“Free markets are moral,” Forbes once told an interviewer, “because they’re fundamentally about meeting the real-world needs and wants of others. … Economic freedom is moral because it does the best job of any system in channeling our self-interest into positive, productive activities that benefit all of society.”
The Steve Forbes’ celebration was an apt ending to Freedom Fest, which was smoothly organized as usual by the economist and classical liberal Mark Skousen. He builds a bigger tent each year, both for libertarians and for conservatives like myself who are curious about the current mindset of our liberty-loving colleagues.
Tocqueville said in his classic work “Democracy in America”:
Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom; socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Socialism is immoral because it is fundamentally about wringing your daily bread from the sweat of another man’s brow. Equality under socialism is achieved by making everyone equally miserable.