What Is Capitalism?


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Tony Fyler answered
Capitalism is an economic system where trade and industry are privately controlled and operated with a means to make profit. It is the opposite of communism, where everything is publicly owned and society is devoid of classes and wage labour.

Capitalism is the economic system most countries in the modern world are run by. There are some exclusions, such as China, which is communist, but generally speaking countries have opted for communism as it rewards those who work hard to get to where they are financially. The United Kingdom is a capitalist state, for instance. In this country, the CEO of a company will earn considerably more than an employee on the lower rungs of the corporate ladder. They will live in a more expensive house, and drive a more expensive car. The idea is that working hard will reap greater rewards than not doing so, and you will have a choice of what you do with those rewards. In communism, there is an equal distribution. No one takes precedence over anyone else. Whereas in capitalism, the capitalist at the top provide the capital and control production and services, in communism the state controls them.

In a perfect world, communism would be a great idea. It is about community, and the idea of being happy enough with your lot, and even happier to do your job because it is necessary. In practise though, a doctor who has gone through 6 years of medical school and entered countless thousands of dollars' worth of debt is unlikely to be happy earning the same amount as the people who collect his bins on a Monday morning.

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