“So look, the problem is capitalism. We’ve got good tech, we’ve got a nice planet, we’re fucking it up by way of stupid laws. That’s what capitalism is, a set of stupid laws.” — Jeff in Kim Stanley Robinson, New York 2140.
The “free” market is not free. It is governed by laws and norms that favor the already-wealthy. They create barriers to entry for small businesses to compete with big businesses, for new ideas and technologies to replace outdated ones, for workers to move from a more exploitative employer to a less exploitative. They protect wealth inherited and ultimately plundered from others, for most of what people consider their rightful property was, at some point, expropriated from other people and other living things. Property rights are largely post-hoc rationalizations for deception, exploitation, and conquest under the flag of one government or another. The more we can identify these restrictions, illuminate their contingent origin and partisan purpose, the more clearly we can imagine alternatives through which to create the conditions for true freedom.