Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Would Free Markets Have Leaders (at all?)

In a true, standard or cliché “free market society” political leaders are a casualty. Such things simply wouldn’t exist! The market is a social phenomenon and each individual person in the market is out to satisfy a particular set group. This group, often called “customers,” can vary in size, and thus, the persons the firm wants to satisfy could be small or it could be a large set of persons. It might be big (e.g. all cell phone users or computer users) or small (all persons who wear Alpaca sweaters). Also, in other ways, as well, it is specialized. What we have covered, above, is that the market actor is not after everybody, and thus does not need everyone for a customer. And in addition, an actor or seller, which is to say within this idealized free market, which is really a society, does not share all concerns, or even "big" concerns. Her concern as to the customer is limited to polite or pleasing behavior, as well as (of course) concern for the specific item being handled or traded/sold. In fact, we may go further and suggest that the market actors seem to specifically try to shirk responsibility. The do not want responsibility for what happens in society. And, in this regard limit their conversations, with the clientele. Conversations are circumscribed.

     Contrast that with a political leader. What is different? The leader (compared with the "trader") has a different job. He is a figure who represents everybody. The leader, therefore, is a persons who has the responsibility for the population. There is a difference in terms of context. We need first to fix (ascertain) the context in which we are discussing human agency. Is it the context of the "market"? If by "market" we mean capitalism, then what we are talking about is an ideal capitalist world, a capitalistic society, and in that cliché capitalist world there is no demand there, for the political leader. This is what I am suggesting, and, maybe this helps explain the current "Trump" phenomenon a bit. Political situation enters crisis. That is because business has gained too much dominance. With the political system weakened, a business leader becomes formally identical to a political leader. Political leaders are no longer wanted.

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