Free Markets are libertarian but libertarianism is not the Free Markets

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Just thought I’d throw this out there since this idea, that the only way to have libertarianism is to have a free market economy, keeps popping up from people coming from the right. It’s even more annoying when the same people also insist that the only way to have free markets is in a propertarian system where hierarchies of landlords and bosses wouldn’t affect the “libertarianism” of the society at all. Oh no.

Yes, a truly free market is a libertarian concept as it is based on the condition that people freely trade with each other, but then you still have to define what a truly free market is. Not all markets are free and the existence of a market is not enough or even necessary for liberty. A free society might choose voluntarily to avoid money and markets if the individuals within it so wish thankyouverymuch.

This confusion imho arises from the common misconceptions of people on the right about “human nature” and “natural human societies.” Specifically there is the impression that humans societies will naturally default to a market economy and thus some kind of coercion will be necessary to stop people from “freely trading with each other.” From this assumption spring all the automatic accusations against libertarian socialists of being “statists”, “authoritarians” etc which when directed against Anarchists can be just a tad annoying.

In fact, this argument is ridiculously common. From my experience, it’s so common that in discussions you’ll have with a free market proponent (anarchist or minarchist) where you mention that your idea of a future society will not include free markets, there a very high probability that their next response will be something like this:

How are you going to stop people from trading then? Are you going to forbit it forcefully? Will you use your “people’s army?”. Authoritarian! Statist!

Seriously people. We don’t care if you trade to your heart’s content in your own free societies, but just because we can visualise one where people have decided not to subject themselves to social darwinism does not automatically make it less libertarian. Markets will not be even explicitly forbidden in a communist society in the first place, people within it will be free to trade just as well, make up their own paper currency or whatever other such nonsense. We simply expect that nobody will wish to do so as it will be wholly unnecessary and alienating for the participants.

The only thing LibSocs would ever actively oppose is attempts to re-introduce hierarchies once more into human existence. It is not oppressive to oppose all oppression.

So can you please cut it out already with the misguided accusations? I’d be really appreciated and I can guarantee it will help your dialogue with us be constructive rather than devolving into a flamewar.

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