As Obama demonizes the wealthy and pitches a dozen plans to restructure the economy, opponents of this program need a reminder of what exactly we're fighting for. We are resisting bureaucracy, central planning, and encroachments on our freedom and communities. Yet this does not get to the heart of the matter. We are not only an opposition movement, countering the president and his partisans' agenda. More fundamentally, we stand in defense of the greatest engine of material prosperity in human history, the fount of civilization, peace, and modernity: Capitalism.
Many regard it a dirty word and it is tarnished most of all by its supposed guardians. Wall Street giants fancy themselves capitalists even as they live off the taxpayer and thrive on the state's gifts of privilege, inflation, and barriers to entry. In the military-industrial complex they champion it by name as they produce devices of murder for the state. In the Republican Party and every conservative institution they talk it up while making such vast exceptions to the principle as to swallow it whole. When many think of capitalism, they think of the corporatist status quo, leading even some who favor economic freedom to abandon the term.