Upaya: the Market vs. the Market
There are at least two ways to think about what is and what isn't part of the market. On the one hand, you have the Rothbardian idea that market is just the sum total of all voluntary human activity. That means hippie communes, charities, revolutionary workers collectives, and so on would count as market institutions. On a narrower conception of markets, the market is constituted by the total of commercial exchanges in a society.
When libertarians express an easy "let the market handle it" attitude, many non-libertarians will reasonably assume that this means "let for-profit commercial exchange handle it." And that might not be a very good or a very attractive idea. For instance, getting utilities out of the hands of government is a good idea, but should they be transferred to big utilities corporations (who are likely very well connected politically) or should they be turned into consumer co-ops? From a libertarian perspective these are both shifts from state to market. Indeed, as radical libertarians (left, right, or center) will be quick to point out, the consumer co-op solution is probably the more free market solution. And yet, the consumer co-op might be considered by some to be more of a "community-based" (read: grassroots and cooperative) rather than "market-based" (read: corporate, greedy, and competitive) solution. Foldvary helps to point out that the sphere of non-coercive, voluntary social activity includes commercial exchange, but also charities and "association in equality." Hence, it seems useful to think and talk in terms of voluntary coordination, rather that (always) "the market."
Indeed another problem, especially among mainstream right libertarians, is too much emphasis on the first two and not the third. "Government welfare sucks? Leave it to private charities, they'll be more humane and more efficient!" This is probably true. But what about mutual aid societies, neighborhood assemblies, land trusts, co-ops, tenant's unions, independent labor unions, neighborhood watch and cop-watch, alternative media, community gardens, LETS systems, barter networks, mutual banks, open-source information, etc.? It may be better to be dependent on a private charity than a government bureaucracy, but what about individual and community independence through the association of equals?
capitalism , free market , markets