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Free-marketism is often expressed in moralistic terms that bear a great deal of similarity to religious beliefs.

Sanctification by the Market

  • In essence, any action which is rewarded by the market (i.e. profitable) is thereby sanctified; anyone who does as the market wishes is absolved of sin, because the market would only reward someone for taking an action that was for the net good, even if it has some negative consequences.
  • The actions of the powerful may be morally evaluated entirely in terms of virtuous free-market reward and sinful rewards resulting from government interference.
  • The cause of any injustice is always "government"; the cause of any good is always "market forces". "Government" / "the state" is seen as pure evil, like Satan, while the market is pure good, like God.

Because of the one-dimensionality of the moralistic thinking involved, free-marketeers see no hypocrisy in (for example) a profitable company fighting against environmental regulations as unnecessary and intrusive while also polluting and claiming that their activities are beneficial overall. The government (Satan) is to blame for the polluting, and the company's virtuous fight against the government helps to cancel out the evil (sin) of polluting -- rather than demonstrating the moral indefensibility of fighting against environmental regulations. The company's profitability -- i.e. its compliance with market forces (God) -- proves that it is on the side of virtue, regardless of any negative consequences.

"Natural Rights" as Infallible Moral Code

Free-marketists often argue that "rights" exist regardless of whether they are recognized, that there is a basic list of rights that exist and which it is, and that any additional rights for which people may argue or that governments may recognize are therefore immoral.