What is the cultural result of a society built on capitalist principles?

Culturally, capitalism leads to the three P’s of human flourishing: peace, progress, and prosperity.

Culturally, when the same freedom that characterizes the free market is applied to personal relationships, the arts, technology, and the sciences, it leads to human flourishing, peace, and progress. The more capitalist society becomes, the more it will flourish: both materially and spiritually.

Historically, to the extent that society embraces capitalism and its principle of individual rights, the more it will experience peace (by banning the initiation of physical force both domestically and internationally and replacing it with freedom of trade in spiritual and material values); progress (intellectually in knowledge and materially in wealth — innovations both materially, such as the printing press, and spiritually, such as the enjoyment of novels; and prosperity (observe the rise in life expectancy and the standard of living in relatively free societies as opposed to unfree ones).


In sum: Capitalism is the ideal moral (rational-self-interest), ethical (individualism), political (individual rights), legal (rule of law), economic (free-market) social system of the Enlightenment that results in peace, progress, and human flourishing.

Philosophically and historically — in theory, and in practice — capitalism (as its greatest advocate philosopher Ayn Rand proved) is the “unknown ideal.”[1]


[1] Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (New American Library, 1967).