Monday, May 3, 2010

Wingnut Dictionary - Free Market Fundamentalism

Word of the Day:

Free Market Fundamentalism (noun)

[free mar·ket fun·da·men·tal·ism]

frē\ mär-kət\ fən-də-mən-tə-ˌli-zəm]

Definition:

Free Market Fundamentalism: (1) An ideology which holds that the Free-Market is all knowing, self correcting and virtuous. (2) The unshakable belief that unfettered markets maximize individual freedom, that they are the only means to economic growth and that society should adhere to their specific ideas of societal progress (as settled by the Free Unfettered Market). (3) The belief that markets tend towards a natural equilibrium, and that the best interests in a given society are achieved only by allowing its participants to pursue their own financial self-interest with no or little restraint or regulatory oversight. (4) To free market fundamentalists, rounding off the rougher edges of the effects of the free market through regulation is a blasphemy. The prospect of Regulating of the Free Hand of the market is as arrogant as trying to control the invisible hand of God.

Free Market Fundamentalism is firmly embedded within the Wingnutopian Movement. It forms one pillar of the trinity of this Ideology along with Bullets and Bibles.

Significance within Wingnutopian Ideology:

An example of can be found in this quote by Mark Steyn, known as a Karl Marx-like figure of the Wingnutopian Movement:

"The U.S. income tax is becoming the 21st-century equivalent of the "jizya" - the punitive tax levied by Muslim states on their non-Muslim citizens: In return for funding the Islamic imperium, the infidels were permitted to carry on practicing their faith. Likewise, under the American jizya, in return for funding Big Government, the nonbelievers are permitted to carry on practicing their faith in capitalism, small business, economic activity and the other primitive belief systems to which they cling so touchingly,"

Here Steyn lays out the dilemma faced by many Wingnutopians – what to do about a regulated market. Or more succinctly, how do you practice your faith when, Allah forbid, Market Regulation and tax increases appear to be inevitable.

Under this view, Steyn points out that Wingnutopians are forced to become a distinct counter-culture within American society, obeying the laws and becoming good citizens, but unable to fully know freedom because they are unable to practice Free Market Fundamentalism.