Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Thomas Horton

Second Advisor

Thomas Geu

Third Advisor

Gregory Huckabee


Antitrust, Locke, Morality, Law, Economic

Subject Categories

Antitrust and Trade Regulation | Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Economic Theory | Legal Theory


The United States is a nation steeped in values, and tradition. One of these values has always been the preservation of competition in the pursuit of liberty. The philosophical backing of America’s founding can be traced back to a handful of European thinkers, most notably John Locke. The connection between Locke, America’s founding, and continued struggles with antitrust enforcement are worthy of exploration. Though likely unintentional, rural communities have been left to deal with the impacts of weak antitrust enforcement in a number of key sectors. Chief of which is Agriculture. Consolidation is the new norm, with each stage of production becoming less and less competitive. This will no doubt have far-reaching economic effects, but the true damage is being done at a social level within these communities. It is more important now, than ever, to re-examine the founding principles of the United States and formulate a solution to predatory business practices no matter the size of their broader economic impact. In order to effectively enforce antitrust law it is imperative that a moral standard is introduced to traditional jurisprudence and a higher emphasis is placed on the social cost of business activities.



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