|“||Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned. The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others.||”|
- (“What is Capitalism?” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1966, p. 19)
To the extent that such force is initiated in any society, that society is then not capitalist to that extent, by definition. Such a black and white dichotomy is of no use to societal parasites, who busy themselves redefining capitalism into a slur descriptive of any nominally organized scheme of thievery that they do not control. Anti-concepts such as "predatory capitalism", "state capitalism" (in which the "state" being so described obviously initiates force), "crony capitalism", etc., proliferate in their oxymoronic newspeak. For example, corporate recipients of government funding will be described as "capitalist" by Marxists in government-funded academia.
Capitalism is synonymous with the French term laissez faire, which purportedly originated in a meeting that took place around 1681 between powerful French Comptroller-General of Finances Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen headed by M. Le Gendre. When the eager mercantilist minister asked how the French state could be of service to the merchants and help promote their commerce, Le Gendre replied simply "laissez-nous faire" ("leave it to us" or "let us do [it]" (i.e., without government force).
In his book The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek asserts that the economic freedom of capitalism is a requisite of political freedom, observing that the market mechanism is the only way of deciding what to produce and how to distribute the items without using coercion. Milton Friedman also promoted this view, claiming that centralized economic operations were always accompanied by political repression. In his view, transactions in a market economy are voluntary, and that the wide diversity that voluntary activity permits is a fundamental threat to repressive political leaders and greatly diminish their power to coerce.
The novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand made positive moral defenses of laissez-faire, most notably in her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, and in her 1966 collection of essays Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. She argued that capitalism should be supported on moral grounds, not just on the basis of practical benefits.