Capitalism is the ideal social system

Take the 5-minute capitalism tour to learn why capitalism is not just the wealth-creating economic system but is the ideal social system because of its’ legal, political, and ethical foundation.

“No politico-economic system in history has ever proved its value so eloquently or has benefited mankind so greatly as capitalism—and none has ever been attacked so savagely, viciously, and blindly. The flood of misinformation, misrepresentation, distortion, and outright falsehood about capitalism is such that the young people of today have no idea (and virtually no way of discovering any idea) of its actual nature.” — AYN RAND

What is capitalism?

Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. — AYN RAND

Politically, capitalism is the social system of individualism (as opposed to collectivism). Legally, capitalism is a system of objective law (as opposed to an arbitrary, rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production and trade, its result is the free-market. Underlying these three pillars is the moral philosophy of capitalism: rational self-interest.


What is a capitalist?

Politically, a capitalist is a principled advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, regardless of how economically rich or poor they are.

Within the specialized domain of economics, a person who invests capital in a business concern is recognized as a capitalist, regardless of whether one advocates capitalism politically or not, e.g., Frederique Engels, Warren Buffet, and George Soros are economically capitalists.

More broadly, that is philosophically and politically, only an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism is as a capitalist, e.g., philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand is politically a capitalist, whereas factory-owner Frederique Engels (co-author with Karl Marx of The Communist Manifesto) who advocated communism is politically anti-capitalist. Though economically Frederique Engels came from a wealthy background, politically he is recognized as a socialist/communist because of his ideas.

Similarly, billionaires Warren Buffet, Ted Turner and George Soros — can be economically compartmentalized as capitalists — but philosophically they are not capitalists as they do not advocate capitalism on principle, but are advocates of “mixed economy” statism (capitalism combined with anti-capitalist elements) to various degrees. Soros being more anti-capitalist than Buffet. Engels being more anti-capitalist than both.

Soros, like billionaire Ted Turner and politician Elizabeth Warren, is a “socialist at heart.”


Why should I care?

The battle for capitalism is a moral one on which the fate of civilization hangs in the balance.

Capitalism is not just an economic system (the free-market) that can be grafted onto any political structure; it is an integrated social system with a specific, non-contradictory legal (objective law), political (individual rights), and ethical (rational self-interest) foundation.

The fruits of capitalism — peace, progress, and human flourishing — are only made possible by the intellectual roots and practical branches that make up the tree.

If one attempts to dig up the roots, chop at the trunk, and hack off those branches — that is, to change the structure of capitalism to its opposite (collectivism-statism, “rule of man,” the sacrifice of individual rights for the “common good”, etc.) — one faces the danger of killing off the tree.

The purpose of is to clear up the misinformation by the enemies and “friends” of capitalism, and to educate those individuals who seek to “save,” “improve,” and “reform” capitalism according to the altruist-collectiviststatist philosophies of capitalism’s enemies.

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.

The battle for capitalism is a moral one on which the fate of civilization hangs in the balance. It is not merely a discussion that can be left to intellectuals in ivory towers, mobs in the street, or talking heads in the press. It is a matter of individual “selfish” importance; of life and death: your life and your death.

It is a battle in which no thinking individual — who chooses to live — may abstain.


Where do I begin?

Start with the Capitalism Tour.

First take the Capitalism Tour, which provides a short, visually stimulating introduction to the foundations of capitalism. The Capitalism Tour is the most popular feature of this site.

Secondly, review the Essentials of Capitalism, which covers the intellectual pillars of capitalism in ethics, politics, and law and their practical economic and cultural results.

Thirdly, browse the Capitalism FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions about Capitalism) which defines concepts related to capitalism, and answers several common objections to capitalism.

Finally, you can browse the articles in our sister publication, Capitalism Magazine, browse the Capitalism Library to discover books written primarily from a pro-capitalist perspective, and sign up for our free newsletter.

Capitalism Tour

For an in-depth presentation on the philosophical, ethical, political, legal, and economic foundations of capitalism take the Capitalism Tour.

The Essentials of Capitalism

Capitalism is an integrated social system with specific economic, legal, political, and ethical dependencies.


Ethics: Rational Self Interest

Capitalism is the social system that leaves the individual free to be moral — free to act by reason in the pursuit of one’s self-interest (happiness).

Politics: Individualism

Politically, capitalism is the social system of laissez-faire that regards the individual as a sovereign, independent being with an inalienable right to their own life.

Legal System: Objective Law

Legally, capitalism operates under a rule of objective law (as opposed to an arbitrary rule of man) whose fundamental purpose is the protection of individual rights.

Economics: The Free Market

Economically, when freedom under a rule of objective law is applied to the sphere of production and trade, its result is the free-market.

Culture: Peace, Progress and Human Flourishing

Culturally, when freedom is applied to personal relationships, the arts, technology, and the sciences, it leads to human flourishing, peace, and progress.

One of the most revolutionary and powerful works on capitalism—and on politics—that has ever been published.”—Barron’s magazine

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand

"By their silence—by their evasion of the clash between capitalism and altruism—it is capitalism's alleged champions who are responsible for the fact that capitalism is being destroyed without a hearing, without a trial, without any public knowledge of its principles, its nature, its history, or its moral meaning. It is being destroyed in the manner of a nightmare lynching—as if a blind, despair-crazed mob were burning a straw man, not knowing that the grotesquely deformed bundle of straw is hiding the living body of the ideal."

"The method of capitalism's destruction rests on never letting the world discover what it is that is being destroyed—on never allowing it to be identified within the hearing of the young."

"The purpose of this book is to Identify it."

AYN RAND (from the Introduction)

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand

Order the book Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand

Read or listen to an excerpt: What is Capitalism? (ARI Campus)

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