From the time I first started having political thoughts I always believed that people should be left alone and allowed to succeed or fail. People need liberty and a system that guards their liberty.
Naturally, I love capitalism. Capitalism is good but it has a bad name. It’s not primarily about capital and investing. It is about property. As the legal thinker William Blackstone wrote:
There is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property; or that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe. [Note: By “despotic,” Blackstone means “absolute.”]
It is about ownership. You own yourself and have the right to do whatever you want with your property (with a few exceptions such as initiating the use of physical force and defrauding others). It is about living for yourself.
The philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand said it best:
Man—every man—is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life.