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Former good article Capitalism was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
August 8, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
August 28, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
March 2, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Delisted good article

Surplus value and profit[edit]

Appears as if the editor is equating (surplus) value exclusively with profit when s/he writes "labor is the source of all value, and thus of profit"

Surplus-value, is not the same thing as profit; surplus-value can take the particular form of profit as well as rent and interest: “Rent, interest, and industrial profit are only different names for different parts of the surplus value of the commodity, or the unpaid labour enclosed in it, and they are equally derived from this source and from this source alone. (Value, Price, and Profit, XI. “The Different Parts into which Surplus Value is Decomposed”) In other words, all profits derive from surplus value but not all surplus value can end up as profits. The second important distinction between surplus-value and profit is that profit is the mask behind which bourgeoisie conceals the exploitation (or the utilization of another person or group) involved in the extraction of surplus value: “Surplus value, however, necessarily assumes the form of profit in the bourgeois mind — and this is not just a way of looking at things. (Marx’s Economic Manuscripts of 1861-63; Capital and Profit, “Surplus Value and Profit” V33, MECW, p. 70) and that “the capitalist knows nothing of the essence of capital, and surplus value exists in his consciousness only in the form of profit, a converted form of surplus value, which is completely abstracted from the relations under which it originates and by which it is conditioned. (Ibid.)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:15, 3 December 2013

The end of work[edit]

Shouldn't you mention the part about automation eliminating all work, for example the book by Jeremy Rifkin "The End of Work? This has been brought up by Marx & many others. Hillmon7500 (talk) 06:34, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

If it is tightly focused on the impact the end of work (or at least the decreasing number of jobs) has on the capitalist system, and is carefully referenced, I think it would be a good addition. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:31, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Like this?> In the United States, corporations are eliminating more than 2 million jobs annually. Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). Today, all three of the traditional sectors of the economy - agriculture, manufacturing, and service - are experiencing technological displacement, forcing millions onto the unemployment rolls. While the new sector of knowledge is the only one growing, it is not expected to absorb more than a fraction of the hundreds of millions who will be eliminated in the next several decades. Hillmon7500 (talk) 18:26, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Sounds ok if referenced, preferably with a page number and a quote. Rick Norwood (talk) 18:41, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

I'll try Hillmon7500 (talk) 21:03, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

As the elimination of all work is a prediction – like, for the future – WP:CRYSTALBALL must be observed. – S. Rich (talk) 15:41, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Despite the title of the book, the citation does not predict the future, but reports on current job loss in three sectors of the economy. That noted, since the book is 1995, more current information is preferable. Rick Norwood (talk) 18:26, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Oh, my! Hillmon said automation was eliminating all work, and since all work has not been eliminated, I was thinking future tense. Whew! If all work were eliminated we'd have a slew of new people available to edit WP.
Actually, I'm having a little fun. The serious aspect of my comments is a concern about how much we make of trends. Experts in these matters can't predict what's going to happen and we must be careful of what we seek to add to WP when we read their predictions. – S. Rich (talk) 21:39, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Actually, look at the number of Wikipedia edits from 9 to 5 on weekdays, and the number of Wikipedia edits on weekends. Most people who edit Wikipedia do so at work. Rick Norwood (talk) 00:22, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Actually, S. Rich, if all jobs are eliminated there won't be any people with money, so they'll all be homeless and starving to death. They won't ever be able to have computers or the Internet, so there will be almost no Wikipedia edits. Money doesn't grow on trees. It only comes from having a job, except for the 1%. Hillmon7500 (talk) 04:28, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Egad, it's that 1% again! Let's get rid of them, or at least tax away their wealth. But then the next lower 1% would move up into their place and we'd have to tax them too. Hillmon, in fact I was poking a little fun at the "eliminating all work" comment you made. What you are really trying to say (I believe) is that jobs are shifting from one type of work to other types of work. (But how does that relate to Capitalism as a topic?) And it's an interesting observation – for other articles. I can't figure out how it will fit into this article. The challenge is how can we incorporate Rifkin's observations into the article. If we can't, then perhaps he can be used elsewhere. But if wrath about the 1% is the motivation for any editing, then POV will hamper our editing efforts. – S. Rich (talk) 04:47, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
And source used must explain how it relates to capitalism. Automation has btw increased employment over time. The U.S., UK, China and India all have vastly greater populations than they did before automation. TFD (talk) 05:05, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
And, BTW, automation (which is just another term for "technology") eliminated a lot of farming jobs. John Deere (inventor) alone took hundreds of thousands of farm workers out of that job market with his damn plow. And then he joined the 1%! Capitalism at its worst. – S. Rich (talk) 05:22, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Deere rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. TFD (talk) 07:32, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

It pleases some conservatives to pretend that people who want the 1% to pay taxes hate the 1%, and that if the 1% had to pay taxes at the same rate I do it would destroy them utterly. But my tax rate is about 35% (25% federal, 10% state) and I'm doing just fine. I suspect that if Mitt Romney's tax rate went up from 15% to 25%, it would not leave him destitute.

The Rifkin quote is not about the end of work, really. Note the question mark in the title. It is about the shift of jobs from the private sector to the public sector, and from manufacturing to information technology. The relevance to this article is that the economics of scarcity is being replaced by the economics of plenty, and that changes capitalism in fundamental ways. I don't think even the conservatives believe that everyone who those with capital do not want to hire should be allowed to starve. Certainly Milton Friedman did not believe that, recommending instead a negative income tax for the poor. Conservatives, in the sense of traditionalists, have trouble adapting traditional beliefs to the new economy of plenty.Rick Norwood (talk) 22:30, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Rick, I need your help, so where do we do this? The sandbox above? Hillmon7500 (talk) 14:43, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

By "sandbox", are you looking at the link in the right hand corner (that's where mine is). Click it and see what you get. (It should open a subpage for you to work on, but it's not a subpage for the article.) – S. Rich (talk) 14:50, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I have not read the book. It sounds interesting, and I think it is a scholarly source, but whoever incorporates what it has to say about capitalism into this article needs to have read it and also have some background in economics. I note that the Wikipedia article The End of Work is largely hostile toward the book.Rick Norwood (talk) 15:18, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes they're hostile, because capitalism is about one thing only: wage jobs. which are all being eliminated. Hillmon7500 (talk) 15:42, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Dissolve Advocacy section[edit]

Per the reasoning expressed in this closed discussion [1], I wish to propose the contents of the Advocacy section be distilled down to the essential points and assimilated into the general article. That an advocacy section does not exist for the Socialism article but does in thIs one represents a conflict of style between two very close topics. Also, it is the current effort of Wikipedia to try to move away from advocacy or praise sections since they are NPOV. Autonova (talk) 18:21, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree. That fact that capitalism spurred economic growth should be mentioned, and does not belong in an advocacy section. Both conservative and socialist critics of capitalism acknowledged it. TFD (talk) 17:12, 1 July 2014 (UTC)


This is a superbly written introductory article. I should just like to thank all those who honed it to make it as terse and intelligible as it is. Obviously there are more technical articles, but as an introductory article, I don't think it would be possible to do better.

Thank you once again. From a long-time Wikipedia contributor (not banned or warned) but who is editing anonymously because of abusive remarks: the storm will pass, so just standing aside for a bit. If I could write like that I would be proud. I know it is a collaborative effort; but I thank you one and all. Superb. (talk) 12:10, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 22 November 2014[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 03:51, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

CapitalismFree enterprise – "Capitalism" is a term coined by Karl Marx to fulfill his deluded dialectic vision of society. Our system is properly called "free enterprise", which is free people making free decisions in a free market. When you use the Marxist term, you automatically denigrate us. (talk) 01:24, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Well, I guess you get what you pay for. Not sure if serious. Who is "us"? Your etymology is incorrect; the word was used before Marx, and he barely used it. Also, I volunteer to move the article for $100,000. Dekimasuよ! 02:03, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Essentially every country on earth practices Capitalism. No country on earth practices free enterprise in the sense the proposer is using the phrase.Rick Norwood (talk) 03:01, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose prove that "free enterprise" is more common than "capitalism", as people who are not communists also use the term, such as who participate in the system itself. -- (talk)
  • Page Free enterprise (disambiguation) has the line "Free enterprise, an economic ideology related to capitalism."  :: do the two names mean exactly the same thing? Anthony Appleyard (talk) 06:38, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose – As Anthony mentions above, they're not quite the same; "free enterprise" is a concept/ideology, whereas capitalism is an economic system mostly based on that concept. Also, Wikipedia does not decide on titles based on how they make people feel. Most importantly, the vast majority of reliable sources (and people in general) refer to it as "capitalism". Please read WP:TITLE. --V2Blast (talk) 07:34, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but disagree with all the other opposers to date. I'd suggest that 'free enterprise' is a concept, and 'capitalism' is a concept. You can analyse an economy either way- either based on its systems of accumulation of capital, or based on people's freedom to set up enterprises and trade. While there is some overlap between the two, there's also some truth in the OP's comment that ideology colours one's choice of analysis method. I'd say that this article is clearly about capitalism, so the title should not be changed. The shortcomings are that 1) there is no article on free enterprise (Free market is not the same) 2) That 'free enterprise' currently redirects to the capitalism article, and the capitalism article is a piss-poor article on free enterprise. Gravuritas (talk) 11:56, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I do agree with you that "free enterprise" probably needs its own article, separate from this one. --V2Blast (talk) 23:13, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
@Rick Norwood I suggest that you don't doctor any remarks on talk, even your own. People have responded to your initial remark, so substituting a new remark makes the debate dishonest. If you want to retract your remark, do so, if you want add new stuff, do so. Please don't pretend you never made a remark. --Gravuritas (talk) 13:31, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
My original comment was "Why not just retitle the article "Rich People are Job Creators, Poor People are Lazy and Good for Nothing" and be done with it". I decided that was rude, so I changed it to something more to the point. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:09, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose while free enterprise may be the defining characteristic of capitalism, generally there are limits on it and most if not all captialist countries have mixed market economies. TFD (talk) 23:32, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as there are examples of what have been basically capitalist economies with a fairly high level of government intervention e.g. Nazi Germany, South Korea. PatGallacher (talk) 01:37, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I suppose it's just piling on at this point, but it's worth pointing out that even if you broadly agree with the nominator's criticism of Marxist parody - as I do - the specific name change requested is insupportable. "Capitalism", the word, has tended to become a sort of Rorschach test for how the speaker feels about free enterprise, as you can see by comparing Marx's definition with Ayn Rand's (for example). "Free enterprise" means something much more specific, and it has tended to retain that meaning rather than just become an emotive trigger. That makes "free enterprise" a very useful concept - but the concept it refers to is not quite the same as "capitalism", especially the vague popular sense of "capitalism" that encompasses a realistic view of all human economic activity. If the nominator (or anyone else) thinks the article currently make too much of the Marxist objections to capitalism, I encourage them to edit the article accordingly, but I can't support a move. In fact, I join several others above in believing that we ought to have a separate article on free enterprise, and not only a redirect. (talk) 05:26, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Are you sure that capitalism is that? I think no, its capital-ism, I mean a system, a lifestyle, where capital rules, where everything is measured by capital, and workers sell their time to get salary. So the main characterisitics of cap. is producing wares for profit, not private ownership. That's what I cant understand in your article... Kapeter77 (talk) 09:10, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

We use definitions based on what reliable sources say, rather than develop our own. TFD (talk) 18:46, 28 February 2015 (UTC)