That capitalism serves the “public good” (defined as the sum of the good of all individuals) is true.

However, this is not capitalism’s moral justification but is merely an effect of its cause: by freeing the innovators to create and produce, capitalism results in a society where progress is the norm, and the standard of living for all (“the public”) rises.

“The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve “the common good.” It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.” — AYN RAND

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