Laissez-faire  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Laissez-faire is an economic system in which transactions between private parties are absent of any form of government intervention such as regulation and subsidies. As a system of thought, laissez-faire rests on the following axioms:

  1. The individual is the basic unit in society.
  2. The individual has a natural right to freedom.
  3. The physical order of nature is a harmonious and self-regulating system.
  4. Corporations are creatures of the state and therefore the citizens must watch them closely due to their propensity to disrupt the Smithian spontaneous order.

These axioms constitute the basic elements of laissez-faire thought. Another basic principle holds that markets should be competitive, a rule that the early advocates of laissez-faire always emphasized. With the aims of maximizing freedom and of allowing markets to self-regulate, early advocates of laissez-faire proposed a impĂ´t unique, a tax on land rent to replace all taxes that they saw as damaging welfare by penalizing production.

Proponents of laissez-faire argue for a complete separation of government from the economic sector. Laissez-faire capitalism started being practiced in the mid-18th century and was further popularized by Adam Smith's book The Wealth of Nations.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Laissez-faire" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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