You must be a Socialist Economist, if you are an economist at all. There may be “no such thing as a free market” in the absolute sense, as Government intervention, Taxation, Regulation and the legal framework in which business operate make them less than perfectly free, but the closer we get to the principles of the free market, the better off we are.
My view is that a capitalist free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers, in which the laws of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority. The price signals of supply and demand will always operate better than a centrally planned economy.
Be careful whom you quote: George Orwell wrote 1984 as a deeply disillusioned former Socialist, who realised that a Socialist paradise was a pipe-dream which could never survive the Revolution and the Dictatorship that follows it. He wrote his book to warn us of the horrors of a socialist dictatorship such as Stalin’s Russia and to tell us how Socialist Leaders think: “Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” This is why Socialists must never be given power over a country: they will ruin it utterly.
And small business people are capitalists, if they keep the profits they make from running their businesses. New business start-ups and entrepreneurs are the defining virtues of the Capitalist system. My guess is that you have some Dickensian definition of Capitalists as rich fat cats who never do any work, just live off the dividends from their shares. They are capitalists too, and they perform a useful function providing seed capital for new ventures, but small businesses are the engine-room of the capitalist economy.
The three main systems developed by humanity since we abandoned the hunter-gatherer society are Feudal, Capitalist and Socialist. It is beyond argument that the Capitalist system has lifted more people out of poverty and grown the middle class faster than either of the other two.