Why You Should Be Grateful for Free Market Capitalism

Why You Should Be Grateful for Free Market Capitalism

Libertarian Country |

The most famous self-help gurus in the world will always tell us that if we want to be happy in life, we must practice gratitude.

Even when things are not going our way or when life is darkened with impending doom, we should always press pause and express our gratitude. In the end, it will make us better people. Sage advice indeed.  

While many of us are grateful for our spouses, kids, family, or jobs, the obvious things in life, do we ever really go beyond that? Do we ever stop to appreciate the advantages we have in life because of every luxury free market capitalism has afforded us?  

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If you have read the iconic essay “I, Pencil” by Leonard Read, you will get a glance into how your existence, everything you enjoy in life, is dependent upon a vast network of people working together in mutual agreement toward their own goals. No mastermind or dictatorship is needed, just the uninhibited creativity of human beings. 

The story eloquently and concisely illustrates how the very notion of centralized authority and economic planning is an exercise in futility. As he says, nobody knows how to build a pencil.  

So, when the purely natural and wonderous invisible hand bestows its gifts upon humanity, what does half the population do? They recoil in horror. They regard it as evil and menacing. They want to live under totalitarian rule instead.  


Their lack of gratitude confounds their understanding of how freedom benefits them.  

The good news is gratitude is not something that we are born with. It is not some rare treasure that only a few people possess. Anybody can practice gratitude. It is a skill that can be gained and it should constantly be honed.  

The reality is, we are all born into wealth within free market economies. The only thing that obfuscates this wealth is government corruption, force, and political ensnarement.

It does not matter if your family is poor or rich, we all have an abundance of luxuries at our fingertips because of capitalism despite busy-bodied politicians attempting to erode and tarnish it. We all have advantages that nobody in all human history before us had. 

Even the lowest wage earner in society will still get back infinitely more than he could contribute, which is a good thing. Be grateful that free market capitalism works this way. Recall the lessons of I, Pencil. 

Look around your home for a moment. Your tv, your phone, your internet, your furniture, your cold beer and steaks in your fridge, the plumbing, the air conditioning, the electricity, etc. It would take you millions of lifetimes to be able to duplicate the results of what free market capitalism effortlessly yields.  

You contribute a few hours of labor a day and in return, you have been rewarded immensely all thanks to someone else's innovation, labor, skill, critical thinking, their drive to succeed and change the world. 

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Be grateful that you can go to work for someone else in a menial labor position. It does not have to be forever, but you will always get much more than you put in.

You can start your own business; you can pull your resources with other like-minded individuals and form a worker collective or build a commune. All matters of success are possible within this system.  

The same cannot be said of centralized planned societies under authoritarian rule.  

We should always be grateful to be a part of this wild & beautiful jungle. We should move towards more mutual respect, voluntary agreements, and freer markets. Less government, less cronyism, and less compulsory force.  

If you’re curious about further understanding these principles, check out: What is Free Market Capitalism?


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