Why free markets are neither
We'll start with the easy one...the idea of there being such things as “markets.” There are not, nor have there ever been any such things known as “markets” – there are people, period. A person is not a market, nor is a gaggle, nor a murder, nor a herd of people a market. There is a simple proof of this...if a “market” was a real thing, it would have, in the very least, observable properties (like people do), it does not. Subject it to this simple test; ask yourself if you can do any or all of the following to something called, a “market”: See it? Touch it? Taste it? Smell it? Hear it? If you think you can do any one or all of these things to something called a “market” you either need medication or you are an idiot – your choice.
So, first lesson...no such thing as markets. If there are no such thing as markets, it is not possible
for them to be subject to any kind of condition known as “free,” or any other condition for that matter (mixed, planned, etc.).
Second one...”free.” If we have determined that a “market” cannot be free because, first and foremost it does not exist, then it cannot be “free” either. Something that has no existence...has no existence and cannot be subjected to any kind of condition (re-read the first two paragraphs if you are having trouble with this notion of something that does not exist being subject to any set of conditions.) People, however are another story.
People do have properties and as such, are subject to various conditions, so presumably, they could be subject to a condition known as “free.” They are not free, however, nor will they ever be. It makes no matter where they live, where they have been raised, nor who has done the raising. Why? Because anyone who has been raised with, or by, other people has had (and continues to have) their behavior shaped by those other people. Put simply, they have been trained. Specifically, they have been trained to respond to the environmental conditions that surround them. Any being that can be or is, trained, is by definition not free. A person who has not been trained by other people is known as a “feral” person and the evidence for the existence of such a person is sufficiently, if not completely, lacking. Feral people (presuming that they do, or have ever existed) have been trained too, just not be other people. Feral people have been trained by their physical or non-human environment. The simple fact is that any organism, any animal, cannot and does not survive without training. Since animals are only capable of responding to their environment, they are not free; the environment sets the standards, the animal responds.
Simple test again...try washing your dishes without any clothes on, with no one else in your house. Try NOT eating your favorite food...ever. Try being honest with your boss. Try NOT working to earn money to by food, to pay bills, to pay a mortgage, to pay for your cell phone. Try any and/or all of these and you will discover, quickly that you are not free. You CANNOT be free; in fact it is because of your lack of freedom that you CAN read, think, tell yourself that this is complete bullshit and the author is a communistic-fascist (no, I am NOT Dick Cheney), feed yourself, etc.
And if anyone thinks that markets are free (regardless of any of the above), bankers, CEO's, and world leaders sincerely thank you for this belief as it fills their coffers on a daily basis. In fact, it is these folks who love it when those of us who are not in privileged positions like they are talk about how much we want free markets.
So, no markets...no free. Just people, just training, just exploitation of that training.