We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Capitalism offers no grand vision of the future, for in an open market system the future is shaped not by the imposition of utopian blueprints, but by billions of people pursuing their own preferences.
Yep. Under control systems, people are forced to pursue the preferences of their supposed betters. I do not believe in "betters."
Socialists, to me, come across as would-be aristocrats, that is, as people who desire a guaranteed place in society.
And they project this desire onto everybody, in a benign way suggesting that the common people would rather live at a guaranteed level of prosperity, if only they knew better, and in a malign way saying that the entrepreneurs among us want to lord it over the common people and have laws rigged so that they stay rich forever.
Thanks for linking to Peter Saunders' essay. By chance, I already have Tom Sowell, Steven Pinker and Daniel Boorstin open on my desk to variations on the theme of "The Quest for Cosmic Justice," so one more excellent piece fits right in.
The present administration, whether Michelle's efforts to rearrange what everyone eats, or her husbands efforts to rearrange the rest of society send one back to the sources. And now there's Frank Dikotter's new book on Mao's Great Famine. They never learn. This time it will be different, right?
The Elephant's Child
It's quite simple, capitalism IS freedom!!
Free to do as you choose and free to exchange your economic abilities as you chose.
Why anti-capitalists are allowed to define capitalism is beyond me.
WHY do anti-capitalists hate freedom?
I've read a number of articles about choice of terms and how the choice of terms can shape debate. Relevant point here: let's use the term "free enterprise" in place of "capitalism". I'm not sure who first used the term "capitalism" but I know it got co-opted by free enterprise's worst enemies and turned into a pejorative.
When people are free to transact as they think best, we get the most effective allocations of resources that's feasible and we get the greatest material good for the vast majority of participants. This isn't speculation; every poor nation on earth is a dictatorship with central control of economic resources. A plutocracy of the wealthy is as bad as a socialist nightmare.
The US has many wealthy people who do wield considerable power but we are no plutocracy. And people can become wealthy and powerful from humble roots by providing value. Yes, they'll have to work hard and innovate and be quick -- but it all comes to value.