free market=free politics?
In my western civilization class we discussed whether or not a free market leads to a free political system and the professor declared that the two do not go hand in hand. I whole-heartedly disagree. He used China as an example. They have a free market but an unfree political system, according to him. The problem with that statement is that it ignores the "grey" shades.
When Mao attempted to completely take over agriculture, millions were killed and he was at the peak of his power. When some high-up people started to add elements of a free market, the famine went away and there was slightly more freedom until the Cultural Revolution, where the same cycle began anew. China is not free but it's not as bad as it was and that is in part because of the free market. When capitalism is followed, individual workers are more than easily-replacable slaves to the state. The average person becomes the means of economic survival. China HAS to let people run their own businesses because without them, China would collapse. That is a far cry from the days of Mao. China is no heaven but if I had to live under Mao or in the current regime, I would choose the modern times.
Free market systems create freedom because people are more than government property to be cared for by the state. When the state controls the economy, the state is supreme. When the PEOPLE control the economy, than the government must try and stay out of the economy for it to function. The government stays out and that creates freedom. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and every other dictator the world has ever seen wants to control the people. A state-controlled economy will necessarily attempt to control the masses. To use a phrase my teacher says frequently- "It can be no other way".
North Korea- state-controlled economy and unfree
South Korea- free market and more free
Japan- free market and more free
Europe- mostly state-controlled and getting less free by the day
USA- mixed free market and state controlled (getting more controlled by the day) and more free than Europe (for how long.....)
Etc, Etc, Etc......