Set Trade Free

Dave Killion — March 21, 2011

On each side of the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, DC is one of a pair of sculptures entitled Man Controlling Trade. I have never seen them in person, but from the photos I’ve seen they look to be powerful works. The few people I’ve shown the images to have all been libertarians, who I think see these very differently from non-libertarians.


The usual first reaction is marvel at the portrayal of strength and struggle, but more interesting is the response once my fellow libertarians find out the name of the pieces. Each one of them gets a sad smile, and shakes his head at how so many misunderstand not only the proper relationship between man and trade, but also the harm that comes from man attempting to dominate and direct such a powerful force.

To a libertarian, this doesn’t look like man controlling trade. It looks like ‘Man Abusing Trade’.



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