It appears as though most people don’t know what capitalism is.  A recent worldwide BBC poll finds that only 11% of people across 27 countries believe that capitalism is working well.  People want more government regulation.

What Capitalism is

Capitalism is nothing more than the sum of the individual action of free people engaging in mutually beneficent exchange with one another.  It is a voluntary system, and the wealth that it creates is an emergent property.  Every time you make a choice without coercion, you are engaging in capitalism.

What Capitalism is not

Capitalism is not central planning.  It is not a government/business partnership.  People believe that the economic system of the US is a capitalist system.  It is no such thing.  It is a system of facism, where government planners pick winners and losers.  It is a system where central planners – self-interested individuals – posit to act in the interest of the rest of us.  They don’t act in your interest.  Every action by these planners benefits the few at the expense of everyone else.

If you want to believe that capitalism is represented by the world’s largest economy, then let the term die.  This economy was built on a relatively free system of exchange, but has been continually co-opted by the state.  Karl Marx coined the term “capitalism” in the first place.  It was a derogatory term used to castigate property ownership.

Substitute the word “freedom” instead.

Ask for more central planning, more control over individual action, and you will suffer the consequences.