cannot conceivably be described as politically free. Yet, in each, private enterprise was the dominant form of economic organization. It is therefore clearly possible to have economic arrangements that are fundamentally capitalist and political arrangements that are not free.
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