Great article for those blaming the current financial crisis on “capitalism” a concept the accusers probably can’t even define.
Capitalism is a political system designed to fully protect private property rights and voluntary business transactions.
Or according to dictionary.com:
capitalism/ An economic and political system characterized by a free market for goods and services and private control of production and consumption.
It’s a black and white state of affairs. Either you protect people’s property rights or you don’t. Once property rights or voluntary transaction freedoms have been violated, then the extent of this violation becomes irrelevant (in the context of political systems classification).
The following are symptoms of a mixed economy, not capitalism:
a central bank, medicare, state schools, welfare, every income or capital tax, tax rebates and grants, regulations, price controls, tarriffs, building restrictions, etc etc ad nauseum.
True capitalism has not existed anywhere in the world during the 20th century or arguably in any period of human history. But it’s no secret that this un-tested system is hated and feared by many especially the churches and governments of the world. Watch any Disney movie, the rich guy is evil and hated.
Today’s western world governments are “mixed economy” systems that some like me would argue are actually more leaning towards socialism than capitalism.
In the words of Ayn Rand:
‘One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.’
–Ayn Rand, The Voice Reason
‘If a detailed, factual study were made of all those instances in the history of American industry which have been used by the statists as an indictment of free enterprise and as an argument in favor of a government-controlled economy, it would be found that the actions blamed on businessmen were caused, necessitated, and made possible only by government intervention in business. The evils, popularly ascribed to big industrialists, were not the result of an unregulated industry, but of government power over industry. The villain in the picture was not the businessman, but the legislator, not free enterprise, but government controls.’
–Ayn Rand, “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”