Government Watch / Politics

Appreciate Your Capitalism


These days, we hear cries of socialism (more federal control), environmental justice (redistribution of wealth), “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (group identity, grievance culture), “critical race theory” (social mobility constrained by race), and “environmental, social, and governance” (pushing companies to downshift profits). How about we appreciate capitalism?

You get up in the morning, turn off your alarm clock. The modern alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins, an American in 1787. He lived in a free society, which won the American revolution four years earlier, no alarm clocks.

You rub your eyes, avoid the mirror, put toothpaste on your toothbrush, begin your day. Toothpaste was invented by an American dental surgeon, Dr. Washington Sheffield in the 1850s. He lived in a free society about to self-correct – at big human cost – starting in 1861.

The first Oral-B electric toothbrush – if you prefer – was invented by American dentist Robert W. Hutson in 1950. He hired two salespeople, tried to make a go of it. The electric toothbrush market last year topped three billion dollars. Dr. Hutson died comfortable, in 2001.

As an aside, the mirror was invented by free market Egyptians, 4000 BC, largely agricultural, but obviously interested in what they looked like, even without alarm clocks and toothpaste.

Before using the shower, you may take time on your “plunger closet” – patented in modern form by an American in 1857, created in 1775 by American Alexander Cummings, later called a flush toilet. What makes the plunger closet useful “happens” everywhere, but credit a free society.

Poetically, credit for the first mechanical shower goes to free marketeer and Englishman William Feetham in 1767, little fanfare. Showers did not catch on until the late 20th century, with rumors afoot in the late 1760s of a revolution brewing.   

Actually, the first showers – in reality – were waterfalls, used for bathing. These are credited to the Creator of Mankind, believed be a free will advocate. They still exist, require a commute.

Speaking of commutes, after breakfast with your toaster, electric stove (note: gas are still legal at this writing), recourse to a refrigerator, freezer, perhaps soy milk, concentrated orange juice, television or computer, all invented by American capitalists, excepting cow and orange, which go back to the inventor of the waterfall, you may…commute to work by car or bicycle.

American Charles Strite in 1921 invented the pop-up toaster, although Thomas Edison gave serious thought to it, then got distracted by the lightbulb. The electric stove did not exist until American entrepreneur Lloyd Copeman, his parents concededly Canadian.

American Fred Wolf invented our refrigerator in 1913, GE pioneering the refrigerator-freezers in 1939. Soy milk made its first appearance in Tennessee in 1931, brainchild of capitalist Madison Foods. American inventor C.D. Atkins debuted concentrated orange juice in the 1940s.

As for television, freedom welcomes genius at any age, and it dates to 1927 – created of Philo Farnsworth, who – if you go read – pulled it out of his ear at age 21, having grown up in a home without electricity until 14.

Almost as interesting, free Russia – before the Bolsheviks – in 1911 had an inventor who toyed with the television idea, but then WWI and the Bolsheviks snuffed that idea out.

So, now you commute – if you still do, after Communist China shared their engineered virus, which depleted the world by three million people. You likely go by car or bicycle. Cars of course were first mass produced – made available to all – by American Henry Ford, his Model T.

Notably, Mr. Benz created the first gas-powered automobile, in happily capitalist Germany. Unified in the late1860s, Germany soon was a capitalist powerhouse – booming until 1873, again end of century, 870 new companies between 1870 to 1873, dividends of 12.4 percent, railways doubling in size, average Germans investing in stocks.

If you happen to commute by bicycle, credit the free Italians, French and English for that, although many technology pioneers in America started – funny enough – building bicycles, including the Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtiss. One inventing powered flight, the other our aviation industry – and motorcycles.

We could go on – your medicines, computers, handheld devices, applications (apps), adaptations, industrial strength, automated, calibrated, pioneered, reengineered, plastic, elastic, playful and spastic gadgets – all come from capitalism, not communism, fascism, or theological despotism, many seeded by deeds that would blow the ancient mind – like going to the moon.

And when you see parallel gadgets and mass produced copies from China, which we buy back because slave labor, low wages, “free trade,” and “allowed cheats” give us a cheap version of what we invented, do not think communism allows one iota of individual liberty, creativity, or has spit to do with it.

Bottom line, especially important for those who think government control rather than individual liberty, free and wild thoughts, inventiveness, and creativity, failures followed by successes, and capitalist messes are inferior: Your whole life is made possible by the triumph, glory, stumbles, errors, lessons learned, and money earned – through capitalism, Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.”  

So, when the alarm clock goes off tomorrow, and you stumble into your wonderful capitalist life, think twice about what you will advocate, when someone tells says they have a better plan, less liberty. My response is “tell me about it,” read your history, and do not forget the plunger closet!

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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2 months ago

Thank you . Excellent. The one thing that a communist govt or any govt cannot control is]
innovation. New technology from the private sector will always overcome govt suppression.
Govt cannot handle unanticipated change. Its always too slow.

2 months ago

Great examples! Let’s add some more.

You check your mailbox. The United States Postal Service is taxpayer funded and not owned by a corporation, which means your mail won’t stop coming because someone overdid it on exotic financial products.

You drive on the roads. By law these are publicly owned, which means Jeff Bezos can’t decide to buy all the streets between you and the grocery store and then charge you $10/month to use “Amazon Neighborhood” to travel through your town.

You see a fire being put out. Fire departments are funded and staffed by the public so your house or business doesn’t burn down because you missed a payment.

You visit your local public library to check out some books. (Or maybe you don’t, because there might be a drag queen story hour going on and you don’t want to be forced to ponder whether *you* might enjoy dressing in women’s clothing as well, and what that might mean, and if you’d still be allowed to go fishing with the guys.)

2 months ago

Thanks for a great article on why we should keep & cherish Capitalism in USA. The Greatest Generation fought for our freedoms & all Americans should work to keep them intact. There is no such thing as a Free Lunch.

2 months ago

cut the marxist cancer off of capitalism

David Millikan
2 months ago

Excellent article.
Enjoy it, since Dictator Beijing biden is intentionally DESTROYING the United States by committing TREASON every day being a Communist China Agent following a
LONG LIST of TREASONOUS ACTS since LONG BEFORE 1-20-21, such as taking Money from Communist China, Election Fraud, Election Interference, ILLEGAL ALIEN TERRORIST INVASION, CORRUPTION, etc…

Rob citizenship
2 months ago

Really good article, about ingenuity and the liberty to make ingenuity possible . Anyone who should have
an encounter with someone critical of , against the liberty factor involved, could respond by mentioning the Liberty ships and the shipbuilding project in the second word war that contributed so much to making victory for the allies possible. The way so many ships that were drastically needed in the 1940’s were built in such a relatively short period of time was truly remarkable. The result of ingenuity and liberty working together.

Great , very informative writing Robert Inspirational in many ways. I reckon that determination is a good, important quality and a good example that comes to mind is the story of John Harrison, who built the first successful chronometer , for keeping accurate time on ships in the 1700’s . So, longitude could be obtained with an accurate timepiece was a major development in navigation and it took John Harrison, an English clockmaker about thirty years to do that. That sure enough is an example of determination.


2 months ago

Rob, excellent points. Is it not remarkable how much people take for granted?And how much of what they enjoy comes from freedom? Thank you! RBC

Rob citizenship
2 months ago

Spelling error in second sentence — word — should be world. O. K. That error corrected , should make a World of difference, and that should be the last Word on it.

anna hubert
2 months ago

Everything that we enjoy today is the result of the ability and dare to think beyond the stifling rules and bounds of self appointed authorities It came with price and sacrifice Thank God for men and women who dared to challenge the established order and payed for it with their lives They are the ones who paved the road to progress and betterment Without the reformation we’d be living like the rest of the world in feudalism or it’s clone socialism Both fear the free spirit We see it every day

2 months ago

Bravo! Cheers! Ive been to places where toilets are a simple hole in the cement and others who havent even figured that out yet. We take so much for granted that its easy to forget, or to never have learned, that about the only major advancement from the Romans to Lewis and Clark was gunpowder. Then, in a little over a century the west created the modern world. Thanks RBC

2 months ago
Reply to  Morbious

So very concise, thank you Morbious!

2 months ago

Interesting article, Robert! Historically correct which, in my humble opinion, is critical.There is more there to discuss, but at another time. Creativity, innovation, imagination are all necessary for growth and freedom. Stay curious!

2 months ago
Reply to  SusanW

Thank you Susan! The unspoken, of course, is that modern society (and ancient, actually) is never “pure” A. Rand, M. Friedman, Posner type capitalism; it always has the inherent “x inefficiencies” of regulation, and guard rails. Similarly, socialism always permits some oxygen, and market forces find their way (voa black and gray markets) into the most government-dominated societies… but: Capitalism, freedom for maximum creativity, invention, and freely marketing goods and services… is generally made possible by capitalism. Funny too, few know Adam Smith wrote ANOTHER book, beyond “Wealth of Nations,” celebrating the morality of capitalism.. but for another day! Thank you! RBC

2 months ago

Nicely done RBC. It just goes to show, in practical terms, what human ingenuity can accomplish in an environment that values and rewards merit and individual thought (capitalism) over the likes of a top-down set of rigid, ideological state dogma and mandates that value state-imposed conformity and mediocrity on everyone (socialism / communism).

2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Thank you Paul. So right you are! May we reward forever merit and individual thought!! Thank for your own ever-ready high merit analysis and “individual thought!”

Patriot Will
2 months ago

Mr. Charles emphasizes the very important fact that most social and technological improvements are made under the free enterprise system of capitalism. Under capitalism, people with great ideas are free to dream their dreams and act upon their dreams. Under socialism and communism, people tend to be constrained by an overzealous central government. Usually, even the people with great ideas are never allowed to act upon their ideas. Capitalism is full of kinetic energy where people work hard and thrive. Communism is so controlled and stale, that most people have no reason for dreaming large and working hard. Notice that many of the socialists and communists in America tend to make things worse, not better.

2 months ago
Reply to  Patriot Will

Patriot Will, you are so straight-forwardly right! We live with blessings all around us, and… that is no accident. They cascade from the blessing of freedom! Thank you for commenting!

Patriot Will
2 months ago
Reply to  RBC

Mr. Charles, thanks a lot for being such a proud patriot with clear ideas and significant appreciations of our Constitutional Republic. I enjoy your articles and read them regularly.
I wish there were more voices like yours in helping us preserve the American way of life, which is based on a positive, can-do spirit. I often look to you as a source of comfort and inspiration. God Bless You.

2 months ago
Reply to  Patriot Will

You just made my day! Thank you! I do enjoy the writing and dialogue! Freedom, of course, speaks for itself.. just as bubbles invariably rise, but… sometimes pointing out its goodness helps reassure, remind, and refortify its defense. Thank you so much for reading, and know it is – and always has been – the greatest blessing and joy to be a defender and believer in this truly great, uniquely inspiring place we call home! Onward! RBC

Paul DAscenz
2 months ago

No Communism in The USA!
We the people will not tolerate this move by the Democrats.
We’re serious! It will not Happen!
Be aware China,We are serious!

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