Theorists have often heralded the first amendment as creating a neutral marketplace of ideas. Proponents of this model view the market as essential to our society's efforts to discover truth and foster effective popular participation in government. Professor Ingber asserts that the theoretical underpinnings of this model are based on assumptions of rational decisionmaking that are implausible in modern society. He insists that, in reality, the market is severely skewed in favor of an entrenched power structure and ideology. Professor Ingber explores efforts to reform and correct this market defect and finds them equally flawed. He concludes that the marketplace may fulfill its alleged functions only if we explore a theory of freedom of conduct; the market as it exists today simply fine-tunes differences among elites, while diffusing pressure for change by preserving a myth of personal autonomy needed to legitimate a governing system strongly biased toward the status quo.
The Marketplace of Ideas: A Legitimizing Myth,
1984 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol33/iss1/1