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o       1 Wikiquote's General Definition

o        2 Pro-capitalist

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o        3 Anti-capitalist

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§         3.2 Unsourced

o        4 See also



o        1 Definitions

o        2 See also





Capitalism is an economic ideology in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth, are privately owned and controlled rather than publicly or state-owned and controlled. In capitalism, the land, labor, capital and all other resources, are owned, operated and traded by private individuals or corporations for the purpose of profit,[1][2] and where investments, distribution, income, production, pricing and supply of goods, commodities and services are primarily determined by private decision in a mainly market economy.[3][4] A distinguishing feature of capitalism is that each person owns his or her own labor and therefore is allowed to sell the use of it to employers.[1][5] In capitalism, private rights and property relations are protected by the rule of law of a limited regulatory framework.[6][7] In the modern capitalist state, legislative action is confined to defining and enforcing the basic rules of the market,[6][7] though the state may provide some public goods and infrastructure.[8] Laissez-faire, which some consider to be the pure form[9] of capitalism in which the state only exercises minimal control over the economy, has never existed in practice.[10][11][9]

Capitalistic economic practices has increasingly became institutionalized in England between the 16th and 19th centuries, although some features of capitalist organization existed in the ancient world, and early forms of merchant capitalism flourished during the Middle Ages.[12][13] Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the end of feudalism.[12] From Britain, it gradually spread throughout Europe, across political and cultural frontiers. In the 19th and 20th centuries, capitalism provided the main, but not exclusive, means of industrialization throughout much of the world.[14]

In the "capitalist mixed economy", the state intervenes in market activity and provides many services.[15] Because all large economies today have a mixture of private and public ownership and control, some feel that the term "mixed economies" more precisely describes most contemporary economies.[16][17] Other capitalist systems include laissez-faire, in which the state plays a minimal role, and anarcho-capitalism in which the the state is superseded by the market and private enterprise. During the last century capitalism has often been contrasted with centrally planned economies.



According to the Oxford English Dictionary, capitalism was first used by novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1854, by which he meant having ownership of capital. In 1867, Proudhon used the term "capitalist" to refer to owners of capital, and Marx and Engels refer capitalist to the capitalist mode of production (kapitalistische Produktionsform) and in Das Kapital to "Kapitalist", "capitalist" (meaning a private owner of capital).[18]

However, the first use of capitalism to describe the production system was the German economist Werner Sombart, in his 1902 book The Jews and Modern Capitalism (Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben). Sombart's close friend and colleague, Max Weber, also used capitalism in his 1904 book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus).

Other terms sometimes used for capitalism, include:

The concept of capitalism has evolved over time, with later thinkers often building on the analysis of earlier thinkers. Moreover, the component concepts used in defining capitalism — such as private ownership, markets and investment — have evolved along with changes in theory, in law, and in practice.

According to Marxist analysis, a core requirement of a capitalist society is that a large portion of the population must not possess sources of self-sustenance that would allow them to be independent, and must instead be compelled, in order to survive, to sell their labor for a living wage.[21][22][23]

Classical political economy

Main article: Economic liberalism

The "classical" tradition in economic thought emerged in Britain in the late 18th century. The classical political economists Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Jean-Baptiste Say, and John Stuart Mill published analyses of the production, distribution and exchange of goods in a capitalist economy that have since formed the basis of study for most contemporary economists. Contributions to this tradition are also found in the earlier work of David Hume and the physiocrats like Richard Cantillon.

Adam Smith's attack on mercantilism and his reasoning for "the system of natural liberty" in The Wealth of Nations (1776) are usually taken as the beginning of classical political economy. Smith devised a set of concepts that remain strongly associated with capitalism today, particularly his theory of the "invisible hand" of the market, through which the pursuit of individual self-interest unintentionally produces a collective good for society. It was necessary for Smith to be so forceful in his argument in favor of free markets because he had to overcome the popular mercantilist sentiment of the time period.[24] He criticized monopolies, tariffs, duties, and other state enforced restrictions of his time and believed that the market is the most fair and efficient arbitrator of resources. This view was shared by David Ricardo, second most important of the classical political economists and one of the most influential economists of modern times.[25] In The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817) he developed the law of comparative advantage, which explains why it is profitable for two parties to trade, even if one of the trading partners is more efficient in every type of economic production. This principle supports the economic case for free trade. Ricardo was a supporter of Say's Law and held the view that full employment is the normal equilibrium for a competitive economy.[26] He also argued that inflation is closely related to changes in quantity of money and credit and was a proponent of the law of diminishing returns, which states that each additional unit of input yields less and less additional output.[27]

The values of classical political economy are strongly associated with the classical liberal doctrine of minimal government intervention in the economy, though it does not necessarily oppose the state's provision of a few basic public goods.[28]. Classical liberal thought has generally assumed a clear division between the economy and other realms of social activity, such as the state.[29]

While economic liberalism favors markets unfettered by the government, it maintains that the state has a legitimate role in providing public goods.[30] For instance, Adam Smith argued that the state has a role in providing roads, canals, schools and bridges that cannot be efficiently implemented by private entities. However, he preferred that these goods should be paid proportionally to their consumption (e.g. putting a toll). In addition, he advocated retaliatory tariffs to bring about free trade, and copyrights and patents to encourage innovation.[30]

Marxian political economy

Main article: Marxian economics

Karl Marx considered capitalism to be a historically specific mode of production (the way in which the productive property is owned and controlled, combined with the corresponding social relations between individuals based on their connection with the process of production) in which capitalism has become the dominant mode of production.[31] The capitalist stage of development or "bourgeois society," for Marx, represented the most advanced form of social organization to date, but he also thought that the working classes would come to power in a worldwide socialist or communist transformation of human society as the end of the series of first aristocratic, then capitalist, and finally working class rule was reached[32][33].

Following Adam Smith, Marx distinguished the use value of commodities from their exchange value in the market. Capital, according to Marx, is created with the purchase of commodities for the purpose of creating new commodities with an exchange value higher than the sum of the original purchases. For Marx, the use of labor power had itself become a commodity under capitalism; the exchange value of labor power, as reflected in the wage, is less than the value it produces for the capitalist. This difference in values, he argues, constitutes surplus value, which the capitalists extract and accumulate. In his book Capital, Marx argues that the capitalist mode of production is distinguished by how the owners of capital extract this surplus from workers — all prior class societies had extracted surplus labor, but capitalism was new in doing so via the sale-value of produced commodities.[34] In conjuction with his criticism of capitalism was Marx's belief that exploited labor would be the driving force behind a revolution to a socialist-style economy.[35]

For Marx, this cycle of the extraction of the surplus value by the owners of capital or the bourgeoisie becomes the basis of class struggle. However, this argument is intertwined with Marx's version of the labor theory of value asserting that labor is the source of all value, and thus of profit. This theory is contested by most current economists, including some contemporary Marxian economists.[14] One line of subsequent Marxian thinking sees the centrally planned economic systems of existing "communist" societies that were still based on exploitation of labor as "state capitalism."[36]

Vladimir Lenin, in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), modified classic Marxist theory and argued that capitalism necessarily induced monopoly capitalism - which he also called "imperialism" - in order to find new markets and resources, representing the last and highest stage of capitalism.[37]

Some 20th century Marxian economists consider capitalism to be a social formation where capitalist class processes dominate, but are not exclusive.[38] Capitalist class processes, to these thinkers, are simply those in which surplus labor takes the form of surplus value, usable as capital; other tendencies for utilization of labor nonetheless exist simultaneously in existing societies where capitalist processes are predominant. However, other late Marxian thinkers argue that a social formation as a whole may be classed as capitalist if capitalism is the mode by which a surplus is extracted, even if this surplus is not produced by capitalist activity, as when an absolute majority of the population is engaged in non-capitalist economic activity.[39]

Weberian political sociology

In some social sciences, the understanding of the defining characteristics of capitalism has been strongly influenced by 19th century German social theorist Max Weber. Weber considered market exchange, rather than production, as the defining feature of capitalism; capitalist enterprises, in contrast to their counterparts in prior modes of economic activity, was their rationalization of production, directed toward maximizing efficiency and productivity. According to Weber, workers in pre-capitalist economic institutions understood work in terms of a personal relationship between master and journeyman in a guild, or between lord and peasant in a manor.[40]

In his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-1905), Weber sought to trace how capitalism transformed these traditional modes of economic activity. For Weber, the 'spirit of capitalism' began with the Puritan understanding of one’s ‘calling’ in life and their laboring for God rather than for men. This is pictured in Proverbs 22:29, “Seest thou a man diligent in his calling? He shall stand before kings” and in Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men." In the Protestant Ethic Weber further stated that “moneymaking – provided it is done legally – is, within the modern economic order, the result and the expression of diligence in one’s calling…” Thus in Weber's opinion, it was with a devotion to God in the workplace and seeking assurance of salvation described as the Protestant work ethic that the Puritans helped form the basis to the modern economic order.

This 'spirit' was gradually codified by law; rendering wage-laborers legally 'free' to sell work; encouraging the development of technology aimed at the organization of production on the basis of rational principles; and clarifying the apparent separation of the public and private lives of workers, especially between the home and the workplace. Therefore, unlike Marx, Weber did not see capitalism as primarily the consequence of changes in the means of production.[41]

Capitalism, for Weber, was the most advanced economic system ever developed over the course of human history. Weber associated capitalism with the advance of the business corporation, public credit, and the further advance of bureaucracy of the modern world. Although Weber defended capitalism against its socialist critics of the period, he saw its rationalizing tendencies as a possible threat to traditional cultural values and institutions, and a possible 'iron cage' constraining human freedom.[42] This is further seen in his criticism of "specialists without spirit, hedonists without a heart" that were developing, in his opinion, with the fading of the original Puritan 'spirit' associated with capitalism.

German Historical School and Austrian School

From the perspective of the German Historical School, capitalism is primarily identified in terms of the organization of production for markets. Although this perspective shares similar theoretical roots with that of Weber, its emphasis on markets and money lends it different focus.[31] For followers of the German Historical School, the key shift from traditional modes of economic activity to capitalism involved the shift from medieval restrictions on credit and money to the modern monetary economy combined with an emphasis on the profit motive.

In the late 19th century the German historical school of economics diverged with the emerging Austrian School of economics, led at the time by Carl Menger. Later generations of followers of the Austrian School continued to be influential in Western economic thought through much of the 20th century. The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, a forerunner of the Austrian School of economics, emphasized the "creative destruction" of capitalism — the fact that market economies undergo constant change. At any moment of time, posits Schumpeter, there are rising industries and declining industries. Schumpeter, and many contemporary economists influenced by his work, argue that resources should flow from the declining to the expanding industries for an economy to grow, but they recognized that sometimes resources are slow to withdraw from the declining industries because of various forms of institutional resistance to change.

The Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek were among the leading defenders of market capitalism against 20th century proponents of socialist planned economies. Mises and Hayek argued that only market capitalism could manage a complex, modern economy. Since a modern economy produces such a large array of distinct goods and services, and consists of such a large array of consumers and enterprises, asserted Mises and Hayek, the information problems facing any other form of economic organization other than market capitalism would exceed its capacity to handle information. Thinkers within Supply-side economics built on the work of the Austrian School, and particular emphasize Say's Law: "supply creates its own demand." Capitalism, to this school, is defined by lack of state restraint on the decisions of producers.

Austrian economics has been a major influence on the ideology of libertarianism, which considers laissez-faire capitalism to be the ideal economic system.

Keynesian economics

Main article: Keynesian economics

In his 1937 The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, the British economist John Maynard Keynes argued that capitalism suffered a basic problem in its ability to recover from periods of slowdowns in investment. Keynes argued that a capitalist economy could remain in an indefinite equilibrium despite high unemployment. Essentially rejecting Say's law, he argued that some people may have a liquidity preference which would see them rather hold money than buy new goods or services, which therefore raised the prospect that the Great Depression would not end without what he termed in the General Theory "a somewhat comprehensive socialization of investment."

Keynesian economics challenged the notion that laissez-faire capitalist economics could operate well on their own, without state intervention used to promote aggregate demand, fighting high unemployment and deflation of the sort seen during the 1930s. He and his followers recommended "pump-priming" the economy to avoid recession: cutting taxes, increasing government borrowing, and spending during an economic down-turn. This was to be accompanied by trying to control wages nationally partly through the use of inflation to cut real wages and to deter people from holding money.[43] John Maynard Keynes provided solutions to many of Marx’s problems without completely abandoning the classical understanding of capitalism. His work showed that regulation can be effective, and that economic stabilizers can reign in the aggressive expansions and recessions that Marx disliked. This created more stability in the business cycle, and reduced the abuses of laborers. Keynesian economic policies were one of the primary reasons capitalism was able to recover following the Great Depression.[44]The premises of Keynes’s work have, however, since been challenged by neoclassical and supply-side economics and the Austrian School.

Another challenge to Keynesian thinking came from his colleague Piero Sraffa, and subsequently from the Neo-Ricardian school that followed Sraffa. In Sraffa's highly technical analysis, capitalism is defined by an entire system of social relations among both producers and consumers, but with a primary emphasis on the demands of production. According to Sraffa, the tendency of capital to seek its highest rate of profit causes a dynamic instability in social and economic relations.

Neoclassical economics and the Chicago School

Today, most academic research on capitalism in the English-speaking world draws on neoclassical economic thought. It favors extensive market coordination and relatively neutral patterns of governmental market regulation aimed at maintaining property rights, rather than privileging particular social actors; deregulated labor markets; corporate governance dominated by financial owners of firms; and financial systems depending chiefly on capital market-based financing rather than state financing.

Milton Friedman effectively took many of the basic principles set forth by Adam Smith and the classical economists and modernized them, in a way. One example of this is his article in the September 1970 issue of The New York Times Magazine, where he claims that the social responsibility of business is “to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits…(through) open and free competition without deception or fraud.” This is tantamount to Smith’s argument that self interest in turn benefits the whole of society.[45] Work like this helped lay the foundations for the coming remarketization of capitalism and the supply-side economics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

The Chicago School of economics is best known for its free market advocacy and monetarist ideas. According to Milton Friedman and monetarists, market economies are inherently stable if left to themselves and depressions result only from government intervention.[46] Friedman, for example, argued that the Great Depression was result of a contraction of the money supply, controlled by the Federal Reserve, and not by the lack of investment as Keynes had argued. Ben Bernanke, current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, is among the economists today generally accepting Friedman's analysis of the causes of the Great Depression.[47]

Neoclassical economists, today the majority of economists,[48] consider value to be subjective, varying from person to person and for the same person at different times, and thus reject the labor theory of value. Marginalism is the theory that economic value results from marginal utility and marginal cost (the marginal concepts). These economists see capitalists as earning profits by forgoing current consumption, by taking risks, and by organizing production.


Main article: History of capitalism

Elements of Capitalism

Elements of capitalism long predate the actual rise of capitalism itself. Private ownership of some means of production has existed at least in a small degree since the invention of agriculture.

Market economies have likewise existed since the rise of the first states over 5,000 years ago.[49] Some economic historians (like Peter Temin) argue that the economy of the Early Roman Empire was comparable to the most advanced economies of the world before the Industrial Revolution, namely the economies of 18th century England and 17th century Netherlands. There were markets for every type of good, for land, for cargo ships; there was even an insurance market.[50]

Some writers trace back the earliest stages of merchant capitalism even further to the Caliphate during the 9th-12th centuries, where a vigorous monetary market economy was created on the basis of the expanding levels of circulation of a stable high-value currency (the dinar) and the integration of monetary areas that were previously independent. Innovative new business techniques and forms of business organization were introduced by economists, merchants and traders during this time. Such innovations included trading companies, bills of exchange, contracts, long-distance trade, big businesses, the first forms of partnership (mufawada in Arabic) such as limited partnerships (mudaraba) (mufawada partnership possessed features similar to those of the early medieval family compagnia in Europe),[51] and the concepts of credit, profit, capital (al-mal) and capital accumulation (nama al-mal). Many of these early capitalist ideas were further advanced in medieval Europe from the 13th century onwards.[13][52][53]

Some writers see medieval guilds as forerunners of the modern capitalist concern (especially through using apprentices as a kind of paid laborer); but economic activity was bound by customs and controls which, along with the rule of the aristocracy which would expropriate wealth through arbitrary fines, taxes and enforced loans, meant that profits were difficult to accumulate. By the 18th century, however, these barriers to profit were overcome and capitalism became the dominant economic system of the United Kingdom and by the 19th century Western Europe.

In the period between the late 15th century and the late 18th century the institution of private property was brought into existence in the full, legal meaning of the term. Important contribution to the theory of property is found in the work of John Locke, who argued that the right to private property is a natural right. During the Industrial Revolution much of Europe underwent a thorough economic transformation associated with the rise of capitalism and levels of wealth and economic output in the Western world have risen dramatically since that period.

The Crisis of the 14th Century and the "Pre-History of Capitalism"

According to some historians, the modern capitalist system has its origin in the "crisis of the fourteenth century," a conflict between the land-owning aristocracy and the agricultural producers, the serfs. Feudal arrangements inhibited the development of capitalism in a number of ways. Because serfs were forced to produce for lords, they had no interest in technological innovation; because serfs produced to sustain their own families, they had no interest in co-operating with one another. Because lords owned the land, they relied on force to guarantee that they were provided with sufficient food. Because lords were not producing to sell on the market, there was no competitive pressure for them to innovate. Finally, because lords expanded their power and wealth through military means, they spent their wealth on military equipment or on conspicuous consumption that helped foster alliances with other lords; they had no incentive to invest in developing new productive technologies.[54]

This arrangement was shaken by the demographic crisis of the fourteenth century. This crisis had several causes: agricultural productivity reached its technological limitations and stopped growing; bad weather led to the Great Famine of 1315-1317; the Black Death in 1348-1350 led to a population crash. These factors led to a decline in agricultural production. In response feudal lords sought to expand agricultural production by expanding their domains through warfare; they therefore demanded more tribute from their serfs to pay for military expenses. In England, many serfs rebelled. Some moved to towns, some purchased land, and some entered into favorable contracts to rent lands, from lords desperate to repopulate their estates.[55]

The collapse of the manorial system in England created a class of tenant-farmers with more freedom to market their goods and thus more incentive to invest in new technologies. Lords who did not want to rely on rents could buy out or evict tenant farmers, but then had to hire free-labor to work their estates – giving them an incentive in investing in production.[56] This process was encouraged by the “enclosure movement,” which transferred public lands to large landowners, who used the land to graze sheep rather than produce food. As England’s wool exports grew in the fifteenth century, the process of enclosure accelerated, forcing many tenant-farmers to give up farming and seek wage-labor.[57] According to Karl Marx, the rise of the contractual relationship is inextricably bound to the end of the obligatory relationship between serfs and lords. Marx characterizes this transformation as “the historical process of divorcing the producer from the means of production.”[58] It was this “divorcing” that turned the serf’s land into the lord’s capital. According to Marx, this rearrangement led to a new division of classes:

two very different kinds of commodity owners; on the one hand, the owners of money, means of production, means of subsistence, who are eager to valorize the sum of value they have appropriated by buying the labour power of others; on the other hand, free workers, the sellers of their own labor-power, and therefore the sellers of labour. Free workers, in the double sense that they neither form part of the means of production themselves … nor do they own the means of production” that transformed land and even money into what we now call “capital.”[59]

Marx labeled this period the "pre-history of capitalism.[60]

It was, in effect, feudalism that began to lay some of the foundations necessary for the development of mercantilism, a precursor to capitalism. Feudalism took place mostly in Europe and lasted from the medieval period up through the 16th century. Feudal manors were almost entirely self sufficient, and therefore limited the role of the market. This stifled the growth of capitalism. However, the relatively sudden emergence of new technologies and discoveries, particularly in the industries of agriculture [61] and exploration, revitalized the growth of capitalism. The most important development at the end of Feudalism was the emergence of “the dichotomy between wage earners and capitalist merchants”.[62] With mercantilism, the competitive nature means there are always winners and losers, and this is clearly evident as feudalism transitions into mercantilism.


Main article: Mercantilism

The economic and political system of the early modern period (16th to 18th centuries) from which capitalism evolved is commonly described as merchant capitalism or mercantilism[31] (EB). This period was associated with geographic discoveries by merchant overseas traders, especially from England and the Low Countries; the European colonization of the Americas; and the rapid growth in overseas trade. The associated rise of a bourgeoisie class eclipsed the prior feudal system. It is mercantilism that Adam Smith argued against in his Wealth of Nations.

Mercantilism flourished during this time for a variety of reasons, and its existence was a necessary precursor to early capitalism. There are two historical events that contributed to this. First, the Renaissance gave several philosophical justifications for a market-oriented society from some of the foremost thinkers of the era. New ideas were flourishing, and there was a shift away from religious thinking, whose lofty ideals and stringent rules restricted the growth of markets. Second, the Protestant Reformation was instrumental in further refuting certain religious ideals. Calvinism preached the messages of disciplined investing and acceptance of business, which led to the development of a self-interested economy that could detach itself from religious beliefs.[63]

Voyages of discovery were taking place, leading to rampant colonization of lands outside of Europe and the finding of new resources and commodities. This is the peak of the Dutch Hegemony, with the Dutch East India Company serving as the epitome of a joint stock company that promoted trade. Trade developed, but there is an important distinction to be made between trade during mercantilism and trade as it exists in a capitalistic society. Trade during the mercantilist era took place between the Old World (Europe) and the New World (Americas) and was governed and funded by the states, not private firms. The trade taking place was a precursor to the Industrial Revolution and modern industrial capitalism.

Mercantilism was a system of trade for profit, although commodities were still largely produced by non-capitalist production methods.[14] Noting the various pre-capitalist features of mercantilism, Karl Polanyi argued that capitalism did not emerge until the establishment of free trade in Britain in the 1830s.

Under mercantilism, European merchants, backed by state controls, subsidies, and monopolies, made most of their profits from the buying and selling of goods. In the words of Francis Bacon, the purpose of mercantilism was "the opening and well-balancing of trade; the cherishing of manufacturers; the banishing of idleness; the repressing of waste and excess by sumptuary laws; the improvement and husbanding of the soil; the regulation of prices…"[64] Similar practices of economic regimentation had begun earlier in the medieval towns. However, under mercantilism, given the contemporaneous rise of absolutism, the state superseded the local guilds as the regulator of the economy.

Where guilds were in control they shaped labour, production and trade; they had strong controls over instructional capital, and the modern concepts of a lifetime progression of apprentice to master craftsman, journeyer, and eventually to widely-recognized master and grandmaster began to emerge. The guilds during that time essentially functioned like cartels that monopolized the quantity of craftsmen to earn above-market wages.[65] The guilds enforced their monopoly by the letters patents, which prohibited anyone working in an industry that they chose, unless they practiced an apprenticeship with for many years.

Among the major tenets of mercantilist theory was bullionism, a doctrine stressing the importance of accumulating precious metals. Mercantilists argued that a state should export more goods than it imported so that foreigners would have to pay the difference in precious metals. Mercantilists asserted that only raw materials that could not be extracted at home should be imported; and promoted government subsidies, such as the granting of monopolies and protective tariffs, were necessary to encourage home production of manufactured goods.

Proponents of mercantilism emphasized state power and overseas conquest as the principal aim of economic policy. If a state could not supply its own raw materials, according to the mercantilists, it should acquire colonies from which they could be extracted. Colonies constituted not only sources of supply for raw materials but also markets for finished products. Because it was not in the interests of the state to allow competition, held the mercantilists, colonies should be prevented from engaging in manufacturing and trading with foreign powers.


Industrial capitalism

See also: Industrial Revolution

Mercantilism declined in Great Britain in the mid-18th century, when a new group of economic theorists, led by David Hume[66] and Adam Smith, challenged fundamental mercantilist doctrines as the belief that the amount of the world’s wealth remained constant and that a state could only increase its wealth at the expense of another state. However, in more undeveloped economies, such as Prussia and Russia, with their much younger manufacturing bases, mercantilism continued to find favor after other states had turned to newer doctrines.

The mid-18th century gave rise to industrial (bourgeois) capitalism, made possible by the accumulation of vast amounts of capital under the merchant phase of capitalism and its investment in machinery. Industrial capitalism, which Marx dated from the last third of the 18th century, marked the development of the factory system of manufacturing, characterized by a complex division of labor between and within work process and the routinization of work tasks; and finally established the global domination of the capitalist mode of production.[31] In the midst of this newly developing concept of division of labor came exploitation of labor on a much larger scale than was ever seen before.[67]

During the resulting Industrial Revolution, the industrialist replaced the merchant as a dominant actor in the capitalist system and effected the decline of the traditional handicraft skills of artisans, guilds, and journeymen. Also during this period, capitalism marked the transformation of relations between the British landowning gentry and peasants, giving rise to the production of cash crops for the market rather than for subsistence on a feudal manor. The surplus generated by the rise of commercial agriculture encouraged increased mechanization of agriculture and the rise of the bourgeoisie.

The rise of industrial capitalism was also associated with the decline of mercantilism. Mid- to late-nineteenth-century Britain is widely regarded as the classic case of industrial (bourgeois) capitalism.[31] Capitalism gained favor over mercantilism in Britain in the 1840s with the repeal of the Corn Laws and the Navigation Acts. In line with the teachings of the classical political economists, led by Adam Smith and David Ricardo, Britain embraced liberalism, encouraging free competition for all classes, and eliminating barriers to the development of a market economy.

However, due to companies legislation, British capitalism was not exclusively laissez-faire.[68] The British state created charters, creating immunites for the coporations under the Limited Liability Act 1855 and the Joint Stock Companies Act 1856. The British East India Company and controls in major industries during that time were also important examples of economic regulations. See List of Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom Parliament, 1840-1859 and History of labour law in the United Kingdom.

Most of the early proponents of the liberal theory of economics in the United States subscribed to the American School. This school of thought was inspired by the ideas of Alexander Hamilton, who proposed the creation of the First National Bank and the Second National Bank and increased tariffs (e.g. tariff of 1828) to favor northern industrial interests. Following Hamilton's death, the more abiding protectionist influence in the antebellum period came from Henry Clay and his American System.

In the mid-19th century, the United States followed the Whig tradition of economic liberalism, which included increased state control, regulation and macroeconomic development of infrastructure.[69] Public works such as the provision and regulation transportation such as railroads took effect. The Pacific Railway Acts provided the development of the First Transcontinental Railroad.[69] In order to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War, the United States government imposed its first personal income tax, on August 5, 1861, as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872).

Following the American Civil War, the movement towards a mixed economy accelerated with even more protectionism and government regulation. In the 1880s and 1890s, significant tariff increases were enacted (see the McKinley Tariff and Dingley Tariff). Moreover, with the enactment of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, the Sherman Anti-trust Act, the federal government began to assume an increasing role in regulating and directing the country's economy.


Monopoly capitalism

See also: Gilded Age and Progressive Era

In the late 19th century, the control and direction of large areas of industry came into the hands of financiers. This period has been defined as "finance capitalism," characterized by the subordination of processes of production to the accumulation of profits in a financial system.[14] Major characteristics of capitalism in this period included the establishment of large industrial cartels or monopolies; the ownership and management of industry by financiers divorced from the production process; and the development of a complex system of banking, an equity market, and corporate holdings of capital through stock ownership.[14] Increasingly, large industries and land became the subject of profit and loss by financial speculators.

From the American Civil War to the early 20th century, capitalism has also been increasingly influenced by large, monopolistic corporations. The oil, telecommunication, railroad, shipping, banking and financial industries are characterized by its monopolistic domination. Inside these corporations, a division of labor separates shareholders, owners, managers, and actual laborers.[70] Although the concept of monopoly capitalism originated among Marxist theorists,[71] non-Marxist economic historians have also commented on the rise of monopolies and trusts in the period. Murray Rothbard, asserting that the large cartels of the late 19th century could not arise on the free market, argued that the "state monopoly capitalism" of the period was the result of interventionist policies adopted by governments, such as tariffs, quotas, licenses, and partnership between state and big business.[72]

By the last quarter of the 19th century, the emergence of large industrial trusts had provoked legislation in the U.S. to reduce the monopolistic tendencies of the period. Gradually, during this Progressive Era, the U.S. federal government played a larger and larger role in passing antitrust laws and regulation of industrial standards for key industries of special public concern. However, contemporary, non-bourgeois economic historians believe these new laws were in fact designed to aid large corporations at the expense of smaller competitors.[73] By the end of the 19th century, economic depressions and boom and bust business cycles had become a recurring problem, although such problems were most likely caused by government intervention (according to the bourgeoisie of the time), not failures in free markets (Rand 1967, Friedman 1962, Bernstein 2005). In particular, the Long Depression of the 1870s and 1880s and the Great Depression of the 1930s affected almost the entire capitalist world, and generated discussion about capitalism’s long-term survival prospects. In the early 20th century, a succession of U.S. Presidents, beginning with Warren Harding's "Return to Normalcy," the state decreased taxation rates, with the Revenue Act of 1924 and 1926. This allowed for the prosperity of "The Roaring Twenties," but later was said to be largely responsible for the Great Depression.[74] During the 1930s, Marxist commentators often posited the possibility of capitalism's decline or demise, often in alleged contrast to the ability of the Soviet Union to avoid suffering the effects of the global depression.[75]

After the Great Depression

The economic recovery of the world's leading capitalist economies in the period following the end of the Great Depression and the Second World War — a period of unusually rapid growth by historical standards — eased discussion of capitalism's eventual decline or demise (Engerman 2001).

In the period following the global depression of the 1930s, the state played an increasingly prominent role in the capitalistic system throughout much of the world. In 1929, for example, total U.S. government expenditures (federal, state, and local) amounted to less than one-tenth of GNP; from the 1970s they amounted to around one-third (EB). Similar increases were seen in all bourgeois economies, some of which, such as France, have reached even higher ratios of government expenditures to GNP than the United States. These economies have since been widely described as "mixed economies."

During the postwar boom, a broad array of new analytical tools in the social sciences were developed to explain the social and economic trends of the period, including the concepts of post-industrial society and the welfare state.[31] The phase of capitalism from the beginning of the postwar period through the 1970s has sometimes been described as “state capitalism”, especially by Marxian thinkers.[36] This era was greatly influenced by Keynesian economic stabilization policies.

The long postwar boom ended in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the situation was worsened by the rise of stagflation.[76] Exceptionally high inflation combined with slow output growth, rising unemployment, and eventually recession caused loss of credibility of Keynesian welfare-statist mode of regulation. Under the influence of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, Western states embraced policy prescriptions inspired by the laissez-faire capitalism and classical liberalism. In particular, monetarism, a theoretical alternative to Keynesianism that is more compatible with laissez-faire, gained increasing prominence in the capitalist world, especially under the leadership of Ronald Reagan in the U.S. and Margaret Thatcher in the UK in the 1980s. Finally, the general public's interest shifted from the collectivist concerns of Keynes's managed capitalism to a focus on individual freedom and choice, called "remarketized capitalism." [77] In the eyes of many economic and political commentators, collapse of the Soviet Union supposedly brought further evidence of superiority of market capitalism over communism.


Main article: Globalization

Although overseas trade has been associated with the development of capitalism for over five hundred years, some thinkers argue that a number of trends associated with globalization have acted to increase the mobility of people and capital since the last quarter of the 20th century, combining to circumscribe the room to maneuver of states in choosing non-capitalist models of development. Today, these trends have bolstered the argument that capitalism should now be viewed as a truly world system.[31] However, other thinkers argue that globalization, even in its quantitative degree, is no greater now than during earlier periods of capitalist trade.[78] The roots of globalized capitalism can be traced back to the imperialism of the early 20th century. Imperialistic policies promoted the spread of capitalistic principles, and the doors of trade stayed open in foreign countries even after imperialism had come to an end.[79]

After the abandonment of the Bretton Woods system and the strict state control of foreign exchange rates, the total value of transactions in foreign exchange was estimated to be at least twenty times greater than that of all foreign movements of goods and services (EB). The internationalization of finance, which some see as beyond the reach of state control, combined with the growing ease with which large corporations have been able to relocate their operations to low-wage states, has posed the question of the 'eclipse' of state sovereignty, arising from the growing 'globalization' of capital.[80]

Economic growth in the last half-century has been consistently strong. Life expectancy has almost doubled in the developing world since the postwar years and is starting to close the gap on the developed world where the improvement has been smaller. Infant mortality has decreased in every developing region of the world, thanks to the work of a handful of charitable bourgeoisie, but the destitute continue to suffer and die while the bourgeoisie increase their profits.[81] While scientists generally agree about the size of global income inequality, there is a general disagreement about the recent direction of change of it.[82] However, it is growing within particular nations such as China.[83] The book The Improving State of the World argues that economic growth since the industrial revolution has been very strong and that factors such as adequate nutrition, life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy, prevalence of child labor, education, and available free time have improved greatly.

The biggest reason for the increasingly global capitalist economy is the telecommunications revolution that has taken place over the last twenty years. Fax machines, cell phones, and the internet have made it possible for work to be done and transactions to take place from almost anywhere in the world.[84]

In 2008, state intervention in global capital markets by the American and other governments was seen by many as signaling a crisis for free-market capitalism. Serious turmoil in the banking system and financial markets due to the subprime mortgage crisis reached a critical stage during September 2008, characterized by severely contracted liquidity in the global credit markets and going-concern threats to investment banks and other institutions. [85][86]


Political advocacy



World's GDP per capita shows exponential acceleration
since the beginning of the industrial revolution.[87]

Many theorists and policymakers in predominantly capitalist nations have emphasized capitalism's ability to promote economic growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), capacity utilization or standard of living. This argument was central, for example, to Adam Smith's advocacy of letting a free market control production and price, and allocate resources. Many theorists have noted that this increase in global GDP over time coincides with the emergence of the modern world capitalist system.[88][89] While the measurements are not identical, proponents argue that increasing GDP (per capita) is empirically shown to bring about improved standards of living, such as better availability of food, housing, clothing, and health care.[90] The decrease in the number of hours worked per week and the decreased participation of children and the elderly in the workforce have been attributed to capitalism.[91][92][93][94] Proponents also believe that a capitalist economy offers far more opportunities for individuals to raise their income through new professions or business ventures than do other economic forms. To their thinking, this potential is much greater than in either traditional feudal or tribal societies or in socialist societies.

Milton Friedman has argued that the economic freedom of competitive capitalism is a requisite of political freedom. Friedman argued that centralized control of economic activity is always accompanied by political repression. In his view, transactions in a market economy are voluntary, and the wide diversity that voluntary activity permits is a fundamental threat to repressive political leaders and greatly diminish power to coerce. Friedman's view was also shared by Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes, both of whom believed that capitalism is vital for freedom to survive and thrive.[95][96]

Austrian School economists have argued that capitalism can organize itself into a complex system without an external guidance or planning mechanism. Friedrich Hayek coined the term "catallaxy" to describe what he considered the phenomenon of self-organization underpinning capitalism. From this perspective, in process of self-organization, the profit motive has an important role. From transactions between buyers and sellers price systems emerge, and prices serve as a signal as to the urgent and unfilled wants of people. The promise of profits gives entrepreneurs incentive to use their knowledge and resources to satisfy those wants. Thus the activities of millions of people, each seeking his own interest, are coordinated.[97]

This decentralized system of coordination is viewed by some supporters of capitalism as one of its greatest strengths. They argue that it permits many solutions to be tried, and that real-world competition generally finds a good solution to emerging challenges. In contrast, they argue, central planning often selects inappropriate solutions as a result of faulty forecasting. However, in all existing modern economies, the state conducts some degree of centralized economic planning (using such tools as allowing the country's central bank to set base interest rates), ostensibly as an attempt to improve efficiency, attenuate cyclical volatility, and further particular social goals. Proponents who follow the Austrian School argue that even this limited control creates inefficiencies because we cannot predict the long-term activity of the economy. Milton Friedman, for example, has argued that the Great Depression was caused by the erroneous policy of the Federal Reserve.[47]

Ayn Rand was a prominent philosophical supporter of laissez-faire capitalism; her novel Atlas Shrugged was one of the most influential publications ever written on the subject of business.[98] The first person to endow capitalism with a new code of morality (Rational Selfishness),[99] she did not justify capitalism on the grounds of pure "practicality" (that it is the best wealth-creating system), or the supernatural (that God or religion supports capitalism), or because it benefits the most people, but maintained that it is the only morally valid socio-political system because it allows people to be free to act in their rational self-interest.[100]

These thinkers have had a substantial influence on the Libertarian Party, which is the political party that is most closely allied with laissez faire and free market economics in the United States. The Libertarian Party strongly advocates the elimination of most, if not all, state involvement in the marketplace. The Republican Liberty Caucus is the libertarian branch of the Republican Party.



Main articles: Criticisms of capitalism and Anti-capitalism

Capitalism has met with strong opposition throughout its history. Most of the criticism came from the left, but some from the right, and some from religious elements. Many 19th century conservatives were among the most strident critics of capitalism, seeing market exchange and commodity production as threats to cultural and religious traditions. Some critics of capitalism consider economic regulation necessary in order to reduce corruption, negligence, and numerous other problems.

Prominent leftist critics have included socialists like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Leon Trotsky, Antonio Gramsci, Rosa Luxemburg, Slavoj Zizek, and anarchists including Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Murray Bookchin, Rudolf Rocker, Noam Chomsky, and others. Movements like the Luddites, Narodniks, Shakers, Utopian Socialists and others have opposed capitalism for various reasons. Marxism advocated a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism that would lead eventually to communism. Marxism also influenced social democratic and labour parties, which seek change through existing democratic channels instead of revolution, and believe that capitalism should be heavily regulated rather than abolished. Many aspects of capitalism have come under attack from the relatively recent anti-globalization movement.

Some religions criticize or outright oppose specific elements of capitalism. Some traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam forbid lending money at interest, although methods of Islamic banking have been developed. Christianity has been a source of both praise and criticism for capitalism, particularly its materialist aspects.[101] The first socialists drew many of their principles from Christian values (see Christian socialism), against "bourgeois" values of profiteering, greed, selfishness, and hoarding. Christian critics of capitalism may not oppose capitalism entirely, but support a mixed economy in order to ensure adequate labor standards and relations, as well as economic justice. There are many Protestant denominations (particularly in the United States) who have reconciled with — or are ardently in favor of — capitalism, particularly in opposition to secular socialism. However, in the U.S. and around the world there are many Protestant Christian traditions which are critical of, or even oppose, capitalism. Another critic is the Indian philosopher P.R. Sarkar, founder of the Ananda Marga movement, who developed the Social Cycle Theory and proposed a solution called the Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT).[102][103]

Some problems said to be associated with capitalism include: unfair and inefficient distribution of wealth and power; a tendency toward market monopoly or oligopoly (and government by oligarchy); imperialism and various forms of economic and cultural exploitation; and phenomena such as social alienation, inequality, unemployment, and economic instability. Critics have maintained that there is an inherent tendency towards oligolopolistic structures when laissez-faire is combined with capitalist private property. Because of this tendency either laissez-faire, or private property, or both, have drawn fire from critics who believe an essential aspect of economic freedom is the extension of the freedom to have meaningful decision-making control over productive resources to everyone. Economist Branko Horvat asserts, "it is now well known that capitalist development leads to the concentration of capital, employment and power. It is somewhat less known that it leads to the almost complete destruction of economic freedom."[104]

Near the start of the 20th century, Vladimir Lenin claimed that state use of military power to defend capitalist interests abroad was an inevitable corollary of monopoly capitalism.[105] This concept of political economy concerning the relationship between economic and political power among and within states includes critics of capitalism who assign to it responsibility for not only economic exploitation, but imperialist, colonialist and counter-revolutionary wars, repressions of workers and trade unionists, genocides, massacres, and so on.

Some environmentalists claim that capitalism requires continual economic growth, and will inevitably deplete the finite natural resources of the earth, and other broadly utilized resources. Such thinkers, including Murray Bookchin, have argued that capitalist production passes on environmental costs to all of society, and is unable to adequately mitigate its impact upon ecosystems and the biosphere at large.

Some labor historians and scholars, such as Immanuel Wallerstein, Tom Brass and, latterly Marcel van der Linden, have also argued that unfree labor — the use of a labor force comprised of slaves, indentured servants, criminal convicts, political prisoners, and/or other coerced persons — is compatible with capitalist relations.[106]


Democracy, the state, and legal frameworks

Main article: History of capitalist theory

The relationship between the state, its formal mechanisms, and capitalist societies has been debated in many fields of social and political theory, with active discussion since the 19th century. Hernando de Soto is a contemporary economist who has argued that an important characteristic of capitalism is the functioning state protection of property rights in a formal property system where ownership and transactions are clearly recorded.[107] According to de Soto, this is the process by which physical assets are transformed into capital, which in turn may be used in many more ways and much more efficiently in the market economy. A number of Marxian economists have argued that the Enclosure Acts in England, and similar legislation elsewhere, were an integral part of capitalist primitive accumulation and that specific legal frameworks of private land ownership have been integral to the development of capitalism.[108][109]

New institutional economics, a field pioneered by Douglass North, stresses the need of capitalism for a legal framework to function optimally, and focuses on the relationship between the historical development of capitalism and the creation and maintenance of political and economic institutions.[110] In new institutional economics and other fields focusing on public policy, economists seek to judge when and whether governmental intervention (such as taxes, welfare, and government regulation) can result in potential gains in efficiency. According to Gregory Mankiw, a New Keynesian economist, governmental intervention can improve on market outcomes under conditions of "market failure," or situations in which the market on its own does not allocate resources efficiently.[111] The idea of market failure is that markets fail to realize all potential gains from trade. This means that markets fail to deliver perfect economic results. Critics of market failure theory, like Ronald Coase, Harold Demsetz, and James M. Buchanan argue that government programs and policies also fall short of absolute perfection. Market failures are often small, and government failures are sometimes large. It is therefore the case that imperfect markets are often better than imperfect governmental alternatives. While all nations currently have some kind of market regulations, the desirable degree of regulation is disputed.

The relationship between democracy and capitalism is a contentious area in theory and popular political movements. The extension of universal adult male suffrage in 19th century Britain occurred along with the development of industrial capitalism, and democracy became widespread at the same time as capitalism, leading many theorists to posit a causal relationship between them, or that each affects the other. However, in the 20th century, according to some authors, capitalism also accompanied a variety of political formations quite distinct from liberal democracies, including fascist regimes, monarchies, and single-party states,[31] while it has been observed[who?] that many democratic societies such as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Anarchist Catalonia have been expressly anti-capitalist.[112] While some thinkers argue that capitalist development more-or-less inevitably eventually leads to the emergence of democracy, others dispute this claim. Research on the democratic peace theory further indicates that capitalist democracies rarely make war with one another and have little internal violence.[113][114] However critics of the democratic peace theory note that democratic capitalist states may fight infrequently or never with other democratic capitalist states because of Political similarity or political stability rather than because they are democratic (or capitalist).

Some commentators argue that though economic growth under capitalism has led to democratization in the past, it may not do so in the future. Under this line of thinking, authoritarian regimes have been able to manage economic growth without making concessions to greater political freedom.[115][116]

In response to criticism of the system, some proponents of capitalism have argued that its advantages are supported by empirical research. For example, advocates of different Index of Economic Freedom point to a statistical correlation between nations with more economic freedom (as defined by the Indices) and higher scores on variables such as income and life expectancy, including the poor in these nations. Some peer-reviewed studies find evidence for causation.

See also


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2.            Obrinsky (1983) p.1

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6.            a b Lane, J.E.; Ersson, S.O. (2002). Government and the Economy: A Global Perspective. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 7–16. 

7.            a b Pejovich, Svetozar (1990). The Economics of Property Rights. Springer. p. 31. 

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9.            a b McConnell, Campbell R. and Brue, Stanley L., Microeconomics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. McGraw-Hill, 1992. p 38

10.        Stromberg, Joseph R. (1977), The Political Economy of Liberal Corporatism, Center for Libertarian Studies, 

11.        von Mises, Ludwig (1996), "The Market: Capitalism", Human Action, Irvington, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, pp. 264-268, 

12.        a b c d Capitalism. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2006. 

13.        a b Banaji, Jairus (2007). "Islam, the Mediterranean and the rise of capitalism". Journal Historical Materialism (Brill Publishers) 15: 47–74. doi:10.1163/156920607X171591. 

14.        a b c d e Scott, John (2005). Industrialism: A Dictionary of Sociology. Oxford University Press. 

15.        "all of the capitalistic societies of the West have mixed economies that temper capitalism" with interventionist government regulation and social programs. Shafritz, Jay M. (1992). The HarperCollins Dictionary of American Government and Politics. HarperPerennial. P. 93

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19.        Werhane, P.H. (1994). "Adam Smith and His Legacy for Modern Capitalism". The Review of Metaphysics (Philosophy Education Society, Inc.) 47 (3). 

20.        a b Friedman, Milton. 1962. Capitalism and Freedom. University of Chicago Press. p 38.

21.        Karl Marx. Chapter Twenty-Five: The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation. Das Kapital.

22.        Dobb, Maurice 1947 Studies in the Development of Capitalism. New York: International Publishers Co., Inc.

23.        David Harvey 1989 The Condition of Postmodernity

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26.        Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Blackwell Publishing. 1991. pp. 91. 

27.        Skousen, Mark (2001). The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 98–102. 

28.        Eric Aaron, What's Right? (Dural, Australia: Rosenberg Publishing, 2003), 75.

29.        Calhoun, Craig (2002). Capitalism: Dictionary of the Social Sciences. Oxford University Press. 

30.        a b "Adam Smith". 

31.        a b c d e f g h Burnham, Peter (2003). Capitalism: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Oxford University Press. 

32.        The Communist Manifesto

33.        "To Marx, the problem of reconstituting society did not arise from some prescription, motivated by his personal predilections; it followed, as an iron-clad historical necessity – on the one hand, from the productive forces grown to powerful maturity; on the other, from the impossibility further to organize these forces according to the will of the law of value." - Leon Trotsky, "Marxism in our Time", 1939 (Inevitability of Socialism) [1]

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35.        Wheen, Francis Books That Shook the World: Marx's Das Kapital1st ed. London: Atlantic Books, 2006

36.        a b Early proponents of the term "state capitalism" include, for example, Tony Cliff, Raya Dunayevskaya, CLR James and Paul Mattick. Ernest Mandel has been a particularly prominent advocate of the analysis of post-WWII conditions as state capitalism. (See, for example, Mandel's The Theory of “State Capitalism”.Ernest Mandel (1951-06-01). "The Theory of “State Capitalism”". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

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45.        Friedman, Milton. "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits." The New York Times Magazine 13 Sep. 1970.

46.        Felderer, Bernhard. Macroeconomics and New Macroeconomics. 

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49.        Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn 2004 Archeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice. 4th edition. New York: Thames and Hudson. 361-365

50.        A Market Economy in the Early Roman Empire

51.        Partnership and Profit in Medieval Islam by Abraham L. Udovitch

52.        Shatzmiller, Maya (1994). Labour in the Medieval Islamic World. Brill Publishers. pp. 402–403. ISBN 9004098968. 

53.        Labib, Subhi Y. (1969). "Capitalism in Medieval Islam". The Journal of Economic History 29: 79–96. 

54.        Brenner, Robert, 1977, “The Origins of Capitalist Development: a Critique of Neo-Smithian Marxism,” in New Left Review 104: 36-37, 46

55.        Dobb, Maurice 1947 Studies in the Development of Capitalism. New York: International Publishers Co., Inc. 42-46, 48 ff.

56.        Brenner, Robert, 1977, “The Origins of Capitalist Development: a Critique of Neo-Smithian Marxism,” in New Left Review 104: 43, 60, 75-76

57.        Dobb, Maurice 1947 Studies in the Development of Capitalism. New York: International Publishers Co., Inc. 224-230

58.        Marx, Karl [1867] 1976 Capital: A Critique of Political Economy Volume One trans. Ben Fowkes. Harmondsworth and London: Penguin Books and New Left Review. 875

59.        Marx, Karl [1867] 1976 Capital: A Critique of Political Economy Volume One trans. Ben Fowkes. Harmondsworth and London: Penguin Books and New Left Review. 874

60.        Marx, Karl [1867] 1976 Capital: A Critique of Political Economy Volume One trans. Ben Fowkes. Harmondsworth and London: Penguin Books and New Left Review. 875

61.        James Fulcher, Capitalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 19

62.        Degen, Robert. The Triumph of Capitalism. 1st ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008. p. 12

63.        Degen, Robert. The Triumph of Capitalism. 1st ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008. p. 15

64.        Clark, Sir George (1961). The Seventeenth Century. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 24. 

65.        Mancur Olson, The rise and decline of nations: economic growth, staglaction, and social rigidities (New Haven & London 1982).

66.        Hume, David (1752). Political Discourses. Edinburgh: A. Kincaid & A. Donaldson. 

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69.        a b Guelzo, Allen C. (1999), Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, ISBN 0-8028-3872-3, 

70.        Scott, John (2005). A Dictionary of Sociology. Oxford University Press. 

71.        Charlene Gannage (1980). "E.S. Varga and the Theory of State Monopoly Capitalism". Review of Radical Political Economics 12 (3): 36–49. doi:10.1177/048661348001200304. 

72.        Stromberg, Joseph R. (2001). "The Role of State Monopoly Capitalism in the American Empire". Journal of Libertarian Studies 15 (3): 74–75. 

73.        Rothbard, Murray. A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II. pp. 185–186. 

74.        Degen, Robert. The Triumph of Capitalism. 1st ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008.

75.        Engerman, Stanley L. (2001). The Oxford Companion to United States History. Oxford University Press. 

76.        Barnes, Trevor J. (2004). Reading economic geography. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 127. ISBN 063123554X. 

77.        Fulcher, James. Capitalism. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

78.        Henwood, Doug (2003-10-01). After the New Economy. New Press. ISBN 1-56584-770-9. 

79.        Fulcher, James. Capitalism. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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82.        Milanovic, Branko (2006-08-01). "Global Income Inequality: What It Is And Why It Matters?". DESA Working Paper 26: 9. 

83.        Brooks, David (2004-11-27). "Good News about Poverty". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

84.        Fulcher, James. Capitalism. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

85.        "President Bush Meets with Bicameral and Bipartisan Members of Congress to Discuss Economy",, September 25, 2008.

86.        [ House Votes Down Bail-Out Package

87.        Angus Maddison (2001). The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective. Paris: OECD. ISBN 92-64-18998-X. 

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92.        "Labor and Minimum Wages". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

93.        Woods, Thomas E. (2004-04-05). "Morality and Economic Law: Toward a Reconciliation". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

94.        Norberg, Johan. "Three Cheers for Global Capitalism". The American Enterprise. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

95.        Friedrich Hayek (1944). The Road to Serfdom. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-32061-8. 

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98.        Ayn Rand's Literature of Capitalism, The New York Times

99.        The Virtue of Selfishness

100.    Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

101.    "III. The Social Doctrine of the Church". The Vatican. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

102.    Dada Maheshvarananda. "After Capitalism". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

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104.    Horvat, B.. The Political Economy of Socialism. Armonk, NY: M.E.Sharpe Inc.. pp. 11. 

105.    Vladimir Lenin. "Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

106.    That unfree labor is acceptable to capital was argued during the 1980s by Tom Brass. See Towards a Comparative Political Economy of Unfree Labor (Cass, 1999). Marcel van der Linden. ""Labour History as the History of Multitudes", Labour/Le Travail, 52, Fall 2003, p. 235-244". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

107.    Hernando de Soto. "The mystery of capital". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

108.    Karl Marx. "Capital, v. 1. Part VIII: primitive accumulation". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

109.    N. F. R. Crafts (April 1978). "Enclosure and labor supply revisited". Explorations in economic history 15 (15): 172–183. doi:10.1016/0014-4983(78)90019-0. .

110.    North, Douglass C. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge University Press. 

111.    Principles of Economics. Harvard University. 1997. pp. 10. 

112.    On the democratic nature of the Venezuelan state, see [2]. On the current government's rejection of capitalism in favor of socialism, see[3] and[4]

113.    James Lee Ray. "Does democracy cause peace". Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

114.    Hegre, Håvard. "Towards a democratic civil peace? : opportunity, grievance, and civil war 1816-1992".,,contentMDK:20708340~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:336806,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

115.    Mesquita, Bruce Bueno de (2005-09). "Development and Democracy". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 

116.    Single, Joseph T. (2004-09). "Why Democracies Excel". New York Times. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 





·              Bacher, Christian (2007) Capitalism, Ethics and the Paradoxon of Self-exploitation Grin Verlag. p.2

·              De George, Richard T. (1986) Business ethics p. 104

·              Lash, Scott and Urry, John (2000). Capitalism. In Nicholas Abercrombie, S. Hill & BS Turner (Eds.), The Penguin dictionary of sociology (4th ed.) (pp. 36-40).

·              Obrinsky, Mark (1983). Profit Theory and Capitalism. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. p.1. 

·              Wolf, Eric (1982) Europe and the People Without History

·              Wood, Ellen Meiksins (2002) The Origins of Capitalism: A Longer View London: Verso

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Quotations on Capitalism

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General definition of "capitalism" used by Wikiquote


Capitalism generally refers to an economic system in which means of production are mostly privately owned, and in which capital is invested in the production, distribution and/or other trade of goods and services for profit in a largely unregulated market.









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Definitions of capitalism

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Notable individuals







Encyclopedia Britannica: "capitalism, also called free market economy, or free enterprise economy: economic system, dominant in the Western world since the breakup of feudalism, in which most of the means of production are privately owned and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets."


Encyclopedia of Marxism: "The socio-economic system where social relations are based on commodities for exchange, in particular private ownership of the means of production and on the exploitation of wage labour. Wage labour is the labour process in capitalist society: the owners of the means of production (the bourgeoisie) buy the labour power of those who do not own the means of production (the proletariat), and use it to increase the value of their property (capital)."




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