The Free Market Institute of the Pacific is a non-profit think tank and research center for business and academic professionals dedicated to teaching the values of free markets and the personal freedoms that go with them, and to elucidate how these values and freedoms impact the growth and sustainability of economies.
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Statement of the Issue:
The natural state of human affairs is one of cooperative barter, in which peoples, whether in the most basic of tribal societies or in modern industrial societies, bargain with one another for goods and services in an effort to reach agreements beneficial to both.
This is the essence of a free market...often called a Free Market System. In reality, it is not a system, but more the antithesis of a system. Some refer to this state of human interraction as capitalism.
Historically, peoples eventually feel the need to create rules around which their cultures may be organized and made more efficient in certain ways. These rules are administered by an artificial unit of authority called “government.” This might be as simple as a hierarchy of decision making in a tribe, and can become as complex as the invasive systems of controls, laws, and regulations developed under totalitarian regimes.
History also tells us that civilization will thrive once simple government and basic systems are in place, such as a legal and judicial system to adjudicate disputes, or a system of security or defense that will allow the productive citizen to put effort into production instead of spending their time protecting family and property.
Unfortunately, history also makes it very clear that government will eventually attract people of bad will and those desiring an undue share of power over the lives of others. When those people are able to wrest power from the population, the end result is a loss of freedoms for the people along with the loss of their free market culture-->-->
Often, the free market culture is attacked first, in order to prepare the population for other losses of freedoms. As free market values are attacked, the people grow accustomed to the change from a free society to a society where decisions are made not by individuals, but by a centrally controlled government.
In the reverse, when the people bring down a totalitarian state, they establish an immediate, oftentimes rough, form of a free market as government control disappears.
In free states, there is an ongoing dialogue over what degree of regulation should be placed into the hands of government. There is the concern to preserve the freedoms of the people, as freedoms are finite and only by the surrender of personal freedoms can government become more influential.
A free market can only exist when the people enjoy personal freedom. Conversely, people who enjoy freedom will likely create and maintain a free market. The two are tied by definition; a free market being a place where people freely make decisions on the use of their labors and resources without coercion and with limited regulation. To end a free market...personal freedom must be severely limited.-->-->
This ongoing dialogue takes many shapes in our societies. An expanding government culture may control schools and other sources of information, and so will infuse communications with anti-free market messages. Other means of communication may be controlled by the free market, and will tend to remind listeners of the value of the free market coupled with individual freedoms.
As part of this ongoing dialogue the Free Market Institute of the Pacific will contribute the experience and knowledge of it members. Please join us in our mission of discovery and discussion on the issues of the day as they regard the freedoms of peoples along with the economies and markets in which they participate.