Architecture of American Capitalism – The Building Blocks of Economic Growth and Prosperity
Architecture of American Capitalism. What is American Capitalism? What is its architecture? What are the building blocks of the greatest engine of human economic growth and prosperity ever known in the history of the world? What holds this system together? Why do economic experiments by other governments often fail? The answers to all these questions are summarized in the Architecture of American Capitalism.
American Capitalism is God-inspired freedom and individualism. It is a moral, political, and economic system that is based on freedom and individualism, operating within a minimal set of laws designed to maximize and protect that freedom and individualism.
American Capitalism stands on a foundation of key laws, key freedoms, key requirements, and key institutions. Taken together they create a distinct American Culture, a unique American Government, and the very powerful American Economy. This is American Capitalism’s infrastructure. This is the American Civilization.
The accompanying table presents Dr. Lameiro’s Architecture of American Capitalism.
Indeed, the foundations of American Capitalism are embedded in the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible, found in the natural law (that is written on the hearts of people), and found in the moral thinking of the Christian Church’s theologians and philosophers developed over many centuries. While non-Christian philosophers have added to the body of moral thinking, Judeo-Christian principles form the strong spiritual rock upon which American Capitalism was built. Included in that thinking and reasoning was the concept that government is distinct from religion, and the two should peacefully co-exist without invading one another’s legitimate territory.
Architecture of American Capitalism – Key Laws
At the foundation of American Capitalism are four key laws. These are the laws that empower our key freedoms and individualism. Divine Law is a set of primary moral principles revealed to us in the Bible. These are the Ten Commandments and the other Biblical principles that are woven into our culture. Many of these also appear in natural law, the laws written on our hearts. For example, most everyone believes in their hearts that murder and theft are wrong and should be against the law.
Divine Law and natural law form the basis for morality. Morality, in turn, forms the basis for all human relationships and for civil society. If everyone felt free to kill their neighbors or steal their property as they pleased, chaos would ensue and civil order would collapse.
The Rule of Law is the third law at the foundation of American Capitalism. The Rule of Law simply means that all citizens must follow whatever civil laws are put in place to protect and promote freedom and individualism. No man or woman is above the law.
Many civil laws are directly taken from Divine Law and natural law. Civil laws against murder and theft, for example, are taken from the Ten Commandments. But, in addition, many other civil laws expand on Divine Law and natural law. To illustrate, securities laws protect people from fraudulent activities in the purchase and sale of stocks and bonds. These laws are an off-shoot of the commandment against theft. Certainly, back in the days of the early Christian Church, you were not able to purchase 100 shares of common stock on NASDAQ or the NYSE.
Good civil laws promote and protect freedom and individualism. They empower people to grow individually and as a cooperative society. They do not limit freedom of human action. They do protect people from violence against themselves and their private property. They do protect people from crime and corruption. They do protect people from the arbitrary use of inappropriate police power by the government itself. Good civil government also protects people from the external threats of war, terrorism, and other attacks.
The fourth and final law that provides the foundation of American Capitalism is contract law. It is incumbent on government to enforce voluntary contracts among two or more parties. Otherwise, a reasonable level of trust is not possible, and the Free Market will not function smoothly. Business and commerce require agreements to be made in order to run efficiently. It is the role of government to enforce those agreements and to keep the Free Market operating effectively.
Architecture of American Capitalism – Key Freedoms
Closely related to the four key laws that form the foundation of American Capitalism are three key freedoms: religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom. For an individual to be truly free, he or she must be free to think, free to decide, and free to take action in those areas of life most important to people.
For American Capitalism to work, individuals must be free in a religious sense to choose the religion of their own choice (even if that religion is no religion at all).
For American Capitalism to work, individuals must also be free politically. They must have freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of association, and freedom of thought (intellectual freedom). They must be free to question. They must be free to debate, discuss, and to disagree. They must even be free to be disagreeable, insulting, obnoxious, and/or downright nasty. They must also be free to choose their leaders in fair elections that are monitored to protect against fraud.
For American Capitalism to work, people must be free to buy, own, use, sell, or donate private property. People must also be free to do the work they choose, to engage in the free enterprise of their choice (if they so desire), and to operate freely within a free market. People should also be free to trade with individuals and companies outside America as well. In all of these endeavors, people should be free from excessive taxation and excessive regulation.
Architecture of American Capitalism – Key Requirements
American Capitalism needs three other building blocks to function. Built on top of the four key laws and three key freedoms, these building blocks are morality, free speech, and private property.
Regardless of what religion each citizen adopts (or even if some citizens adopt no religion at all), American Capitalism requires morality to exist.
American Capitalism also requires free speech. This is the most powerful and most important element of political freedom because it implies communication to the person next to you. The other political freedoms such as free press are all derived from free speech. Even free elections are a form of free speech. We freely inform everyone who we choose for elected office (albeit in a secret ballot).
The third and final key requirement of American Capitalism is private property. There are a host of theologians, philosophers, economists, and political leaders that over the centuries have trumpeted the close association between private property and freedom. Indeed, you can’t have either economic freedom or political freedom without private property.
Architecture of American Capitalism – Key Institutions
To organize our key laws, key freedoms, and key requirements into a strong and sustainable architecture, American Capitalism needs key institutions as well. Some of these institutions were created before American Capitalism; some of these institutions were refined by American Capitalism; and some of these institutions were created by American Capitalism. What are the key institutions in the Architecture of American Capitalism?
They are the Christian Church, the Family, the Constitution, Freedom, the Free Market, and Free Enterprise. Obviously, the Christian Church and the Family pre-date American Capitalism. The U.S. Constitution was created by the Founding Fathers of our nation at the beginning of American Capitalism. Finally, Freedom, the Free Market, and Free Enterprise all existed prior to American Capitalism, but were heavily influenced by and evolved under American Capitalism.
Architecture of American Capitalism – Key Infrastructure
The key laws, key freedoms, key requirements, and key institutions of American Capitalism are organized according to the Architecture of American Capitalism. Together, they create the key infrastructure of American Capitalism: American Culture, the American Government, and the American Economy. Together, they represent the best moral, political, and economic system the world has ever known. Together, they have out-produced and out-innovated every nation on the earth. Together, they have dispensed more charity and compassion around the world and at home than any other society in history.
Architecture of American Capitalism – For More Information
For more information related to Dr. Lameiro’s Architecture of American Capitalism, you can read Dr. Lameiro’s powerful and important book: America’s Economic War.
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