chapter  1
11 Pages

Free Market Ideology and the Specter of Inequality

ByBertram Silverman, Murray Yanowitch

Free market ideology pays little attention to the positive components of liberty. Yet, most actually existing market systems have in varying ways introduced a variety of social democratic rights that have promoted economic as well as political citizenship. Three of the most important elements in achieving positive freedom are living standards, economic security, and equity. Poor people have little clout in either the marketplace or the political arena. The ideology of free markets has guided the direction of Russia's turn to capitalism. Free market ideology is particularly prone to promote the idea of market spontaneity to quickly push economic agents to respond to the requirements of economic growth. The metaphor of leaping a chasm suggests a number of other tenets of radical free market reform. Russian reformers are fond of citing the early historical experiences of the United States and Britain to defend the increasing social and economic inequality in their country.