Morality & Markets – Monopolies



The East India Company actually becomes an
Asian power. It has its own army, its own navy, and of
course, its own merchant ships are armed as well. In fact, it was one of the most powerful organizations
on earth. In Smith's day, the company accounted for
much of the world's trade and had its own army of almost 70,000 soldiers. It ruled all of India. So, the company is actually minting its own
coinage in India in order to strike some of its deals. So an official coat of arms and minting your
own coins, it seems like they're almost spontaneously, without intention, moving from being a company
to becoming a government. Absolutely, this is monopoly. The company has real power. So, this is company as government. The story of the East India Company highlights
how easy it is to divert public resources for private gain. If you think of Adam Smith's ideas of a free
market, of free trade- the Company is the absolute antithesis of that.

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