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Extend Commerce and You Extend Peace

Here’s a letter that I sent yesterday to the Washington Times:

War-making being the special talent of the state, Patrick McGinn sensibly predicts that war cannot be legislated away (Letters, January 30).  But he incorrectly argues that war reflects basic human nature in a world of scarce resources.  Virtually all resources are scarce, and yet when they are privately owned and tradable in free markets people seldom fight each other for access to them.  For example, my wife and I bought our house peacefully; we didn’t have to kill the previous owners to get inside.  So, too, with all of the other scarce things that we consume regularly – water, bread, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, hotel rooms, you name it: each of these things is scarce and in high demand, and yet people in market economies almost never fight for them.

Extend commerce and you extend peace.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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