The notion that markets lead to law and freedom is said to have originated in Adam Smith's work and rooted in history. Both the progression and roots seem highly problematic. Neo-Smithian approaches have been refurbished by general acceptance of a contingent nature of the relation. They have also been enhanced by the failures of European Marxist economics in ways predicted with uncanny accuracy. On the other hand, neo-classical claims of democratic welfare system were only a step away from similar failures, which have been refuted. Hopes that an international system might impose democracy from outside the nation-state are overly optimistic. Nationalism is rife, with a continuing outburst of ethnic secessions, and little yielding of power to supra-national decision-makers. The greatest success of supra-national authority has been in creating subsidiary structures, unlikely to implement fundamental transformation, but with potential for supporting such a thrust. These include expert-based operations, and the network of NGOs.
"Do Free Markets Create Free Societies?,"
Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce: Vol. 33
, Article 12.
Available at: http://surface.syr.edu/jilc/vol33/iss1/12