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Laissez-faire capitalism

Laissez-faire capitalism is, roughly stated, the doctrine that the free market functions to the greatest good when left unfettered and unregulated by government.

Historically the term 'Laissez-faire' was first used in the 1700s by French physiocrats in opposition to mercantilism. Later it was popularized by being taken out of context from the works of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.

See also: libertarianism, capitalism.

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