Free Market Mirrors Natural Interaction

Humans got along quite well without government for a long time. When tribes and extended families grouped themselves together, natural hierarchies may have formed, but this was less by force and more by merit. The desire of an individual to survive made most voluntarily accept the given social structure.

You could always leave the tribe, and attempt to get along by yourself in the wilderness. This probably never happened because it meant almost certain death. They needed the tribe. In contrast, today people will criticize those who call for government reform: “Then move to another country!” That is telling though. We cannot simply move into the wilderness to survive or not, we must “choose” another master.

And this is not like choosing another tribe: there is nowhere for a tribe to go either. We must fit ourselves into the bounds of a large country, run by a government, using force. It does not become about surviving by producing everything we need to live: it also includes part time slave labour for a master we cannot choose.

Now, people use their cell phones to denounce the free market. Politicians fly with jet fuel to criticize polluters. People act as if those who gained medical skills owe their service to others, with or without proper reward. See, it was so much clearer when there was the tribe, and the wilderness. If you denounce the tribe, you live in the wilderness, unless you can get another tribe to voluntarily accept you.

Now keep in mind that I am comparing tribes to a free market, not a government. Governments gain their power by force, while free market businesses gain their power by serving needs. It seems to me that a tribal leader needed the support of his subordinates in order to have power, just as a CEO needs his employees to comply with his demands for the business to succeed. But the employees have a chance to leave the company for something better.

We have no such opportunity to escape all government subordination. Certainly some tribes existed with more force than others, especially as they got bigger and became more like chiefdoms, and less like family groups. But the natural way that humans survived for long enough to increase in numbers, was by being liked and needed by the tribe, and that is what naturally mirrors the free market.

When social interactions define your standing in a solitary and independent community, it pays to be liked. Even social anxiety of teenagers in this day and age is probably linked to the evolutionary desire to be part of the group, because being rejected by the group meant death. It is a primal fear to not be liked. So in nature, people would strive to become “successful” by being well liked by the group. They give value to the group, and the group in turn contributes value to the individual.

Trade seems to be one of the most basic methods of interaction, and easiest when it comes to the specialization of skills. If you trade something that comes easy to you for something in return that comes easy to them, you both feel like you made out on the deal: it is a mutually beneficial transaction. There was no force involved, you just need to have or create something valuable, and be easy to work with. And this is also a snapshot of organic relationships at the family level: a breadwinner, and a homemaker.

So the whole problem with the world is that our lives are no longer organic: they are controlled and designed and it is in opposition to nature. You don’t have to be liked to do well in the group, you can do well through violence, theft, and fear mongering. But when we see the free market (or a free-ish market) poke it’s head through the rubble, we see how good verses bad people are dealt with naturally.

Just recently I wrote about the auto-dealer that landed in hot water for treating a pizza delivery man poorly. Would you go to a restaurant or bar where the staff or owner was rude to you, or constantly overcharged customers? Would you drive on a private road that damaged your vehicle with potholes, if there was another option available?

The natural order of life is that the largest gains are made through mutual benefit. Only by voluntarily serving others needs can you expect others to voluntarily serve you. The more liked you are, the more customers you get, and the more businesses want to interact with you. The better your product is, the more people enjoy trading with you. The friendlier you are, or the better the customer service, the more comfortable people feel about interacting with you.

We need our society to return to an organic order of life. The only way we can do that, is by removing incentives and disincentives that include force. Some people can survive and thrive today while nobody likes them, because they give no reason to like them. They use force when they should be offering something. They create division while they should create cohesion. When we allow some people to organize society against nature, we get all the ills that we see in society today.

If we could just step back and let nature take its course, we would see all the beauty nature has in store for the human race.

2 thoughts on “Free Market Mirrors Natural Interaction

  1. I think it’s overly simplistic to harken to ancient days of tribes. In those days, many civilizations (especially European ones) also had absurd levels of superstition, racism, and females being treated exclusively as property of males. Science was treated as fraud, and fraud was treated with reverence. We do not live in tribes. Humans are not meant to live by mob rule.

    Each civilization, past and present, has been overrun with political and social domination of some over others. We need not ignore past oppression to resist current oppression.

    • That is true. I meant it as more of an example of how people act if they needed to make it in a world without force. But then again tribes developed into chiefdoms and such. I wasn’t trying to pretend tribes would be a better way of life, but in the modern age if people could associate with whoever they pleased, things would be much better.

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