It is the basic, metaphysical fact of man’s nature—the connection between his
survival and his use of reason—that capitalism recognizes and protects.
In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free
to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual
judgments, convictions, and interests dictate. They can deal with one another
only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion,
persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit.
The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the
right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property
that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road
open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and
objectively): the creative mind.