One of the currently more fashionable doctrines proclaims the practical and, indeed the moral virtues of the so-called free market. Greater use of free-market institutions, it is held, will not only resolve many of our economic problems but also contribute to the well-being of the population at large by allowing to individuals a greater degree of freedom and control over their own lives and developing qualities of independence, self-reliance, intelligence, frankness and self-respect corroded by other modes of arranging our affairs.