From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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


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)

Marx this, Marx that[edit]

Reading through the article, one cannot avoid the conclusion that it was largely written by Marxists. --YeOldeGentleman (talk) 20:07, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Several articles have been merged including Capitalist mode of production and Advanced capitalism. My preference would be for relatively short sections and keeping the detailed information to the separate articles.
Another option is the parts of the article not dealing Marxist critique of capitalism need expanding.Jonpatterns (talk) 20:57, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
While I agree with some of the new content (especially the section on "Wage labour" - some good stuff there), I see Ye Olde Gentleman's point that the article now has serious undue weight issues. I believe the first solution JonPatterns proposed is best as the article now is huge.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 22:51, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
There is a problem with Hendrick 99 willy-nilly moving pages around and merging without discussion or consensus, absolutely reckless and frenetic at the moment. Red Harvest (talk) 05:43, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
This page as it is now is 85% a marxist criticism of Capitalism. It doesn´t have any resemblance of neutrality. The section 13 Criticism is a redundance. (talk) 13:42, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

This is a long article. Marx is a major figure. Marx is not mentioned in the lead. In the more than fifty sections and subsections of the article, 18 mention Marx, so at most the page is about 30% Marxist. That may be too much, but it is far short of 85%. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:52, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Plenty of non-Marxist economists recognize that Marx had some valuable contributions to the field; mention of Marx or his work does not mean a particular statement or section is inherently 'Marxist'.Dialectric (talk) 15:55, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Including coining and defining the term. TFD (talk) 16:48, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Ye Olde Gentleman is right; the article does have a serious problem with undue weight. bobrayner (talk) 13:58, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Then you need to find a reliable source that states that Marx is not considered a major figure in the study of economics. Here is what the Concise Columbia Encyclopedia says, "Marxism has greatly influenced the development of socialist thought; further, many scholars have considered Marx a great economic theoretician and the founder of economic history and sociology." Nobody here is saying that Marx is right and that laissez faire capitalism is wrong, only that there are differing views on capitalism and that it would be hard to find an economist who did not acknowledge Marx was a major figure. We need to present both sides, not just the side which apparently seems so obviously correct to some that no evidence is needed, so obviously correct that contrary views should not be given as much space in the article as views favorable to capitalism. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:57, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

While I agree that Marxism is very important in evaluating and critiquing capitalism, terms like Wage Slavery need to be properly tied to their ideology, rather than stated as inherent parts of capitalism. Soxwon (talk) 14:59, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Soxwon: Agreed. That is part of a broader problem affecting many articles that touch on marxism; they present marxist ideas as though they were actually true, in wikipedia's voice. This article should be about Capitalism, not Marxism. Which brings me to:
Rick Norwood: It's unclear to me how you've interpreted complaints about undue weight in the Capitalism article as though they were statements that Marx wasn't important. It would be helpful if you could stick to addressing real issues rather than inventing imaginary counter-issues. bobrayner (talk) 18:36, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, you've gone too far back in the other direction. Marxism and its views on capitalism have helped define the last century and a half, we can't just ignore them either. Soxwon (talk) 21:08, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Please be specific. I have no ax to grind here. If anything, I'm a fan of capitalism and a critic of Marxism. But when people delete referenced material (sometimes leaving the references hanging) I expect them to back up their edits with competing references. Rick Norwood (talk) 22:02, 20 April 2015 (UTC)


Why on earth would people add fantasy and synthesis, for "balance"? I realise there are many ranters who feel that "wage slavery" is at the core of capitalism, or even that the word "employment" is a capitalist invention, but the more reliable sources don't say things like that. Please, this article is not a venue for people to complain about capitalism or right great wrongs. And we certainly won't get "balance" by adding even more Marxist content to an article already dominated by Marxism. bobrayner (talk) 13:56, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

I see that, instead of addressing the problem or discussing it, Rick Norwood has added the policy violations back into the article whilst complaining that other editors must talk rather than revert. That is bad. Stop it. bobrayner (talk) 18:42, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Since you mention me by name, let me point out that I haven't added one word about Marxism to the article that I can recall. It isn't a subject that interests me all that much. What I have done is revert deletions of referenced material. I would have acted in the same way if a Marxist had deleted the many pro-capitalist references in the article. And, as I've pointed out, the article is not "dominated by Marxism". Rick Norwood (talk) 22:06, 20 April 2015 (UTC)