The Free Market Monument Foundation

"The tragedy of the commons ... is averted by private property"

-- Garrett Hardin (1915-2003) American Ecologist and author of Tragedy of the Commons

Principles of the Free Market (Draft Version)
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1) Individual Rights: "We are each created with equal individual rights to control and to defend our life, liberty and property and to voluntary contractual exchange."

2) Limited Government: "Governments are instituted only to secure individual rights, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

3) Equal Justice Under Law: "Government must treat everyone equally; neither rewarding failure nor punishing success."

4) Subsidiarity: "Government authority must reside at the lowest feasible level."

5) Spontaneous Order: "When individual rights are respected, unregulated competition will maximize economic benefit for society by providing the most goods and services possible at the lowest cost."

6) Private Ownership: "Private ownership is the only just and the most efficient way to preserve and utilize the natural resources of our world."

7) The Golden Rule: "Deal with others honestly and require honesty in return."


Many free market and political organizations have issued statements of principle. Everyone has a slightly different idea of exactly what are the principles of the free market. The order in which they appear here is based roughly on the frequency with which these or similar principles are sited as necessary for functioning free markets.

Most statements of free market principles are more elaborate than these seven principles. We have attempted to reduce the principles of the free market to their minimal definition with scientific and legal precision.

These and similar principles form the foundations for the Declaration of Independence of the United States, the United States Constitution and many of it's amendments.

Here are some other opinions on economic principles for a free market:
Acton Institute Integrating Judeo-Christian Truths with Free Market Principles
Adam Smith's Principles as described by Helen Joyce
Americans for Prosperity Our Missions
Atlas Economic Research Foundation Mission & Vision
Cato Institute Individual liberty, Free markets, and Peace
Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies Our Purpose
Foundation for Economic Education Tradition
Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment Mission
Francisco de Vitoria and other Spanish Philosophers understood free market principles over 400 years ago. - The Independent institute
Free Market Foundation of South Africa Free market principles are derived from experience - not ideology
Frontiers of Freedom Institute The Ten Tenets
Heritage Foundation About Us
Institute of Economic Affairs About the IEA
Mackinac Center for Public Policy Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy
Toward the Laissez-Faire Republic The Essence of Liberty by David Nolan
Ludwig von Mises Institute About
The Mont Pelerin Society Statement of Aims
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Ten Principles for a Black Swan-robust world
Students in Free Enterprise, University of Rio Grande Principles of Free Enterprise
Volkan Ertit, Atlas Economic Research Foundation Islamic Practices and Free Market Principles
WikiAnswers What are the basic principles of a free market?