The Market as a Space for Building a Peaceful Society

Originally published in Peace Review

Social life can take on a variety of forms – some violent, others peaceful. One type of social arrangement that is especially conducive to peace are friendships, that is, relationships based on mutual trust and dependence. The market is one important but often neglected space where we can practice habits of peacefulness and develop friendships. Markets are social spaces where peaceful societies are built. Although the market is indeed a space for the economic exchange of property rights, it is also a local, national, and international space for sociality and extraeconomic conversation that crosses narrow friendship lines. Through our participation in markets, we participate in the moral strivings of both our neighbors and folks far flung, and we connect with people we might otherwise have no occasion to know.

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