Capitalism: Folks Doing Stuff

Although the term “capitalism” has long worked as a shorthand signifier for a market economy, there is a sense in which to use it at all is to accept the socialist’s premise that a market economy is a consciously created system, manipulated by its creators for their own material ends. But it isn’t that. A socialist economy is, by definition, a system—it must be created, planned, vigilantly monitored and forcefully regulated in order to function. But a market economy has no plan. It begins to exhibit the qualities of a system when its wealthiest actors are allowed to bend governmental policies to their advantage, but that is a vastly different thing from a system deliberately designed for stated goals from the beginning.

We will surely go on using the terms “socialism” and “nationalism” and “democracy” without knowing quite what we mean by them. We can hardly do otherwise. But at least those things exist. “Capitalism,” in the sense in which its leftist critics use the term, never did.

Wall Street Journal

The problem with the term “Capitalism” is that it was a label bestowed by opponents of capitalism, or at the very least, supporters of the planned economy alternatives. They approach the issue from the belief that the economy must be designed, and must have a designer. As a result, they bestow upon capitalism the assumption that it, too, is designed and planned.

It’s not. It’s just the result of folks doing stuff.