The essence of capitalism and the free market is freedom. People forget this fact, or never understood it in the first place. Yes, all transactions that take place under laissez faire (pure “hands off”) capitalism are voluntary, which means no force or coercion is involved. Transactions only happen when both parties choose to be involved by their own free will. This is called the Freedom of Association, from our 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The proper function of the govt is to protect our rights, not to violate them by inserting itself into transactions and using force or threat of force to control them (see the Declaration of Independence). This is precisely why capitalism is moral, and why govt control via force is not!
Freedom is moral, and the moral is the practical. America became richest nation on earth because it was the freest (but it no longer is the freest). A nation’s prosperity is proportional to its freedom. Most Americans take their rights and freedoms for granted. This means that they are not fully aware of these rights, nor do they truly understand them. For example, crony capitalism (the politics of “pull”) is fascism. It is not capitalism. How many Americans know this? We are slowly losing our rights and freedoms because we do not fully understand what rights are–and are not! The Democrats have gone full collectivist (socialism, fascism, communism) in the past few years. Collectivism necessarily involves govt initiation of force which is immoral, and we are currently on the road to a collectivist dictatorship in America. Unless we change our nation’s course, we will arrive there sooner rather than later. Beware!
Capitalism did not cause poverty as the anti-capitalists claim. It inherited it. What capitalism did for the first time in history was to unleash the wealth creators by simply respecting their individual rights. Do you understand the gravity of what this means? Do you understand the significance of it in of history? The United States is the only nation founded on the principles of individual rights, and that is why–in its original founding principles–it is the only moral nation on earth. It was (past tense) a morally legitimate govt because it was approved by “we the people” (“deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”). Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than all other systems combined! It is the political-economic system of individual freedom, and that is why it is moral. Note that the anti-capitalists are logically advocating human poverty, misery, and suffering by virtue of their anti-capitalist position. But, I do not believe that most of them actually mean it. They hold their views because they misunderstand the true nature of capitalism.
The profit motive (to come out ahead compared to where you were before) is essential to human survival. In any transaction both parties expect to profit. They expect it to be a win-win situation because both parties are pursuing their happiness. No one expects to lose, or they wouldn’t participate. Live and let live! When the govt redistributes wealth regardless of the motive, it violates the property rights of the person who earned the money. Without property rights no other rights are possible. Without property rights one cannot pursue one’s happiness, and therefore he is not free. The original American system was supposed to be one of laissez faire capitalism. (See the Constitution.) This means no economic intervention, interference, or regulations by govt. No initiation of force–especially by govt–because only “through the initiation of force or fraud” can an individual right be violated. The govt can properly use force only in retaliation against those who initiate it. When the govt initiates the use of force, coercion, or fraud, it thereby becomes immoral.
When the govt plays “God” to allegedly advance the “public interest” (which no one ever specifically defines), it itself becomes the gravest threat to individual rights and freedom. According to our Declaration of Independence, it is then appropriate for “we the people” to change or abolish that govt and to establish a new one which will respect our individual rights. That is why it is crucial for “we the people” to understand the meaning of the concept of individual rights, and to understand why America, in its original founding principles, was great–both morally and practically. A lack of this awareness and understanding of rights is the reason why we are currently on the road to a collectivist dictatorship. Beware! Your children will NOT live in freedom.
BTW, the principles of the Constitution are still and will always be valid, even if some of the specifics have become dated. (Most of the ideas in this commentary came from A New Textbook of Americanism, the Politics of Ayn Rand.)
Morality of Free Markets