The opponents of global capitalism overlook the key points in the debate. The capitalistic nations of Europe, North America and Asia are by far the wealthiest societies of history—with per capita incomes in the range of at least $20,000-$30,000 annually. But capitalism is not merely the system of prosperity; fundamentally, it is the system of individual rights and freedom.
Capitalistic nations protect their citizens’ freedom of speech, of the press and of intellectual expression. Similarly, their citizens possess economic freedom, including the right to own property, to start their own businesses and to seek profit. By stark contrast, the pre-capitalist systems of history, and the non-capitalist systems of the present, are politically oppressive and economically destitute; their citizens have no rights and, consequently, little or no wealth.
What deeper principles make possible the freedom and wealth enjoyed under capitalism—and lacking in its political antipodes? How has capitalism already greatly enhanced the lives of millions of human beings in formerly impoverished Third World countries? What can the men of the free world do to further promote the spread of capitalism into the repressed nations of the globe?
Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York, and teaches at Marist College & at SUNY Purchase. Dr. Bernstein is the author of The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic, and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire (2005); Objectivism in One Lesson: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Ayn Rand (2008); Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights (2010); and Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas (2011). He has written the Cliffs Notes for three Ayn Rand titles: Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged.