Up at National Review Online is a stupendous dissemination of why freer economic markets and entrepreneurial activities matter to the heart and soul of a nation. That stupendous dissemination is written by none other than the great George Gilder.
America’s wealth is not an inventory of goods; it is an organic entity, a fragile pulsing fabric of ideas, expectations, loyalties, moral commitments, visions. To vivisect it for redistribution is to kill it. As President Mitterrand’s French technocrats discovered in the 1980s, and President Obama’s quixotic ecocrats are discovering today, government managers of complex systems of wealth soon find they are administering an industrial corpse, a socialized Solyndra.
The belief that wealth consists not chiefly in ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but in definable static things that can be seized and redistributed — that is the materialist superstition. It stultified the works of Marx and other prophets of violence and envy. It betrays every person who seeks to redistribute wealth by coercion. It balks every socialist revolutionary who imagines that by seizing the so-called means of production he can capture the crucial capital of an economy. It baffles nearly every conglomerateur who believes he can safely enter new industries by buying rather than by learning them. It confounds every bureaucrat of science who imagines he can buy or steal the fruits of research and development.
Wow. That's good stuff. And it couldn't be more timely for the debate that has been bubbling under the surface since FDR's New Deal -- a debate that has been brought to the fore with the introduction of Paul Ryan to the national stage. What sort of government and economy do we want? What sort of existence do we desire for ourselves and our children? Is capitalism truly the bane of humanity's existence, as so many intellectuals and progressives would have us believe? Do planned societies and controlled economies actually work better than largely unfettered markets?
The most important arrow in the Center-Right's quiver is this: free enterprise is a moral good and logical necessity for all the other freedoms we enjoy and celebrate. Without it, we are no longer a republic.
For a little something extra from Mr. Gilder, here's a brief clip on the importance of accurately defining and describing "profit":