Capitalism is a philosophical system that holds to the idea that market forces of supply and demand work out for the best end–though if you read the capitalist hero Ayn Rand you find that the “common good” is only a secondary byproduct. My own good is the basis of capitalist morality. So where the socialists underrate the potential of human greed and the evil it will produce, capitalists over value greed; for them greed is good.
“Certainly not!” you protest, knowing that as a good conservative you should be a capitalist, but as a God-fearing American you should not be greedy. So, you refuse to look close enough at the underlying philosophical systems to address your own inconsistent views. You really should read more G. K. Chesterton.
Better yet, actually read Ayn Rand. Check out the definitions at Capitalism.org based on her writings. Rand is the trendy capitalist hero touted by Glenn Beck and quoted by Rush Limbaugh. Her objectivist system is one in which man is the measure of all things; there is no authority higher than the individual’s own judgment of truth. Yet for all her talk of rights to act free of outside control and justice as that which should govern, there is no real basis for justice. Justice is a matter of judging value in people much like you would in a product. Her philosophy is called objectivism and it objectifies people producing a corrupt system from the outset.
Just take a close look at this statement from her writings (found at the Ayn Rand Online Lexicon http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/justice.html), bold text added for emphasis:
“Justice is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that you must judge all men as conscientiously as you judge inanimate objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision, by as pure and as rational a process of identification—that every man must be judged for what he is and treated accordingly, that just as you do not pay a higher price for a rusty chunk of scrap than for a piece of shining metal, so you do not value a rotter above a hero—that your moral appraisal is the coin paying men for their virtues or vices, and this payment demands of you as scrupulous an honor as you bring to financial transactions—that to withhold your contempt from men’s vices is an act of moral counterfeiting, and to withhold your admiration from their virtues is an act of moral embezzlement—that to place any other concern higher than justice is to devaluate your moral currency and defraud the good in favor of the evil, since only the good can lose by a default of justice and only the evil can profit—and that the bottom of the pit at the end of that road, the act of moral bankruptcy, is to punish men for their virtues and reward them for their vices, that that is the collapse to full depravity, the Black Mass of the worship of death, the dedication of your consciousness to the destruction of existence.”
Rand’s stance on abortion reveals the real problem with her value system. Those following her views say, “The only obligation one’s rights impose on others is for them to leave you alone, i.e. free to act within your sphere of rights.” Yet, the unborn child is not extended these rights within the sphere of her humanity. This exemplifies the hypocrisy of a system which claims human life as the ultimate value and then reduces human life to an object. But I digress slightly.
I have said you are not as capitalist as you think. First of all, the simple fact that you, I am certain, do not embrace a totally free market as the governing factor of life disproves your capitalist devotion. It is likely that you do not embrace legalized prostitution, child porn, sex trafficking, legalizing heroine, open weapons market (i.e. any weapons manufacturer should sell any weapon to any person with the money to buy it–allowing our worst enemies to buy our most effective weapons), and many other things. As well you should not.
My point here is that something other than the market must govern. There must be some authority higher than market forces. Don’t believe me, ask the Chinese. A reasonably free market is a useful tool. When it become the basis of a value system it corrupts everything.