In response to an FT artcicle by Mark Mazower on 13th April 2015, entitled 'World no longer listens to the deaf prophets of the west'
"Europe and the US have been convinced of their own truths for too long"
I'd go further and say we've been convinced of our own 'myths' for far too long, like the myth in this article that suggests that free markets are the threat to democracy. On the surface that seems obvious to many, but look deeper and you'll see that we don't have free market capitalism - we have crony capitalism and socialism for the rich. A system that serves banks, and their 'employees' in government.
"They believed history had demonstrated the superiority of democracy and the market over one-party rule and the planned economy...(but)...to the generation of John Maynard Keynes, markets were supposed to serve democracy; unchecked they could as easily harm it as foster it"
History did prove the superiority of free markets, free association, and free speech, protected by the rule of law - it works better than big government, statism and central planning. Natural cycles, innovation, and the health of the human spirit demonstrate that repeatedly and will continue to do so.
So what have we done in the West? More government, a bigger state, more central planning...coupled with centrally rigged markets, increased monitoring and surveillance, and a press that increasingly prints what is acceptable to the status quo and turns a blind eye to egregious abuse of power.
Our problem is not free markets - it is governments and their crony capitalist paymasters who rig the game under the protection of 'too big to fail'. This produces moral hazard, and that is the hazard we are still facing now. Moral hazard is the antithesis of a free market not its creation.
If we had protected the depositors six years ago but let the banks go down, if we had looked under the covers of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve and seen what they've been up to, if we'd applied the rule of law instead of creating ten thousand pages of regulation...then we wouldn't be having a conversation about how markets need to be controlled by government - we'd be having a conversation about how they need to be protected from government and the vested interests it panders to, whether they sit on Wall Street, K Street, or the boardrooms of the 'defence' industry.