However, the ideal of a very liquid, transparent, and highly competetive (often turbulent) market being left to its own devices is one that makes sense to me.
I don't mean to be condescending when I explain concepts, but I have no idea what your background is.
Comparitive advantage and specialization:
Say Bubba, and Joe are on an island, and for now, assume that all they need are fish and apples to survive. Say Bubba needs 1 pound of apples, and a half a pound of fish, while Joe needs 2 pounds of apples, and 1 pound of fish to stay healthy.
Further assume that in a day of fishing, Bubba can get 2 pound of fish, or 2 pounds of apples. Assume that the splitting the work-day splits the results. So 1/2 days of fishing and apple collecting leads to 1 pound of fish and 1 pound of apples for Bubba.
Joe on the other had can get 4 pounds of apples/day or 1 pound of fish.
Say fish spoils in 1 day while apples spoil in 4 days.
Note that only Bubba can stay healthy by his own abilities (He's been on the island a while and is a good fisherman). However, based on higher needs and superior abilities that Joe is likely the stronger of the two.
However, Joe proposes the following deal:
Bubba will fish for the day, and Joe will collect apples.
Bubba will give 1 pound of fish to Joe in exchange for 2 pound of apples.
Note, that this deal is basically subsitance living for Joe, however, Bubba can survive on his own, and is distrustful of this stranger.
On his own, Bubba can full-full his needs and either have 1/2 a pound of fish, or half a pound of apples left-over at the end of the day, a nice buffer for other needs that comes up during the day.
Since fish spoil so quickly, taking this deal will essentially just keep gving him more apples at the end of the day. Bubba is going to get "rich" off this deal.
Bubba takes the deal. He becomes like a "boss."
Joe struggles to meet his quota for this same "deal," as he uses up what he collects and trades for each day, but he is happy to be alive.
Bubba sees Joe struggling but spots how physically able he is. He realizes he can trade pound for pound on apples, and Joe will either have a pound of apples extra or free time.
He also, has a stock pile of apples that will last him three days, and fish to last him 1 day (including trading with Joe).
In addition, Bubba has worked out a plan for a fish-farming mechanism that will gain him 10 pounds of fish a day with only minor amounts of maintenance (Don't ask me how). It will take him 3 solid days to build this mechanism (otherwise he has to start over), but with Joe's help he can get it done in 1. He is getting old, and would like to simply rest and relax in old age, and see this as an opportunity.
There is a lot of work involved, and it will be hard to convince Joe, who is busy meeting his own needs.
So he proposes the following "loan" (which Bubba will be paying for the rest of his life):
Bubba will give a pound of fish, and 2 pounds of apples to Joe as a "down-payment" to get Joe to help with the fish farm, from them on (Bubba is old remember) he will give 1 pound of fish to Joe each day.
This is enough incentive for Joe to help Bubba for this mysterious fish farm, since he will only really need to make the "deal" with Bubba when he feels like it.
Being lazy, and a good apple picker, he no longer seeks to make the orignial deal with Bubba each day. He simply works half-days to get what he needs, and lives fat off of the loan from the old man, Bubba.
Bubba is annoyed, since now he is working half-days collecting apples, instead of being completely financially free, like he wanted and has all this extra fish (He is wise, and realeases unused ones to keep some balance in the island ecosystem, but that's beside the point).
After some time, he thinks up an apple picking machine, that will get 10 pounds of apples with minimal maintancence work on the machine (again, don't ask me how), and with the free time, he could do it, but he may be dead from old age by the time it finishes. With Joe's help again (Joe is younger and stronger), it could be done within a couple of years.
There is no way he wants to take out another loan from Joe, and there probably isn't anything in particular Bubba can offer in compensation to convince Joe, so he decides to make him a partner of sorts instead.
It is difficult pitching this apple picker idea to Joe; Joe doesn't see the point initially--he already only works half days, and is now being asked to work full days again for years.
Bubba points out that it would end-up with both of them working only a little amount for well into the future, and that Joe (since he is younger) will have more to gain from this. He finally decides to give Joe the larger portion of the equity, and agrees to take only 20% of the yeild from the apple picker.
Eventually, they agree, build the apple picker. Joe gets 8 pounds of apples each day from the picker, and 1 pound of fish each day from his loan with Bubba.
Bubba nets 9 pounds of fish (most of which he lets go), and 2 pounds of apples a day based off his ventures.
But Bubba is more well-off because; he is set for life. But once bubba dies, Joe will have to spend his entire day fishing to survive.