Despite the fundamental distinction between the two, misunderstandings of capitalism and socialism — and their implications for freedom — abound, and usually in favor socialism. In these circumstances, a return to the basics is warranted. The 17th-century writings of John Locke in defense of political and economic freedom and the 19th-century critique by Karl Marx of political and economic freedom represent classics of the genre. Fresh examination of their ideas brings into better focus the case for freedom and the reasons for concluding that the defense of the free market is central to the securing of individual freedom and equality under law.
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