This is why I will never use force to get anyone to do what I want, I will offer something in exchange. For I have value, and so do you.

Back in the day, Greeks of different cities regarded each other as sub-human. After a while they rethought and came to the conclusion that all Greeks are probably humans after all, but the Persians sure as hell aren’t. After a while, even Persians came to be regarded as members of the same species.

Nowadays very few people would publicly hold the view that any group of humans is sub-human. Quite obviously there has been a jagged but unrelenting progress in human morality. Though man is genetically the same today as 4 000 years ago, something else has changed.

Why do we know, in the depths of our hearts that all humans are worthy of the same treatment as we would like to receive ourselves? Previously in history we have NOT been able to hold that view.

I think that non-zero sum interactions are to thank.

Voluntary interactions, call it “trade” if you will, expose the VALUE that we give each other. In voluntary interactions, you will not find a loser and a winner. You will find actors who perceive that they have each gained from an interaction, otherwise that interaction would not have taken place. You will find people sharing a pie that is bigger than would the combination of their separate parts of the pie have been, had they not interacted.

Voluntarianism brings us together, where coercion tears us asunder.

This is why I believe in the free market. I see its positive effects as manifestly true. Throughout history, mankind has prospered wherever the free market has been trusted and embraced.

And it is just as easy to see, that it is where the free market is curtailed in favour of force and coercive interactions, that the worst crimes against humanity take place.

This little text prompted by this TED-talk:

[ted id=68 lang=en]