The Global Marketplace

Arguably, self-governance and self-rule along with the power of concepts and ideas such as freedom, liberty, and justice have market considerations involved in them as well, given that the market and the state often have opposing and contradictory priorities and imperatives. The market is largely an autonomous force with its own sort of energy and magnetism, in addition to having the laws of supply and demand, cultural and social values, collective and individual preferences and tastes, as well as other complexities and subtleties involved in it. As a result, man-made rules and regulations do not necessarily straighten out the market, given that there are forces and energies which supersede any man-made rules and regulations which could be imposed on the market. As one shopkeeper in the ‘Grand Bazaar’ in Istanbul told me, there is nothing cut-and-dry or tangible about the market and that for the most part, the market is all about complexity and the intangibles of life.

In turn, the market is essentially the sum of all the interactions and transactions which happen between people across the globe, given that the market is now global in scale and scope as a result of globalization and technology. We should then ask who can justify giving themselves the right or the authority and power to interfere with or alter these automatic and natural interactions and transactions. Yet, the paradox is that while the market is an autonomous force with its own mysterious way of operating, the market also cannot be decoupled or separated from the political and social circumstances and dynamics of the broader society. Protectionism, war, as well as the fomenting of political and social crises on the part of ignorant and self-serving leaders and politicians are the main factors for why the economy and the market take a downturn at certain points in time. Another oddity is that the system can collapse even though economic conditions are good, as Arnold Toynbee argued. As a matter of fact, economic conditions around the world today are better than they ever were in human history. What brings down a system, ultimately, are social conditions and a social crisis which are largely psychosocial and political in nature. 

Thus, as opposed to economic factors, what we should really be looking at is polarization and the social crisis which has emerged in the United States in recent years. But as mentioned before, the origins and the sources of polarization and thus the social crisis which we are experiencing at the moment are mysterious and obscure. Some of it has to do with the fact that people are turning inward and are becoming more insulated despite growing interdependence and interconnection, which is yet another paradox. And despite the breadth and the growth of choice and options in the market and in society, preferences and tastes are to a certain extent becoming narrower and reduced in scope on both a collective and individual level. 

And as mentioned before, there are also unconscious and subconscious factors for polarization and the rise of a political and social crisis. Culture, religion, the natural course or even lifespan of one’s civilization and societal evolution, the chemistry and “elective affinities” between the people of a society, evolving attitudes and mentality, preferences, tastes, the character and quality of leaders and cultural figures and personalities in a society, moral decadence and decay, the nature of the laws in a society, as well as prevailing notions of love and sexuality are all relevant factors which go into either a social crisis or social stability, even though they vary in essence and nature. And arguably, all of these aforementioned factors and issues are converging at the moment to produce the social crisis which we are experiencing. A crisis, one must note, that authorities and people in power have absolutely no solutions for at the moment. But perhaps if these authorities and people in power got out of the way and put limits to their power and stopped causing so many problems for the world, then the path towards a plan or a set of solutions for this crisis could open up, given that the lack of credibility and legitimacy on the part of these leaders and politicians and their inability to justify ruling over people does not help the overall situation. 

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