Michael Novakis a Roman Catholic theologian whose books include “Choosing Our King.”

The day I heard Michael Harrington say that most liberals are “closet socialists,” I knew by my revulsion that I had to face an ugly truth about myself. For years, I had tried to hide, even from myself, my unconscious convictions. In the intellectual circles I frequent, persons with inclinations like my own are mocked, considered to be compromised, held at arm’s length as security risks. We are easily intimidated.

The truth is there are probably millions of us. Who knows? Your brother or sister may be one of us. The fellow teaching in the class next to yours; the columnist for the rival paper; even the famous liberated poetess—our kind, hiding their convictions out of fear of retribution, lurk everywhere. Even now we may be corrupting your children.

We are the closet capitalists. Now, at last, our time has come. The whole world is going socialist. Nearly 118 out of 142 nations of the world are tyrannies. A bare 24 are free-economy democracies. We are the world’s newest, least understood, and little loved minority. It is time for us to begin, everywhere, organizing cells of the Capitalist Liberation Front.

I first realized I was a capitalist when all my friends began publicly declaring that they were socialists, Harrington and John Kenneth Galbraith having called the signal. How I wished I could be as left as they. Night after night I tried to persuade myself of the coherence of their logic; I did my best to go straight. I held up in the privacy of my room pictures of every socialist land known to me: North Korea, Albania, Czechoslovakia (land of my grandparents), and even Sweden. Nothing worked.

When I quizzed my socialist intellectual friends, ...

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