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Friday, March 10, 2006

Steam Engine Time

One thing I've noticed is that as communication becomes more dense and interactive, certain concepts pop up out of the blue all over the place at once.

One of these is a reification of the idea of what a 'market' is. Statists and anti-statists alike often seem to fall into the trap of taking the metaphor of a market too literally and treating it as a noun, as a specific institution the way a 'school' or a 'hospital' is. And this leads to all kinds of weird attempts to fix it or replace it with something else. But the primary concept has already been lost, you're working on an abstraction of an abstraction at that point. What a 'market' is, IMO, is a metaphor for trading in the aggregate. But Sunni Maravillosa had a very elegant (and entertaining) way of making the point:
Markets and Marketplaces

Some other links that are illustrative here:
Kevin Carson on the "Crunchy Cons"
Inadvertent support for free markets in an anti-capitalist reader


Anonymous Sunni said...

Well, thank you for the kind words! I hope you've seen that I think highly of your work, too.

1:38 PM  

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