The Korean peninsula demonstrates the fundamental differences between free and fettered markets. As always, there are the free market’s obvious attributes of prosperity and democracy. However as recent events have shown, peace should not be overlooked. And just as importantly, neither should its proper attribution to a free market.
In one relatively small section of the world, the stark differences between the world’s most important dichotomy is clearly visible. In South Korea, a capitalist market, open society, and democracy exist. In North Korea, a closed market, closed society, and totalitarian regime exist. You also have a stark distinction between peace and war.
Perhaps capitalism’s most overlooked attribute is peace. Virtually all conflicts of the last century have been initiated by fettered market, authoritarian states. Often the world’s armed conflicts have been between two such regimes. Contrastingly, military conflicts have almost never pitted two capitalist, democratic nations against one another. [Read more…]