A Market by Any Other Name....
Inadvertent support for free markets in an anti-capitalist reader
So I was flipping through a book called The Anti-Capitalism Reader today at work, and I found an interesting chapter on what is called "parallel economies" - economic networks that exist alongside and apart from the mainstream. What was fascinating is that what is discussed and supported in this chapter is perfectly consistent with a free market, and not the so called "free market" that exists today: fiat money, mercantilism and the evil concept of "intellectual property". (How one can own an idea is beyond me, considering its non scarcity and quite frankly, enforceability.)
The problem is that "free markets" are usually defined too narrowly; the term "market" is conventionally used to refer to the cash nexus, and to the institutions in and through which money exchanges are conducted. But properly speaking, the "market" encompasses all forms of voluntary, non-coercive interaction. For example, check out this post by Sunni Maravillosa (teaser line: "A marketplace you can think of as 'sex with Sunni' exists. Its supply is very limited, but so is the demand....").
What's really sad: even when people are talking about behavior that falls very much in the "free market" category, they don't like to use the term because of who it's become associated with.