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Privatism is a generic term generally describing any belief that people have a right to the private ownership of certain things. There are many degrees of privatism, from the advocacy of limited private property over specific kinds of items (personal property) to the advocacy of unrestricted private property over everything; such as in anarcho-capitalism. Regarding public policy, it gives primacy to the private sector as the central agent for action, necessitates the social and economic benefits for private initiatives and competition, and "legitimizes the public consequences of private action."[1]

Left-wing political theory[edit]

In general, privatism is used in the context of radical left-wing politics such as communism, syndicalism, and libertarian socialism, to distinguish ideologies which support private ownership of an economy's means of production and those who desire abolishing it in favour of either collective ownership or common ownership. The term is not however held as being synonymous with capitalism as capitalism by definition requires a market economy combined with private ownership of the means of production; monarchy is an example of an economy that is a fusion between privatism and statism, and a theoretical economy controlled entirely by a single corporation would be privatist, but not capitalist or statist.


In sociology, privatism is the concern with or pursuit of one's personal or family interests, welfare, or ideals to the exclusion of broader social issues or relationships.


  1. ^ Barnekov, Timothy; Boyle, Robin; Rich, Daniel (1989). Privatism and Urban Policy in Britain and the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 0-19-823275-6. 

See also[edit]