DISCLAIMER: I am not a socialist, communist, or fascist, and don't prefer to be a capitalist (can't really be helped though this day and age). But I'm all for 'free'-markets! Anyway, here you go, and thanks in advance There is an argument by hard-line capitalists that bastardizes the 'free' in a free-market system. It seems to suggest that this free should mean free of regulation; as if a regulated free-market system were an oxymoron. A regulated free-market system is not an oxymoron! It's merely a form of qualification. It's similar to how you might say that something is west of east; it isn't an oxymoron, you are qualifying that something is just west of a certain eastern reference point. Now, a free-market system is, inherently, a system. And any worldly system is regulated in some form. Even if a free-market system isn't regulated by humans, it is still bound by natural thermodynamic regulations. In fact, there is no worldly system that isn't bound thermodynamically. So it's meaningless to ask whether a particular worldly system is regulated or not; it's more accurate to ask about the degree of regulation. We don't live in caves, we don't drink from streams, and we don't take dumps out in the open. That would be the daily state of affairs had we accepted the natural regulatory system as enough for us. And no, we didn't think it to be enough, and rightfully so. What we did do was to regulate and control our activities a bit more than this natural state of affairs. And soon enough we found ourselves living in these marvelous civilizations that we so often boast about, and for good reason of course. But how ironic is it that it's the economists of our very own great civilizations that tell us that a free-market system that has regulations that even cave men may find lacking is good for us! So let's be clear about a few things then 1) a free-market system without regulation is a non-entity 2) to complement the advances of modern civilizations, a free-market system would ideally have a complementary level of regulatory systems in place. To those who have gradiophobia (fear of gradations and uncertainty i.e. reality; finding black/white perceptions appealing), it's all too easy to argue that any piece promoting regulations of 'individual freedom' is a propaganda piece for economic collectivists. Well, truth be told, the moment cave men decided to give up their natural dwellings and build some dwellings with their own hands, they took the first steps towards the adoption of the social contract. What is the social contract you might ask? Well, put simply, it's when individuals as citizens give up their rights to the state, and in return expect rights from the collective citizenry of that state. So yes, unless you do live in a cave and drink from streams and take dumps out in the open, you are a collectivist. Of sorts; the caveat of course being that a discussion of the free-market system specifically brings into focus economic collectivism. Never-the-less, the over-arching point here is that all us have already submitted to this social contract that binds us to collectivist terms of interactions with our fellow man. So the question is, what but the most arbitrary of reasons can one have to extend this collectivist approach to human interactions but not to human economics? Albeit, the point of this piece isn't to go into the specifics of appropriate economic regulation. Rather it's to wholly extinguish the notion that a free-market system is one best served unregulated. I will take my house and my plumbing thank you very much. Actually, there is one more important, though unrelated, point here; the free-market system isn't the birthright of capitalism. Rather, more poignantly, the free-market system does not belong to capitalism; it is merely borrowing it. If the capitalist ideological state can't get its act together and come to the unavoidable conclusions reached above soon, than it's curtains indeed to an anachronistic and static ideology. P.S. I'm no expert on economics and took no classes. So I hope to learn more than anything. BTW...this was originally written for a different audience, so please don't mind the perhaps aggressive tone?