The Sad Decline of the Word Capitalism

Not everyone is giving up. One example is Fred L. Smith, chairman and founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who has launched the Center for Advancing Capitalism. One of his goals is to mobilize businessmen to promote capitalism. For Smith, there’s no need for adjectives – only a capitalism constrained by rule of law and limited government deserves that name. On a similar crusade internationally, the former Czech Republic president, Vaclav Klaus, believes that giving up on the word capitalism is tantamount to surrendering to the enemy. Like Klaus, I am not fond of giving up on battles and although I seldom use the word, I still like the concept of “capitalism” to describe some aspects of the economic system. I sometimes even wear a tie that Steve Forbes gave me with the inscription “capitalist tool.”