Since my blog strapline promotes capitalist acts for consenting adults, every now and then I like to answer the question: What is capitalism?
Don’t worry if you can’t answer the question yourself. Most of capitalism’s critics, and even many of its alleged supporters, can’t answer it very well themselves.
Capitalism is too often either confused for something else – cronyism, gangsterism, the hampered market – or blamed for iniquities engendered by the mixture of tonic and poison that is the mixed economy we live in, or damned for being immoral, destructive, alien to human life.
Such confusion is endemic.
So what is capitalism really? If you don’t know yet, no matter, because there’s more to the question than you might think, encompassing questions like:
- What is the essence of man’s nature?
- What is the fundamental basis for the concept of individual rights?
- How is capitalism consonant with man’s nature? Why are other social systems not consonant with it?
- Why is serving “the common good” not a sound principle for governing a free society?
- What are the different perspectives on “the good” and how do they inform people’s views on what constitutes a proper social system?
- What has been the ethical basis of all tyrannies in history?
- Who prospers on a free market?
- How does a free market unleash man’s creative abilities?
- What is so often misunderstood about progress under capitalism?
For answers to those questions, to help you answer the question yourself What is Capitalism, here are some pages to help you – and a neat talk by a great thinker.
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