Laissez-faire

laissez fairelaissez-faire capitalismlaissez-faire economicsfree market capitalismfree-market capitalismlaisser-fairelaisser faireLaissez faire, laissez passerliberallaissez-faire'' capitalism
Laissez-faire (from laissez faire) is an economic system in which transactions between private parties are absent any form of government intervention such as regulation, privileges, imperialism, tariffs and subsidies.wikipedia
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Capitalism

capitalistcapitalistscapitalistic
Laissez-faire capitalism started being practiced in the mid-18th century and was further popularized by Adam Smith's book The Wealth of Nations.
These include laissez-faire or free-market capitalism, welfare capitalism and state capitalism.

Economic system

economyeconomic systemseconomic
Laissez-faire (from laissez faire) is an economic system in which transactions between private parties are absent any form of government intervention such as regulation, privileges, imperialism, tariffs and subsidies.
Capitalist systems range from laissez-faire, with minimal government regulation and state enterprise, to regulated and social market systems, with the aims of ameliorating market failures (see economic intervention) or supplementing the private marketplace with social policies to promote equal opportunities (see welfare state), respectively.

Invisible hand

The Invisible HandAdam Smithinvisible hand of the market
Smith first used the metaphor of an invisible hand in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) to describe the unintentional effects of economic self-organization from economic self-interest.
The idea of trade and market exchange automatically channeling self-interest toward socially desirable ends is a central justification for the laissez-faire economic philosophy, which lies behind neoclassical economics.

Adam Smith

SmithA SmithAdam Smith’s
Laissez-faire capitalism started being practiced in the mid-18th century and was further popularized by Adam Smith's book The Wealth of Nations.
Physiocrats were opposed to mercantilism, the dominating economic theory of the time, illustrated in their motto Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même! (Let do and let pass, the world goes on by itself!).

Great Famine (Ireland)

Great FamineIrish Potato FamineGreat Irish Famine
The Great Famine in Ireland in 1845 led to the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846.
Longer-term causes included the system of absentee landlordism and single-crop dependence, and the impact of the blight was exacerbated by government laissez-faire capitalism economic policy, common in the world at that time though in the case of Ireland in the mid-19th century, this was tempered by some interventionist policies also.

Physiocracy

Physiocratsphysiocratphysiocratic
Vincent de Gournay, a French Physiocrat and intendant of commerce in the 1750s, popularized the term laissez-faire as he allegedly adopted it from François Quesnay's writings on China.
One of the integral parts of physiocracy, laissez faire, was adopted from Quesnay's writings on China, being a translation of the Chinese term wu wei.

Anne Robert Jacques Turgot

TurgotAnne-Robert-Jacques TurgotAnne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune
His ideas were taken up by François Quesnay and Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de l'Aulne.
(Gournay's bye-word on the government's proper involvement in the economy – "laisser faire, laisser passer" – would pass into the vocabulary of economics.) In 1760, while travelling in the east of France and Switzerland, he visited Voltaire, who became one of his chief friends and supporters.

Manchester Liberalism

Manchester SchoolManchesterismManchester capitalism
A group calling itself the Manchester Liberals, to which Richard Cobden and Richard Wright belonged, were staunch defenders of free trade and their work was carried on after the death of Cobden in 1866 by the Cobden Club.
It expounded the social and economic implications of free trade and laissez-faire capitalism.

Jacques Claude Marie Vincent de Gournay

Vincent de GournayJacques C. M. V. de Gournay
Vincent de Gournay, a French Physiocrat and intendant of commerce in the 1750s, popularized the term laissez-faire as he allegedly adopted it from François Quesnay's writings on China.
Some historians of economics believe that he coined the phrase laissez faire, laissez passer.

George Whatley

George Whatley's 1774 Principles of Trade (co-authored with Benjamin Franklin) re-told the Colbert-LeGendre anecdote—this may mark the first appearance of the phrase in an English-language publication.
Whatley was the author of Principles of Trade, published in 1774, which expounded the benefits of laissez faire economics, which is similar in concept to free trade.

Classical liberalism

classical liberalliberalclassical liberals
The doctrine of laissez-faire became an integral part of 19th-century European liberalism.
Hayek also rejected the label laissez-faire as originating from the French tradition and alien to the beliefs of Hume and Smith.

François Quesnay

QuesnayFrancois Quesnay François Quesnay
Vincent de Gournay, a French Physiocrat and intendant of commerce in the 1750s, popularized the term laissez-faire as he allegedly adopted it from François Quesnay's writings on China. His ideas were taken up by François Quesnay and Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de l'Aulne.
The phrase laissez-faire, coined by fellow Physiocrat Vincent de Gournay, is postulated to have come from Quesnay's writings on China.

Bernard Mandeville

Bernard de MandevilleMandevillede Mandeville, Bernard
Although not the metaphor itself, the idea lying behind the invisible hand belongs to Bernard de Mandeville and his Fable of the Bees (1705).
Mandeville's qualification of proper channelling further parts his philosophy from Smith's laissez-faire attitude.

Second Bank of the United States

Bank of the United Statesnational bankUnited States Bank
Notable examples of government intervention in the period prior to the American Civil War include the establishment of the Patent Office in 1802; the establishment of the Office of Standard Weights and Measures in 1830; the creation of the Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 and other measures to improve river and harbor navigation; the various Army expeditions to the west, beginning with Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery in 1804 and continuing into the 1870s, almost always under the direction of an officer from the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers and which provided crucial information for the overland pioneers that followed; the assignment of Army Engineer officers to assist or direct the surveying and construction of the early railroads and canals; and the establishment of the First Bank of the United States and Second Bank of the United States as well as various protectionist measures (e.g. the tariff of 1828).
Simultaneously, the national bank was engaged in promoting a democratized expansion of credit to accommodate laissez-faire impulses among eastern business entrepreneurs and credit hungry western and southern farmers.

Ayn Rand

RandRand, AynRandian
A more recent advocate of total laissez-faire has been Objectivist Ayn Rand, who described it as "the abolition of any and all forms of government intervention in production and trade, the separation of State and Economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of Church and State".
In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights, including property rights.

Ronald Reagan

ReaganRonald W. ReaganPresident Reagan
Others, including Jefferson, view Bourgin's study, written in the 1940s and not published until 1989, as an over-interpretation of the evidence, intended originally to defend the New Deal and later to counter Ronald Reagan's economic policies.
Reagan implemented policies based on supply-side economics, advocating a laissez-faire philosophy and free-market fiscal policy, seeking to stimulate the economy with large, across-the-board tax cuts.

Mercantilism

mercantilistmercantilemercantilists
When the eager mercantilist minister asked how the French state could be of service to the merchants and help promote their commerce, Le Gendre replied simply: "Laissez-nous faire" ("Leave it to us" or "Let us do [it]", the French verb not requiring an object).
Mercantilist regulations were steadily removed over the course of the 18th century in Britain, and during the 19th century, the British government fully embraced free trade and Smith's laissez-faire economics.

Objectivism (Ayn Rand)

ObjectivismObjectivistObjectivists
A more recent advocate of total laissez-faire has been Objectivist Ayn Rand, who described it as "the abolition of any and all forms of government intervention in production and trade, the separation of State and Economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of Church and State".
Objectivism's main tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception (see direct and indirect realism), that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness (see rational egoism), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans' metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

United KingdomBritishUK
However, The Economist campaigned against the Corn Laws that protected landlords in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland against competition from less expensive foreign imports of cereal products.
His financial policies, based on the notion of balanced budgets, low taxes and laissez-faire, were suited to a developing capitalist society but could not respond effectively as economic and social conditions changed.

Mixed economy

mixed economiesmixedmixed economic systems
Following the Civil War, the movement towards a mixed economy accelerated.
This contrasts with Laissez-faire capitalism, where state activity is limited to providing public goods and services as well as the infrastructure and legal framework to protect property rights and enforce contracts.

Conservatism in the United States

conservativeconservativesConservatism
Although her political views are often classified as conservative or libertarian, she preferred the term "radical for capitalism".
Conservative philosophy is also derived in part from the classical liberal tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries, which advocated for laissez-faire economics (i.e. economic freedom and deregulation).

Libertarianism

libertarianlibertarianslibertarian state
She denounced libertarianism, which she associated with anarchism.
In the mid-20th century, right-libertarian ideologies such as anarcho-capitalism and minarchism co-opted the term libertarianism to advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources.

Free market

free-marketfree enterprisefree markets
By extension, free markets become a reflection of the natural system of liberty.
Although laissez-faire has been commonly associated with capitalism, there is a similar economic theory associated with socialism called left-wing or socialist laissez-faire, or free-market anarchism, also known as free-market anti-capitalism and free-market socialism to distinguish it from laissez-faire capitalism.

Herbert Spencer

SpencerSpencerianSpencer, Herbert
Herbert Spencer was opposed to a slightly different application of laissez faire—to "that miserable laissez-faire" that leads to men's ruin, saying: Along with that miserable laissez-faire which calmly looks on while men ruin themselves in trying to enforce by law their equitable claims, there goes activity in supplying them, at other men's cost, with gratis novel-reading!

Richard Cobden

CobdenRichard Cob denRichard Cobden MP
A group calling itself the Manchester Liberals, to which Richard Cobden and Richard Wright belonged, were staunch defenders of free trade and their work was carried on after the death of Cobden in 1866 by the Cobden Club.
Cobden, and what was called "Cobdenism" and later identified with laissez-faire, was subjected to much criticism from the school of British economists who advocated protectionism, on the ideas of Alexander Hamilton and Friedrich List.