One of the great myths of our time is that America is a capitalistic country. It is not, and has not been close to capitalistic for more than 150 years.
Capitalism is a social system in which an individual’s rights, including his rights to own property, are recognized and all property is privately owned. In a capitalistic society, governments acknowledge that individuals and companies can and should compete for their own economic gain, and the prices of goods and services are determined by the free market. The role of government in capitalistic societies is to ensure that markets function without interference and to protect individuals from fraud and/or the use of physical force by others.
Capitalism is not about greed. Capitalism is about human freedom, or as we term it, personal liberty. As Adam Smith posited inWealth of Nations, when individuals are permitted to pursue their self-interest through markets, they are amazingly good at finding ways of bettering not only themselves but society as well.
In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand writes:
The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force.