Capitalism is the social system of peace, prosperity, and progress.
Capitalism is the social system based on individual rights, with a free-market operating under objective law.
The term capitalism is used here in the broader philosophical, political sense (social system), and not in the narrower economic sense (market economy). In capitalism, the government’s job is not to regulate the individual’s affairs, but to act as an impartial referee, who equally protects the right to life of all individuals by banning the initiation of physical force (and fraud) from all relationships, leaving the individual free to determine the course of their own life.
Politically, a capitalist is an advocate of capitalism.
Economically, a ‘capitalist’ is someone with wealth to invest, but politically, a capitalist is an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism. For example, though economically Ayn Rand — author of Atlas Shrugged — is a novelist, politically she was the 20th century’s greatest advocate of capitalism. Or, though economically Frederick Engels was a factory owner, politically — as co-author of The Communist Manifesto — Engels is a socialist/communist because of his ideas.
The battle for capitalism is a moral one.
The battle over capitalism is not just an argument over wealth; it is a philosophical one over the individual’s inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of their happiness.
For an overview of the philosophical, ethical, political, legal, and economic nature of capitalism. The Capitalism Tour (estimated time 6 minutes) is the most popular feature of this site. The rest of this site assumes you are familiar with the material provided in the tour.
Capitalism is not just an economic system (the free-market) that can be grafted onto any political-legal structure but is an integrated social system. The economy of capitalism — the free market — depends on a specific legal (objective law), political (individual rights), and ethical (rational self-interest) foundation. It is this foundation that makes individuals free in their economic (material) affairs and personal (spiritual) affairs as well.
Common questions and answers on capitalism organized by category.