On Freedom and International Marketing, Part 2: Linkages between Two Dimensions

This is one of the published series on the linkages between freedom and international marketing.

International marketing contains the freedom of almost unlimited growth potential. Activities confined to domestic borders may well run into limits of expansion. International market opportunities relax these limits quickly. Instead of restrictions, the international marketing paradigm encourages the stripping away of restraints; instead of limitations, there is the encounter of opportunity.

Freedom also means not being forced to do something one does not want to do. There are economic migration pressures that force people to move from their rural homes into urban areas or from their developing countries into industrialized ones. Industrialized nations, in turn, speak about immigration pressure. For both sides, little if any freedom is involved here. Most individuals who do the moving would much rather stay home but cannot afford to do so due to economic exigencies. The recipient countries might not want to welcome the migrants but do so in response to political and humanitarian pressures. International marketing may have been part of what triggered some of these migrations, but it also can be instrumental in stemming the tide. It can provide the economic opportunity for individuals at home so that they need not migrate. Thus, it lets individuals become productive contributors to the global economy free from pressures to shift locations.

When the long-standing rivalry between socialism and market orientation was resolved, market forces and the recognition of demand and supply directly affected human rights and the extent of freedom. With all humility and gratefulness we can conclude: Markets were right! In country after country, market forces have demonstrated typically greater efficiency and effectiveness in their ability to satisfy the needs of people.

International marketing has been instrumental in stimulating these newly emerging market forces. In spite of complaints about the slowness of change, the insufficiency of wealth redistribution, and the inequities inherent in societal upheavals, a large majority of participants in market-oriented changes are now better off than they were before. Without the transition provided by international marketing, these changes would not have come about that swiftly.

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