Mystic market

Brad Orgill counts the real costs of thirty years of “an uncritical belief in free markets” and their “self-regulating nature”: social inequality, overcrowded prisons, crumbling infrastructure and environmental destruction (“Economic challenges should not polarise our egalitarian society”, The Australian, 26/8).

It is time we recognised that the “invisible hand” is the right-wing version of the Gaia hypothesis – a mystical, untestable notion which asserts that a complex system will arrive at some equilibrium, but with no guarantee that such a state will be of any benefit to human beings. As such, it is mere ideology.

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