http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_handIn The Wealth of Nations, Smith provides an example that illustrates the principle:
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.
Its there in black and white but like MP says how do you define it?
The purpose of free enterprise is that the competition between selfish and self-seeking individuals and firms for profit has the best possible outcome for everyone involved, even if someone loses as a producer or worker they win as a consumer, it generates profits for individuals who in concert manage to produce the most allocatively efficient use of resources. Intervention by the state interfers with that and creates waste. That's the simplistic capitalist argument as I understand it.
Now a market place which operates somehow altruistically in its commissioning of production and outcomes is a new idea to me, if its what is honestly professed and believed by older generations then that's interesting aswell and explains a lot.
Although I've no idea how the idea that capitalism = the gold rule could survive for long, its not how the commanding heights of industry, commerce, corporate power and finance operate and none of them could, if they adopted the business culture you're talking about they would go to the wall.
Anyway, like I said earlier, regardless of the value code or creedo which leads you to support an idea called free enterprise, how would further deregulation and more free enterprise correct the problem which deregulation and freeing of the agents and agencies responsible for decisions caused in the first place?
One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The theorising of free enterprise, particularly when its combined with some great old time norms, values and principles, I think is great, it is very, very appealing, way more appealing than many of the ideas or visions its detractors were able to produce.
However, there's no place in it for class struggles, class struggles are ugly, especially if they arent neutralised or turned to everyones advantage as Adam Smith expected. So its been one of the greatest problems in practice with free enterprise, made worse by no ones wanting to really acknowledge or get to grips with the idea.