Liberalism, Evolution, and Free Markets

A show of hands–who believes in evolution? Of those of you with your hands in the air, do you consider yourself liberal?

I’m talking about current day liberals here–those that consider themselves Democrats, or “on the left”, not classical liberals. Actually, I’d toss most of you Republicans into this group as well, although you can’t admit to yourself just how liberal you really are. But then again, you are, in general, less likely to support the idea of evolution.

Anyway, if you still have your hand up, I’m curious about something. I’ve wondered for a long time how liberal thought reconciles its unwavering belief in evolution with its political agenda.

I’ve noticed a lot of people with “Darwin fish” on their cars tend to have liberal themed bumper stickers on them as well. I’ve never quite understood how people who believe in evolution could be so supportive of subsidies, controlled markets, and nationalization (socialization) of services by the government.

A true free market economy is a perfect example of evolution in action. You can actually see the market evolve in the short term instead of over thousands of years. Without intervention from subisidies or market controls, businesses and people in a free market are forced to either adapt to current conditions or perish, just as lifeforms do according to the laws of nature. It truly is survival of the fittest.

In contrast, the liberal political agenda is centered around an attempt to constantly level the playing field. They have an overwhelming desire to make life fair for everyone, and to do so not by their own choices, but by requiring everyone to participate in instituting their idea of fair and equal.

So why do so many liberals have such a problem with free markets if they are so high on evolution? I’m guessing that their answer is that, as humans capable of rational thought, we should be above the laws of nature and able to institute structures that buck this system. But this answer relies on the assumption that present day is the ultimate species–the one that is finally able to control not only himself, but the entire world around him. If you believe that, then you believe we have stopped evolving and that evolution is a thing of the past and no longer exists.

You also haven’t been paying attention.

A quick look at the hours and days following Hurricane Katrina are all the evidence we need to realize that any such attempt to buck the system is only temporary and can become irrelevant in a very short time. The entire New Orleans economy became based on clean drinking water, food, etc. Suddenly, people were living in the real world, where the basics of survival took precedent over money, possessions, and social status. Remember, this was on a relatively small scale.

My belief in evolution is the number one reason I believe in free markets. The way I see it, we are going to be subject to this system at some point anyway–naturally. Any attempt to operate in controlled markets is a temporary and futile attempt at circumventing evolution. Whether the opponents of the free market like it or not, it is inevitably going to take control.

And it probably won’t be pretty. We’ll probably be trading for water, food, and medicine when it finally happens. And what of the people who have no direct access to these items and feel the situation isn’t fair? They will either adapt to their environment and find a way to procure what is needed for survival, or they won’t get the opportunity to pass along their genes.

I know that sounds mean and cruel, but that’s nature’s law, not mine.

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3 Replies to “Liberalism, Evolution, and Free Markets”

  1. How would you know this? No one is living in a totally unfettered free-market utopia, because it is inherently flawed. How would we begin? Many of those with a large market share got it by lobbying and controlling Govt. So, when AT&T can simply squash all competitors, it will. Govt should indeed level the playing field, insofar as it can assist those without access to power.

  2. No one is living in a totally unfettered free-market utopia, because it is inherently flawed.

    My argument isn’t that free markets are a utopia. My argument is that, whether you feel it is flawed or not, free market follows natural law.

    Many of those with a large market share got it by lobbying and controlling Govt
    Great point. Yet another reason why government should butt out.

  3. Although I don’t believe in evolution…based on scientific theory…something has to be controlled, tested, and proved…no one was around 100 million years ago to test things…or is it 400 million….I forget what the consensus is as to when “it” all started….anyway, the comparison here to liberals and the free market is genius and I do agree with “evolution” in that case

    Free markets are and have been tested and can be tracked….just like socialism and communism, both have failed….ex. the former Soviet Union and trying to get knee surgery in Canada.

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