Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On Market Fundamentalism

Market fundamentalists believe that "the market" is the best guiding instrument by which society should allocate its scarce economic resources and organize their economic lives to achieve a state of never-ending economic growth. "Market is God and economic growth is gospel . . . therefore leave things to the market"
Those fundamentalists always argue that "the market" is simply out there -- outside society, outside history, neutral in front of any power interests`. It's a natural and inevitable social fact which can be called as objective mechanism to allocate society's economic resources

The question is: Where did "the market" come from?

Market fundamentalists simply ignore the fact that "market" is socially constructed.
Yes, "market" is always a social construction, in the sense that its construction involves interactions and interplay among various social groupings which is characterized by assymetris of power and resources distribution. As long as they do not have equal power or economic footings, their interaction and interplay will take place in an "unlevel playing field", and the socially constructed market will represent the interest of the dominant group.
. . .

Market fundamentalists fail to see any correlation between neoliberal free market
and poverty, human misery, and "natural" disasters.
If they acknowledge the link between neoliberal market and poverty, they tend
to explain that it's because we are "not free market enough".