“A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands — even for beneficial purposes — will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.”
– John Stuart Mill
If one could summarize the difference between progressives and capitalists in one word, it would be “planning.”
Progressives believe in a world where a committee at the top can coordinate the affairs of men to build a society. At its core, progressivism believes that someone smart enough at the top can plan the world in a way that everyone and everything will work together for good. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a society that has people that are not only smart enough, but uncorrupted enough to achieve this task.
Capitalists, believe in a world where men’s works are valued by a jury of their peers. The value is not determined by a committee, instead it is chosen by trade. They understand the minor bumps in the road that could occur should some idea fail, but accept this as a way to naturally focus progress in an overall better direction. Capitalists believe that motivation to succeed creates an “invisible hand” that will guide the decentralized decisions of an economy in a general direction of progress.