Mapping the world's opinions

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Does the marketplace of ideas work? Show more Show less

It is said that truth is found where opinions intersect. The marketplace of ideas is the figurative town thoroughfare where zealots and intellectuals barter, subjecting their ideas to the gauntlet of public debate. Much how the best goods and services may rise to the top in a free market economy through innovation and competition, truth and the soundest ideas and philosophies may rise to prominence through rigorous and honest questioning. But is it really that simple? Does it work?

No, the marketplace of ideas does not work Show more Show less

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Intellectual oligopoly

An unregulated market economy disproportionately benefits a select few and so does an unregulated market of ideas.
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The Argument

A laissez-faire market can be fertile ground for monopolies and oligopolies to overcome market forces and choke out competition. This is a fact of markets that merits regulation to maintain a level field. This is so in the field of ideas as well. Left unchecked, oversimplified, hateful, and factually wrong ideas may grow rapidly and be widely accepted as doctrine or fact to the detriment of society.

Counter arguments

The case can be made that unfettered politicians and companies will be able to spread disinformation to win over the public, but this will be the case regardless of how much regulation exists. Politicians will lie and companies will lobby.



Rejecting the premises


Further Reading


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    This page was last edited on Thursday, 2 Apr 2020 at 09:30 UTC