You are arguing that the free market is socialism. This is silly beyond belief.
The only way to clarify the matter is to establish clearly what socialism is and what it isn't. If all you do is tweak the free market here and there to protect what you want while subjecting others to market forces, that is just selective use of the free market to give socialist protections extra power against competition.
I work hard because I have a few moderately expensive vices that make me happy. I have found a career that pays me very well, and I have negotiated my services to get the highest price.
Economically speaking, I believe that the free market does a fairly good job of setting the value for my work. I ask for as much as I think I can get, and my company pays me enough that they are pretty sure I will stick around for as long as they value my service. If these prices diverge, I look for another company and they look for another employee... and I can't find myself another company who is willing to pay the ridiculous amount I think I am worth, then I face reality and accept the lower pay. It all balances out.
I read an article last week explaining an economic theory (sorry I forget whose) that says corporatism evolves within a free market because the costs of having a totally free and competitive marketplace makes things inefficient.
If that is the case, and it seems logical, then that doesn't make corporatism into a free market competition. Corporatism is a form of private market control exerted within certain markets to partially and temporarily block certain forms of competition for the sake of stability. It is thus a form of private socialism, but maybe a necessary one to prevent the free market from consuming itself with unethical forms of competition, provocation, and other unproductive business tactics.
In economics, I am a capitalist. I work to make myself more valuable so I can have more money and pay for the things that make life more fun for me. I look out for and take responsibility for my own self-interest. I demand to be paid fairly. I negotiate for good conditions. This is capitalism.
Not necessarily. By discussing it in a feel-good-about-yourself way, you're basically just taking the economic norms you like and labeling them 'capitalist' to avoid questioning the possibility of socialism.
If we are going to be honest, we can't just pin the socialism label on others and deny it in ourselves. It may be that some forms of socialism are good and others less good, but we shouldn't like and deny that the good ones are still in fact forms of socialism.
Of course there is another side. I do care about my society and think about the effects my capitalism has on other people. Sometimes, my socialist side comes into conflict with my capitalist side... and sometime I will make a decision that is not in my economic best interest.
Under capitalism workers demand to be paid as high a prices as they can get. We go to the highest bidder (not just money, also conditions and happiness... but self-interest is the key in capitalism). Under capitalism, companies compete for workers and the best companies thrive by producing value. Competition drives wages as much as cost, and the market finds a balance that allows the best companies to survive.
But workers can also compete for employers, and such competition is averted in many ways, by unionism, etc. because individuals are weak and prone to accepting socialism where it increases their personal/household income level.
You are arguing for socialism by suggesting that people shouldn't be primarily working for their own economic self-interest.
In liberty, people can are supposed to, without government intervention, make sacrifices for the greater good. That is the reason a republic can function without a king. If economic self-interest was the only motivation within a society of liberty, government would have to step in to correct for problems that result from people only pursuing economic self-interest and failing to exercise the liberty to govern themselves, including their economic pursuits, in the interest of a greater good.
Our present capitalist system works very well for me. Capitalism inspires my best work. I work very hard to make myself valuable both by studying to stay on top of my field and I will work extra hours when needed to provide value for my employer. Capitalism also has provided a very nice income for me, I can travel, buy the Scotch I like, take my daughter to Broadway plays.
Our economic system works pretty well.
This "our system works well" crap is nothing but fascist propaganda designed to attack anything that gets labeled as a challenge to the status quo. If you're not interested in assessing problems with the status quo and making things better, stop engaging in political discussion because all you are doing is contributing to obstruction of problem-solving.