Reagan’s America: Innocents at Home

Wills, Garry

Doubleday, 1987

pp. 379 - 381

p. 379 Capitalism is not individualist, but collectivist. Everybody depends on everybody else in the amassing of capital–workers on each other in division of labor, workers on distributors, etc. . . The individual pin-maker could never compete. “To the extent that individuals try to divert the wealth of nations to their private use, they subvert the process that creates the wealth . . . Each time we use a typical product of the [capitalist] system as (say) a jetliner, we are trusting a vast army of unseen collaborators in our journey–all those who designed, built, sold, service, fly, guard, and guide the plane. One slip in the huge operation, and it ends in disaster.” p. 380 “The terrorist is the true individualist of our time, the love defier (and defeater) of the common will.” p. 381 “If it is strange to see capitalism posing as individualist, it is even odder for it to act as the voice of conservatism. Conservatism, in a minimal definition, wants to conserve; but capitalism is an instrument for change, for expansion, driven toward ever new resources, products, markets. It reorders life drastically . . . It is a roving, restless, innovative force.“