The Capitalism and Freedom Connection

Posted on December 27, 2018 by Robert Ringer


Americans are easy prey when it comes to being distracted by the political theater in Washington.  It is this attraction to non-issues (e.g., the so-called government shutdown) that prevents them from focusing on the issues that really matter.

Of course, people’s ideas about what constitutes freedom can vary widely, depending upon whether they view the world from the right or the left.  Speaking for myself, I believe that the easiest way to define freedom is to call it the antithesis of communism.

Karl Marx and his lackey benefactor, Friedrich Engels, firmly believed that violent revolution was the only way to bring about pure communism, and that such a revolution was possible only where capitalism existed.  The reason for this, they believed, was because capitalism was a necessary ingredient for creating a wide financial disparity between the workers and the privileged class.

It’s kind of weird that Marx and Engels sought to increase income disparity between the classes, then rectify the disparity through violent revolution.  Perhaps their thinking was a result of their being familiar with the colossal failure of the French Revolution, which led not to freedom but mob violence, unthinkable human carnage, and ultimately a Napoleonic dictatorship.

Neither Marx nor Engels lived long enough to witness the most notable communist revolutions, those in Russia, China, Vietnam, and Cuba, and it’s interesting that none of these countries could have been considered capitalist countries at the time.  There’s no question, however, that Marx and Engels would have considered the modern-day United States to be the perfect crucible for testing their convoluted class-warfare theory.

Today, only naïve utopian dreamers believe in the communist fairy tale that under communism, the state will eventually “wither away” because there will be so much of everything for everybody that government will no longer be necessary.

I do, however, believe that Marx and Engels were on to something when they referred to socialism as a “transitional stage of society” between capitalism and communism.  This should be explained to the masses, so when a Bernie Sanders or an economics-major (chuckle) like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hails the virtues of socialism they understand what a socialist society actually looks like.

Here in the United States we have long suffered from the delusion that “European-style socialism” is a nice, peaceful, cradle-to-grave compromise between capitalism and communism.  Elitists on both the right and the left have come to believe that Western society is static and that so long as Western countries keep their redistribution-of-wealth policies finely tuned, capitalists will go right on producing enough wealth to support the parasitic masses.

In this naïve view of the world, they do not take into account a crucial factor known as human nature.  Homo sapiens — particularly its progressive subspecies — is, by nature, an avaricious creature.  As a result, getting free stuff does not decrease his desire for other people’s property.  On the contrary, his appetite for wealth without work is insatiable.

The result is that when producers can no longer create enough wealth to appease the voracious appetites of the masses, those on the receiving end become increasingly angry.  If, for example, a man spends his whole life being told that it is his right to retire at age fifty-eight and that it is someone else’s obligation to support him in his retirement in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed, he is incapable of comprehending that he must work until … gasp! … age sixty.

With the ongoing debt-ceiling crisis, no cutbacks in store for Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, and a majority of politicians unwilling to make serious spending cuts in other redistribution-of-wealth programs, it does not take a fiscal genius to see where all this is headed:  revolution.

The worst thing about the collapse of a nation’s economy is that it sets the stage for the uprising that Marx and Engels so passionately longed for — and that those on the Radical Left believe they can achieve in America.  The reason the United States has been able to avoid violent revolution until now is because even through the eras of the most left-leaning presidents and Congresses of the past hundred years, there has always enough pushback to keep capitalism alive.

But things are now changing very fast.  The pushback of yesteryear has been on the decline for decades, as evidenced by recent election results in formerly rugged individualism states like Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado.  These states are becoming more blue by the day, with serious pushback from the right now coming from less than 50 percent of the population.

There’s an irony in the fact that Marx and Engels believed capitalism was necessary in order to create more wealth disparity.  That irony is that capitalism creates more wealth for those on the lowest rung of the income ladder than any other system, so income and wealth disparities, while interesting phenomena for academic eggheads to ponder, are pretty much irrelevant.  The only thing that’s relevant is how well off each individual is in absolute terms — not in comparison to others.

Without capitalism, prosperity for the masses cannot exist.  Likewise, without freedom, capitalism, by definition, cannot exist, because it is nothing more than a subcategory of freedom — the freedom to trade one’s goods, services, and labor with others without interference from government.  Plain and simple, capitalism is the purest form of freedom.

All this by way of saying that as we enter the new year, we would all do well to resist becoming distracted by the ongoing political theater in Washington and focus on the most important issue of our time:  our loss of freedom.  It is, in fact, the most important issue of any time.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

29 responses to “The Capitalism and Freedom Connection”

  1. Gordon says:

    It should be noted here that what passes for capitalism in the US today bears little relationship to the real thing. When "gains are privatized but losses are socialized", meaning the bankers get their bonuses, but the government/Fed prints billions to cover their losses, that's not capitalism. When someone who wants to start a business has to get certificates or approvals from uncountable agencies and offices, the vast majority of which serve no useful purpose, that is not capitalism. And this applies in spades when big businesses lobby for regulations that will keep competitors from ever getting started.
    What we have is more of a mutually supportive system between big government and big business, where the bosses of both work closely together, and where the elite live by different rules than the general public. There is still room around the margins for some individuals to start a business and make it grow, but it's getting harder, and the obstacles higher.
    There is a name for a system where businesses are functionally private but still serve as an arm of the state, and where there is close coordination between the two. Any guesses?

    • Travis says:

      I believe the name for such a system is fascism, but today people seem to prefer "crony capitalism".

    • Randall says:

      It is a mystery to me why every "conservative" and libertarian writer and talk show _host has not pushed for the passage of the "Fair Tax", HR25, since its introduction in _July of 1999. The simplified version was explained in the book by Neal Bortz_ "The Fairtax Book" and website Robert, this question is to you. _ There are easy one-liner answers. I am interested in ( I hope you are too) in the _solution that unites all who want property rights, free enterprise, honest money and _banking, justice in law and a constitutional government. To me it is a no brainer._We don't have to like the other guy. You don't have to like me. We do have to plain _to win together or we will most certainly fail. HR25 is only the beginning, to do now or perish.

      • Stephan F says:

        "There can be no such thing as 'fairness in taxation.' Taxation is nothing but organized theft, and the concept of a 'fair tax' is therefore every bit as absurd as that of 'fair theft.'" -Murray Rothbard

        Sorry Randall, just can’t pass on a rebuttal here.

        Apart from the idea of how much either of the alternative taxes would levy, I would strongly favor the flat tax.  Why?  As a matter of pragmatism, one obvious reason is the bookkeeping/accounting nightmare of keeping track of a (fair?) sales tax versus the simplicity of the flat tax, which in theory, would be just a matter of sending in your payment on a post card.   No more need to burden American business with more government accounting regulations and stiffing the American taxpayers with yet another GIGANTIC govt bureaucracy to pay for overseeing this idiotic program.  But the most important reason is that the so called "Fair Tax" is yet another attempt at government fraud to steal money that has been earned and taxed already and then taxed again!  Sorry, this is outrageous.  It’s nothing but an innocent sounding tax collection scheme that is in fact an unconstitutional tax on people with savings.  Can you say V.A.T.?  It’s grand theft on a grand scale.   Anyone against a sales tax understands this.  I grok that the country has turned into a nation of thieves, but do you really want to rob someone twice?  If enacted, it simply double-taxes prudent savers.  

        Oh BTW I forgot to mention, my #1 first choice is to abolish the income tax and replace it with nothing.  Cut government down to its Constitutional size and what's left can be funded quite easily with the other immoral and unconstitutional taxes government already levies.
        P.S. I’m willing to discuss the flat tax scheme which you might just talk me into. It too is an injustice, but much “fairer” than the hair-brain fair-tax scheme.

        Great video here:

    • Scott theczech says:

      You mean, the system that starts with an 'F?'

    • Rick G. says:

      I say "fascism".

    • tony says:


  2. kauai_mike says:

    For me, the most important issue to focus upon, is not our loss of freedom.

    Rather, it is my ability to retain freedom despite the actions of others.

    Semantics? Maybe. But you can be a free man in an unfree world.

    If you focus where it matters.

  3. Jon says:

    Andrew J. Galambos would quibble with RJR's definition of freedom. Rather than being the antithesis of something (which in of itself would require a precise definition), AJG defined freedom as "The societal condition that exists when every person has full, 100% control of their own property." Then, of course, one has to define property: hence, "A person's property is his own life and all non-procreative derivatives of that life." There is still more to the definitions but you get the idea that words matter and require precise definition to avoid misunderstandings.

  4. Terry Dee says:

    The word capitalism, like the word God, has been very much overused and abused. Capitalism, in it's purest sense adheres to all of the universal laws and could be the panacea we all seek. Unfortunately, as practised in modern times, it has become a byword for greed, corruption and almost every vice known to human kind. Is it any wonder that it is derided by working class people and only seen in a negative light.
    Perhaps it is time to open a new dialogue where terms like communism, socialism and capitalism, are omitted and alternative less inflammatory terms can be applied to our world problems.
    It has been said numerous times that if we keep trying to solve our problems with the same thinking then we are doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes.

  5. chris says:

    There is always talk that we need to reduce social security (the entitlement) — We paid into the system our whole working life so first it is not an entitlement and second if the social security system had not been raided at least 2 times in my lifetime there would be plenty of money in the system,
    If they want to cut something start with welfare for illegal immigrants that is currently estimated to be over 15 billion per year. How is it that someone coming here illegally deserves to be taken care of more that the people who worked their whole life and paid into the system.

  6. Rick G. says:

    Excellent article! Every leftist (of all stripes—–communists, socialists, liberals, et al.) should read and re-read this over and over until it finally sinks in, if that is ever going to be possible. Why would anyone, including leftists, fail to acknowledge the reality of what leftist ideology really is and its miserably disasterous consequences? Communism, and its variants, have never ever worked anywhere in the world at anytime, except for those in power who have to use brute force to implement and enforce it. And just look at how mankind "accepts" this new "freedom", all the people in Cuba who fled that country and settled in the United States. And all the people who fled East Berlin to West Berlin to escape it. And what about nowadays people wanting to leave Venezuela? If Communism were so great, why is the movement of people AWAY from Communism and never toward it? Mankind, for some reason, just cannot come to grips with this reality and understand this. The usual "excuse" from the left is "it was not well implemented, and run properly", or "the right people were not in charge", as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez like to say. The problem really is, man has an instinctive urge to be free and is willing to go to any length to achieve it, even die to get it. This is why Robert Ringer states above that freedom is the antithesis of communism. The two are incompatible, direct opposites.

    One interesting note for the advocates of Communism. Whenever the existing order is overthrown during a revolution, the revolutionaries are later executed when the new order takes power. The "logic" here is that if you are powerful enough to overthrow the former government, then you are also powerful enough to overthrow the new government. This has happened repeatedly time and again throughout history. So, be careful, revolutionaries, of what you wish for.

    When will mankind ever learn? When?

  7. Jane says:

    Could you perhaps get in there – gub-mint" and help fix it. It is such a shame that so many talented people are kept out of public office.

  8. Rick G. says:

    A while ago, I posted an excellent, informative response to this article and, for some reason unbeknownst to me, it was rejected.

    • Jay says:

      You may have forgotten to click on the "submit" button?

      • Rick G. says:

        Jay, I clicked the Submit button, but it said it needed approval. Anyhow, I think Robert saw the above post and finally posted my comment. Thank you, Robert.

  9. D Frank Robinson says:

    Don't cut my subsidy. Cut those people off at the border who haven't received any subsidy. Any tax where I get a kick back isn't an entitlement.
    People have moral tunnel vision.

  10. Jay says:

    Talking about freedom. In Brisbane, Australia if you are caught eating an apple, having a sip of water etc whilst driving, it can incur a $523 fine and loss of 3 demerit points (12 points available – loss requires 3 years to restore).… Same in Georgia

  11. Richard Lee Van says:

    There are ways to AVOID The System and make a (my idea of) good living. As a touring lecturer, radio personality and counselor, I worked on a Cash Basis and did well. AND, many years later, I developed an advertising device, and sold Ads WITHOUT a DBA. Again I worked partly on a cash basis, but if I had to accept a check, my local bank in a small town, because they knew me, cashed them all. BUT, that was 20, 30 years ago. Can it be done now? I don't know. Working on a CASH BASIS worked back then.

  12. Richard Lee Van says:

    And, I passed my $avings on to customers and clients. I believe in "FAIR".

  13. David Dave B says:

    True capitalism only exists while the state and government imposes no controls or regulations which block competition and enforce redirection of profits. Capitalism requires a free-market environment whereby competitors can freely offer alternative products and consumers are free to chose among the available products and services. When a state or government agency controls who can produce and offer what, can dictate monoploistic distribution of goods, and services, and can redirect company profits through taxes and wage controls, then the consumer looses the ability to chose, and the competitive producers are often driven out of the market of providing choices for the consumer.
    This applies to all production of goods and services including taxis and transportation, utilities (gas and electric services), entertainment (cable and internet services), etc., etc..

    A litmus test could easily be; does the consumer have a true choice in selecting goods and services, and do competitive producers have an unfettered opportunity to provide those choices.

  14. Jurgy says:

    There is nothing as self-satisfying as working for and creating your own wealth … and that can only be accomplished in a capitalist society …

  15. NZ Steve says:

    Superb submission! But we need many more Conservative sources in order to overcome the left wing bias of the MSM. This is an excellent source:….

  16. Nasdaq7 says:

    The misery those two have given to the world is incalculable. There really is a time when socialism has sucked the life out of an economy, the debt is so high, the wages of government employees is too high. That's when socialists start to "privatize" companies.

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