What is your definition of the market?
There’s more than one definition, because the word can be used as different parts of speech.
- Used as a verb (most important usage IMHO): Shameless self-promotion. “In the market economy you have to market yourself.”
- Used as a noun: A setting in which marketing takes place, i.e. supermarket, meat market, flea market, stock market, etc.
- Used as a modifier: A market basket, a market economy, etc. Market economy advocates tend to offer two antonyms for the adjective “market”, namely “command” and “planned.” Naturally, they use these terms interchangeably, so as to give the idea of a planned economy a bad name. Anagorism rejects the idea that “market” is the opposite of “command,” (and by extension, the idea that “planned” is synonymous with “command”) as “demand” (including market demand) is a concept that belongs somewhere between “request” and “command,” and probably a little closer to the latter. Another rhetorical trick of the right is to use the terms “planned economy” and “centrally planned economy” interchangeably; as a way of summarily dismissing the possibility of a decentrally planned economy.
Now to answer the question in more of what I think is the spirit in which it was asked. I apologize if it seems more like a description than a definition: The market is a complex system based loosely on equilibrium, somewhat like the weather. Like the weather, it is a source of precarity and danger in the lives of people, although the forces it controls can sometimes be used in the satisfaction of wants. It is an amoral agent, most likely an unconscious agent. Since humanity still lacks a systematic understanding of its processes, it is assumed by some to be omnipotent (its outcomes are treated as non-negotiable, like physics), omniscient (“prices incorporate all information”) and/or omnibenevolent (the best of all possible worlds), and a quasi-mystical claim (certainly a claim of transcendence) that allocation can be perfectly calculated by the market, while the market is ineffable and cannot be computed or modeled. Anagorism questions these claims.