The Black Market Cannot Be Dominated

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Pablo Edronkin

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People buy and sell anything on the black market either for profit or survival; these are two motives so powerful that to authority could reasonably expect to eliminate all actors in such a scenario.

There are several examples of purely-for-profit actions in different kinds of black markets like the trade of narcotics, conflict diamonds, weapons and even alcohol that show profusely that no action by part of any government can erase such transactions completely. Even if violence is applied on the crackdown there will always be someone willing to take the risk and play hard against any sort of law for a good profit that is increased as the risk also rises. Reality shows that: After hundreds of deaths and crimes related to the prohibition law, the government of the United States - the most powerful country on Earth - had to surrender to the fact that people would still drink alcohol, no matter what. Not even the Japanese empire could stand against the might of the U.S. as well as the folks who would like to get drunk sometimes.

On the other hand, when people wants to survive only by killing each individual going into the black market a government has any hope of controlling it, and since it is impossible to commit genocide up to a hundred percent efficiency - morals aside - it becomes obvious that attempts to control the black market are in fact utopian ideas. Survivors go to deal into the black market because they have to satisfy needs that are not possible to satisfy o the open market.

In other words, the only possible way to really minimise a black market is to provide a truly free market economy.

And to see what people are predisposed to do regarding the black market, let me tell you a story of my own family: In 1945 my grandmother was in a town near Warsaw; she got notice that my grandfather was alive in Italy. He had one to fight in the war in 1945 and after some complicated tribulations, he ended being part of the occupation allied force in Italy. So, my grandmother talked to one of her black market contacts, a soviet NCO who by then was seriously lamenting that he received notice of demobilisation and had to return to the USSR because he had a prosperous black market venture going on in the town, and he arranged for some guides in Krakow to make her cross into the Czech Republic and then to Germany. Her idea was to reach Rome.

Both my mother and my uncle, that by then were in their early teens told me that one afternoon, my grandmother went to the local church, talked to the priest and left with some papers. She went back home and told both her children to grab something for a walk, a coat and some candies, and off she went without telling anyone. She simply vanished with her kids.

They took a train to Krakow and there they found the guides that made them cross the border among the searchlights, dogs and rifles of the soldiers and guards that had standing orders to shoot and kill anything or anyone moving there. They reached Prague, then Munich and finally Rome, where they met my grandfather again.

So, my grandmother's choice was to be shot at, attacked by dogs, entangled in barbed wire and get frozen in the European winter rather than stay, and she achieved to escape from what was then becoming the Iron Curtain thanks to the black market alone . Human initiative is the red line for any sort of rules and regulations.

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