The concept of the free market and emerged division of labor allows an individual to put his money, the results of his labor, where that individual chooses. Through that choice of investment, the individual gets to prioritize the goods and services that he finds most valuable. By choosing to invest in services he finds most valuable, he, in a significant way, votes for the continued availability of those services.
Even if the values, and from those values resulting the products and services, that an individual aspires to are not represented in a free market, the individual has the option of creating those products and services that can be of value to him. If the services are of value to others, then those can be exchanged in a free market system. They can be shared or traded for profit. If they are not wanted by other individuals, then that individual can create his own and seek his own fulfillment, but by not being recognized as important by others, he may need to sacrifice the potential profits that can be acquired by participating in a trade that is more valued by others. He may need to live a life of poverty in order to live out those values which are most important to that individual.
With free markets, the values of any given individual are not guaranteed to exist in an economy. That individual can build them and bring them into the world. Without free markets, the values of any given individual are not guaranteed to ever manifest in the economy. When the individual’s interests are not manifested in the economy, there is no way to guarantee he can spend to acquire the services that individual finds most valuable.
Totalitarian systems necessarily rule out the option for each individual’s values to be represented in the economy. Totalitarian systems create values that represent the values of the collective. The system is responsible for creating the values for every individual that is a part of the economy, instead of each individual being allowed to have his own values which can then be pursued by that individual.
Collectivist economics necessarily leads to this totalitarianism. There is no way to represent the interests of every individual, because the values are prescribed from the central organization which creates the values and prioritizes the goods and services that will be produced.
The goal of a collectivist economy is to manifest the wants of the individuals in control. These may represent the majority, and they may represent a small group of idealists. Those are prioritized over the wants and wishes of each individual. The wants and wishes of the individuals with different values have to wait until the other goals are accomplished by the collective.
If universal healthcare is desired by the majority, and resources and capital are spent to make universal health accessible, then the individual that values art will have to wait until universal health is accessible to everyone, and he will have to work towards universal healthcare. Only when that is accomplished will the collective then be able to get to work on other values. That could be art, or it could be housing and transportation infrastructure. No one individual gets to decide what he can work on.
The free market allows each individual to live out his own values, and to vote on what matters to him. A man can be an artist and risk not making money while he does what he loves. Another can choose to buy art. Another can buy health services. It is the free market that allows this free decision making.
In summary, free markets are the only viable form of long-term democratic representation for the following reasons:
- Totalitarianism necessarily rules out democratic representation.
- Collectivist economics necessarily leads to totalitarianism.
- Free markets put individual investment where people want.