Portal:Capitalism

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Portal:Capitalism

The Capitalism Portal

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership and control of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price system determined by supply and demand, private property, property rights recognition, voluntary exchange, and wage labor. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investments are determined by owners of wealth, property, ability to maneuver capital or production ability in capital and financial markets—whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

Currently, no country's economic system is completely or purely capitalist, as they include various government interventions including government control of some prices. Economists, historians, political economists and sociologists have adopted different perspectives in their analyses of capitalism and have recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire or free-market capitalism, state capitalism and welfare capitalism. Different forms of capitalism feature varying degrees of free markets, public ownership, obstacles to free competition and state-sanctioned social policies. The degree of competition in markets and the role of intervention and regulation as well as the scope of state ownership vary across different models of capitalism. The extent to which different markets are free and the rules defining private property are matters of politics and policy. Existing capitalist economies are mixed economies, where ownership and control of the means of production is mostly private, and that combine elements of free markets with state intervention and in some cases economic planning. Therefore, the term "capitalism" is used very loosely in political discussions to refer to a diverse range of countries, such as Italy, New Zealand, the US, Sweden, and France; as long as there is substantially free trade and government does not own the major means of production, a country is usually labeled capitalist.

Market economies have existed under many forms of government and in many different times, places and cultures. Modern capitalist societies developed in Western Europe in a process that led to the Industrial Revolution. Capitalist systems with varying degrees of direct government intervention have since become dominant in the Western world and continue to spread. Economic growth is a characteristic tendency of capitalist economies. (Full article...)

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Hong Kong Skyline Restitch - Dec 2007.jpg
Towards the late 1970s, Hong Kong became established as a major entrepôt between the world and China. The city has developed into a major global trade hub and financial centre, and is regarded as a world city and one of the eight Alpha+ cities. It ranked fifth on the 2014 Global Cities Index after New York City, London, Tokyo and Paris. The city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and the most severe income inequality among the advanced economies. It has a high Human Development Index and is ranked highly in the Global Competitiveness Report. Hong Kong is the third most important financial centre after New York and London. The service economy, characterised by low taxation and free trade, has been regarded as one of the world's most laissez-faire economic policies, and the currency, the Hong Kong dollar, is the 13th most traded currency in the world. (Full article...)

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Karl Marx 001.jpg
Karl Marx (/mɑrks/; German pronunciation: [ˈkaɐ̯l ˈmaɐ̯ks]; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Marx's work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought. He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Kapital (1867–1894).

Born into a wealthy middle-class family in Trier in the Prussian Rhineland, Marx studied at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin where he became interested in the philosophical ideas of the Young Hegelians. After his studies he wrote for Rheinische Zeitung, a radical newspaper in Cologne, and began to work out the theory of the materialist conception of history. He moved to Paris in 1843, where he began writing for other radical newspapers and met Friedrich Engels, who would become his lifelong friend and collaborator.

Marx's theories about society, economics and politics—the collective understanding of which is known as Marxism—hold that human societies progress through class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class that controls production and a dispossessed labouring class that provides the labour for production. States, Marx believed, were run on behalf of the ruling class and in their interest while representing it as the common interest of all; and he predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism. He argued that class antagonisms under capitalism between the bourgeoisie and proletariat would eventuate in the working class' conquest of political power and eventually establish a classless society, communism, a society governed by a free association of producers. Marx actively fought for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organized revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change. (Full article...)

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The freedom of man under capitalism is an effect of competition. The worker does not depend on the good graces of an employer. If his employer discharges him, he finds another employer. The consumer is not at the mercy of the shopkeeper. He is free to patronize another shop if he likes. Nobody must kiss other people's hands or fear their disfavor. Interpersonal relations are businesslike. The exchange of goods and services is mutual; it is not a favor to sell or to buy, it is a transaction dictated by selfishness on either side.

It is true that in his capacity as a producer every man depends either directly--e.g., the entrepreneur--or indirectly--e.g., the hired worker--on the demands of the consumers. However, this dependence upon the supremacy of the consumers is not unlimited. If a man has a weighty reason for defying the sovereignty of the consumers, he can try it. There is in the range of the market a very substantial and effective right to resist oppression. Nobody is forced to go into the liquor industry or into a gun factory if his conscience objects. He may have to pay a price for his conviction; there are in this world no ends the attainment of which is gratuitous. But it is left to a man's own decision to choose between a material advantage and the call of what he believes to be his duty. In the market economy the individual alone is the supreme arbiter in matters of his satisfaction.

— Ludwig von Mises (1881 – 1973)
Human Action , 1949

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Capitalism .. Private property .. Capitalist mode of production .. Laissez-faire .. Ludwig Von Mises .. Murray N. Rothbard .. Economic freedom .. Adam Smith .. Money .. Ronald Reagan .. American capitalism .. Criticisms of socialism .. Patent .. The Wealth of Nations .. Corporate capitalism .. Democratic capitalism .. Milton Friedman

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