Capitalism

Topics: Capitalism, Marxism, Socialism Pages: 3 (935 words) Published: August 26, 2014
Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits.[1][2] Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets and wage labor.[3] In a capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which assets, goods, and services are exchanged.[4] The degree of competition, role of intervention and regulation, and scope of public ownership varies across different models of capitalism.[5] Economists, political economists, and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire capitalism, welfare capitalism and state capitalism; each highlighting varying degrees of dependency on markets, public ownership, and inclusion of social policies. The extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private property, is a matter of politics and policy. Many states have what are termed capitalist mixed economies, referring to a mix between planned and market-driven elements.[6] Crony capitalism is a state of affairs in which insider corruption, nepotism and cartels dominate the system. In Marxian economics this is considered to be the normal state of mature capitalism, while in anarcho-capitalist theory it is considered a political distortion of capital and markets.[7] Capitalism has existed under many forms of government, in many different times, places, and cultures.[8] Following the demise of feudalism, capitalism became the dominant economic system in the Western world. Capitalism has been the subject of criticism from many perspectives during its history. Criticisms range from people who disagree with the principles of capitalism in its entirety, to those who disagree with particular outcomes of capitalism. Among those wishing to replace capitalism with a different method of production and...
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