Specter of Monopoly


the free market lets you choose any pepper you want, or not to buy a pepper at all

Whenever anyone says anything bad about the free market, it is generally a misplaced critique of government.  Whenever someone says something good about the government, it is usually a misdirected praise of the free market.

For example, democracy is often praised as a way for people to get what they want.  Yet, by definition, those who are not in the majority do not get what they want.  Even those in the majority often do not get everything they want, but merely their preference between two unsavory options.

In contrast, the market gives everyone exactly what they want.  You don’t have to choose between a pickle flavored yogurt and sauerkraut bubble gum.  You can choose not to buy either.

A common objection to freedom is that if everyone were allowed to buy and sell whatever they wanted, one person could buy all of the water, and then everyone would be at that person’s mercy.  It is truly a horrifying thought, that someone might have that much power over you.

They could charge outrageous sums for water, which everyone has to buy in order to live.  They could even withhold water from people that they do not like, dooming them to die of thirst.

Yet, this is precisely the system that government inflicts on people.  They take whatever they want from you, and provide services at their leisure.  They can even withhold essential services from people they do not like (or just kill them outright).

In a free market, every interaction is voluntary.  If someone wants to buy up all the water, then everyone has to agree to it.  The State, on the other hand, merely takes what it wants by force.  For example, if they government wanted a monopoly on criminal justice, it would create a monopoly of courts and police forces.

In fact, it must do this, because government is inherently criminal.  If a separate justice system existed, 99% of its work would be correcting the crimes of the State.  For government to exist, it must control the justice system and carve out a huge exception for itself.

Stealing is wrong, except for taxes, eminent domain, etc.  Murder is wrong except for foreigners by the military, political dissidents by the CIA, etc.  The “social contract” only applies to regular people.  You have to behave ethically — the government does not.

So what should an individual be concerned about; supposed monopolies arising on the free market, or real monopolies created by the State?

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