Free markets & peace

Free markets are good not only for economic reasons. They also remove many causes of conflict by providing an effective way to make common decisions w/o forcing everyone agree on a common course of action. They disperse decision making and dilute identities. People in a market economy have a large variety of interests instead of just a few that they can fight about. This is the article that got me thinking about this.

I lost confidence in dialogue. When people with profound difference talk through their differences they just confirm why they don't like each other. You make friends when you work on common tasks toward common aspirations. In those cases you need not agree on everything or even most things; you don't have to ask what is wrong, but rather what the person can do to contribute.

The free market creates room for this. We don't need to agree on everything. We can choose to agree with some people on some things and with other people on other things. No particular identity becomes a deal breaker. If we all MUST agree on a common program, we will learn to hate each other and to fight about details. Who can even agree on a common disk at a restaurant? If we need agree on only parts, we dilute that urge to fight. We just don't have too.

I know that most people won't like most things about me if they really got to know me. But most people can like some things about me. Especially if I can make myself useful to them, we will never need to talk through our differences and they won't matter.

Posted by Christine & John at October 11, 2014 10:13 PM
Comment #384220

When you were in al-Anbar, how much of a role did informal economies play?

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 12, 2014 2:56 PM
Comment #384221


Informal economies were practically the only ones that worked.

Posted by: C&J at October 12, 2014 7:35 PM
Comment #384230

In al-Anbar was this due to government intervention or the lack thereof?

Relatedly, a recent development in North Korea has been the rise of the black market. Compared with 15 years ago, North Korea is getting richer, which complicates our wishes for regime change.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 13, 2014 8:03 PM
Comment #384441

Sounds simple enough, C&J. Thinking back to the ‘silk road’ it was the ME that pretty much invented capitalism. I recall back in the 60/70’s how the markets flourished in Syria and Lebanon and others.

As I am aware, nobody dissed the ME’s from the West/EU. It was a combination of tribal and extreme religious ideology that brought their progress to an end. Each tribal/religious faction was hyped up by the Imam’s who did, and still do preach against anything western. A good number of Jewish folks lived in Iraq and other ME countries until the Imam’s and shiria law brought a level of intolerance to live and let live to a boiling point.

It’s difficult to educate people to a more modern concept of life when you have grown men shooting little girls in the head and so on - - -

The only way gov’t leaders have been able to lead/live is to inject their own brand of cruelty/punishment to keep the tribals/Imams in line. The super wealthy Saudi’s and Qtari’s spend their money on self preservation rather than reform efforts.

I submit to you that dealing with poor catholic in SA is way far different than dealing with these guys that want their religion to take over the world, or else.

I wish it were so simple. It’s clear that treating them like children isn’t doing the job.

Posted by: roy ellis at October 19, 2014 9:02 PM
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