Contrary to what we learn in school, the free market is not a system in which people try to get to the top by kicking one's neighbors down.
A true free market is a distributed network. People living in a distributed economic system will not feel the need to kick down neighbors.
In such a society, people are more likely to reach out a hand to help a neighbor that to kick out a boot to hurt a neighbor.
It is in a top-down structured social hierarchy of feudalism and socialism that people start feeling the need to kick down one's neighbors in the grub for the limited number of top seated social position.
The American pioneer experience was one in which people were more willing to lend out a hand on a personal level.
The modern dialectical method (Hegel, Marx, Popper, Chomsky, Soros) teaches that one must dominate or perish. When we accept this modern dialectics, we become a base and ugly people.
In the free market envisioned by classical liberals and US Founders, free people had property rights. They would seeking to make the most of their property would do so by finding ways to help others.
Modern capitalism was created by Marx in his tome "Das Kapital." Das Kapital turned the equations upside down. Marx's "Das Kapital" changed the discussion from one about free people owning property rights to one about a ruling elite leveraging the capital system to dominate markets.
Look around at America today!!!! We are clearly not in a free market. There are very few people who are directly engaged in the process of developing their personal property. There is a ruling elite in the financial system.
Above all, America is not longer a strong distributed social network in our communities.
Most American workers are pigeon-holed in jobs with a vertical top-down political network.
I look at the business world in Salt Lake. All I see are mean, nasty people who spend their days kicking each other down.
BTW, I've been working on the Community Color sites for almost ten years. In ten years, there has not been a single person from Utah who's asked what I was doing or why I was doing it.
I've tried going to meetings to bring up the project, and people would get extremely hostile.
I am a mathematician, the goal of this project was to encourage people to think of the local web as a distributed social network. I realized that if people did not actively engage in the Internet as a distributed network that it would devolve into a top down structured network with only a few dominate players at the top and the rest languishing.