No. A pure laissez-faire capitalist society has never existed. The closest any country has come to pure capitalism is 19th century America. Twentieth century America is not a pure capitalist country, but is a “mixed economy”: a mixture of freedom and controls. i.e., crippled capitalism, i.e., a hampered market economy.
Capitalism is not utopian, but it is entirely practical theory.
A utopia is some ideal which cannot ever exist in reality, i.e., it is too good to be true.
Capitalism is not a utopia — it is entirely something of “this world”, based on facts observable in “this world”.
The fact that 100% laissez faire capitalism has never existed, does not mean it cannot exist, or that it will not exist in the future; laissez faire capitalism is a definite metaphysical possibility.
Capitalism is the best — the ideal — theory, because to the extent that it is allowed to work, it always works in practice.
Children working in factories was only a transitory stage between early feudalism and capitalism. Prior to working in factories, before capitalism, many of children (and their parents) used to die and starve, as evidenced by the high infant mortality statistics before capitalism. Observe that is was not until families left the “country” and went into the “cities” that they were able to produce enough food to eat. The clearest evidence of this is population and infant mortality statistics: population did not go up, and infant mortality did not go down, until the Industrial Revolution. If life was so great before capitalism in the “country”, why was infant mortality so high and population numbers considerably lower before capitalism? Answer: because life was not so great until Capitalism.
Throughout history the parents of most families could not produce enough to support their families without having their children work also (such was the case of my father in India). It was the accumulation capital by the industrialists that made the labor of parents more productive, that children had to stop working in fields or factories. In poor non-capitalist countries they are still working in fields and factories.
Contrary to leftist rhetoric passing child labor laws in these countries will not solve the problem, but will only lead to mass starvation — which is why the “poor” themselves resist such laws (it is only to the benefit of the leftist “rich” “humanitarians” who cry out for them).
Capitalism is the only “progressive” system, in the proper meaning of the term. The historical evidence to support this thesis is irrefutable. Capitalism is the only system that led to the freedom of slaves, the end of feudalism, the equal rights of all individuals, regardless of race, color, sex, etc.
Capitalism is the system of laissez faire — the system of freedom — the system that frees man’s mind by allowing him to act by it — the source of all progress.
Contrary to the religious conservatives (and religious liberals) prattling about the “Biblical foundations” of America, Mr. Jefferson writes in his Autobiography,
“…an amendment was proposed by inserting the words, ‘Jesus Christ … the holy author of our religion,’ ” which was rejected “by a great majority in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindu, and the Infidel of every denomination.”
And again in a A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, Jefferson writes, “…that our civil rights have no dependence on religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics and geometry…”
This capitalist attitude to religion is best summarized by Thomas Jefferson who writes,
“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blind faith.”