Do we really want everybody to believe in equality, rather than in competition? Don't we want athletes to win and enjoy the fruits of their success? The uncompetitive Ungame came out in the mid-seventies and remains popular to this day. It comes with a game-board, a dice-cup and dice. The players roll the dice and move their pieces endlessly around and around the game-board until they grow tired of the intrusively personal questions that the Ungame poses to its players.

Despite its uncompetitive intentions, the Ungame succeeded as a commercial enterprise. I find that extremely ironic, needless to say. The company that produces it claims to have sold one million units. At thirty dollars a unit, that's a gross profit of $30,000,000, which is not bad for the Ungame's creators. They built the first prototype of it on their kitchen-table! Entrepreneurism at its best! Give the consumer something he wants before he knows he wants it.

Entrepreneurism is part of the cultural ethos of a freedom-loving nation. You either allow people to do their own thing and let them bet on making lots of money, or else you tell them to toe the line and quit trying to upstage everybody. For many people, financial success is one of the less-attractive parameters of a freedom-loving society. Here, you can make all the money you want. You can wear big diamond rings, drive expensive cars. You can even own boats, second homes, or airplanes.

Lots of successful people do. They live to compete in the marketplace, make money, and display it ostentatiously. My father said that "Money is how you keep score." But he had a curious ethos about it. Throughout my childhood, he did not tell me I needed to make money; he asked me what I wanted out of life. "What do you really want?" He needed me to understand that a happy life required me wanting something important and getting it. In a free society, you go for it!

I remember when I first held East German coins in my hand. It felt like play-money, like any coinage made of aluminium. The East Germans must have hated it, but Karl Marx taught that society would eventually not need money; so the East German government never gave thought to how the money looked. When East Germans fled to the West in the late 1980s, sometimes they posed for photographers waving a West German flag. Just as often, though, they waved fistfuls of West German Marks. They already knew about real money and did not need much convincing that money is an important element of a free society.

Money is the counterweight to governmental power. There is no way around this fact. Business activity creates more money, as if by magic. If you undermine money and limit business activity--as the East German government did--then government activity becomes the only business, and government influence the only real currency. It doesn't even require currency, just an army of toadies who will bring things things to their leaders.

Anti-capitalists hate that money creates power in a freedom-loving society--diversified, diffuse centres of power, no two constructed the same. Freedom contributes to the formation of wealth. Wealth returns the compliment by permitting more freedom of choice and movement. We have to admit, wealth also creates less attractive responses--envy, resentment of the peacock-like ostentations of the rich, and the hated inequality.

Lord God! Why should Joe Blow have so much more money than John Q Public? So do you take it away from Joe to give to John? No. In a free-society, you let students win awards and to grin and sneer at the loser all they want. You let athletic teams win big and let the fans scoff at the losers, and you allow people to get rich and show off all they want.

If you are clever, you will cosy up to them and sell them the sailboat they always wanted, tempt them into buying a fancy car, or a ring with a real rock on it. You share in the magic of wealth-creation.