83 Baker Street, London, W1U 6AG, UK +44 (0)20 7025 5143
Our philosophy in business is as simple as Frédéric Bastiat’s unforgettable observation: “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will”.
As social creatures by nature, human beings can never live alone or be self-sufficient. In order to prosper, we need to cooperate and do business with each other.
The need for cooperation and exchange reflects the fact that each of us is skilled in only one or a very limited number of professions.
The particular foods, goods or services we can produce on our own, though limited in quantity, are usually far greater than our own demand for that production.
But such self-produced goods or services can never be as versatile as our various demands for all the things we may need in life.
So we have to exchange our productions with those people who produce other things we need. Markets are the only place that allow us to achieve this goal effectively and peacefully.
Throughout history, markets (just like languages) have evolved, quite spontaneously and without any one person’s calculated design, to accommodate our vital needs for exchange and cooperation.
We take this for granted that markets are the only place and mechanism that allow people (total strangers who have never met before) to voluntarily exchange their goods and services, and thereby unknowingly work for each other's benefits, and add value to one another’s lives.
As such, markets are not only an effective means of advancing productivity and prosperity in society, but also an indispensable institution of peaceful cooperation between individuals and nations.
In fact, markets have made us civilized creatures who, instead of looting and plundering each other’s properties, negotiate among ourselves peacefully, and make bonds and contracts on the basis of consent, mutual benefit, and agreement.
So the more the flow of free and voluntary exchange between people is disrupted, and the more the spontaneous order of the markets are distorted by coercive regulations and prohibitions, the less room is left for mutual agreement based on consent.
When the natural flow and order of markets are totally disrupted, war and violence become inevitable. Obviously, the wise French economist and philosopher, Bastiat, had clear reasons to warn us that: “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will”.
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