Talk:Capitalism

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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

Disputed paragraph[edit]

The paragraph below has now twice been removed as "biased", even though it is referenced to a major academic source.

"Capitalism is the most successful wealth-creating economic system that the world has ever known; no other system, according to economist Joseph Schumpeter, has benefited "the common people" as much. Capitalism, he observed, creates wealth through advancing continuously to ever higher levels of productivity and technological sophistication; this process, known as creative destruction, requires that the "old" be destroyed before the "new" can take over."

reference for the paragraph above: Gilpin, Robert (2000). The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy in the 21st Century. Princeton University: Princeton University Press. Introduction. ISBN 978-0-691-09279-9. 

This article has an entire section on criticism of capitalism, so the critics of capitalism (and sometimes I am one) have their say. But whatever the faults of capitalism, the creation of great wealth is one of its features. I think virtually all economists would agree on the factual accuracy of the paragraph. I will add more references if that is necessary. But I would hope the person or persons who object to the paragraph would explain their objection so we can discuss it here and avoid an edit war.

Rick Norwood (talk) 13:02, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

While it is true that capitalism is the most successful wealth-creating economic system that the world has ever known, the phrasing is biased. It is phrased more like a defense than a description. Also, it is biased to provide just one opinion (the Austrian economist.) It is a utililitarian argument that while highland clearances, colonialism and total war have made millions worse off, on balance common people are better off. TFD (talk) 22:27, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
"that the world has ever known" is peacock language. Perhaps the ancient Egyptian economic system was better - who knows?! It is completely unprovable. We should write the clause in attributed form - I am sure we can find an economist who has made this hyberbolic statement. Oncenawhile (talk) 00:32, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
It is attributed (to Joseph Schumpeter). Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 00:36, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Only the second half of the sentence, after the semi colon. If Schumpeter stated the first half as well, we need to fix the sentence structure. Oncenawhile (talk) 00:38, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
While the information is not in itself problematic, its inclusion in the lead and its current phrasing is quite biased. It is phrased in such a way to suggest that there can be no other superior economic system in the future, as Schumpeter himself believed that capitalism would eventually be displaced by democratic market socialism. -Battlecry 02:01, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Overuse of Karl Marx[edit]

Marx seems very overrepresented in this article. It reads a bit like the communist party have stuck him in at every opportunity; I counted 65 uses of his name, discounting the sidebars and references. Seems rather over the top. What do other people think?GliderMaven (talk) 21:37, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

I see the same representation in the academic literature that touches on the term. This degree of representation is also common in other areas where the author of the first widely distributed book included the term and discussed the phenomena extensively. I see nothing strange about this. Star Lord - 星爵 (talk) 11:11, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Karl Marx is arguably one of the most influential economists and critics of capitalism in history, so his representation is fair if not underrepresented, in my opinion. Considering how anyone who is serious about understanding capitalism needs to read Marx's works, it's hardly abnormal for him to be a common feature of an article about capitalism. ―Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 09:33, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps most of Marx's critique of capitalism can be moved to it's own page. If you come to an encyclopedia article on a subject you don't expect to see, mainly, one person's critique of it. Jbmcb (talk) 16:20, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
On the one hand, Marx is one of the most important writers on capitalism, and certainly needs to be included in this article. On the other hand, a great deal has happened since Marx wrote, and for the article to be heavily influenced by Marx is as inappropriate as it would be for the article on psychology to be heavily influenced by Freud. Marx and Freud were great thinkers, but we have come a long way in our understanding since their time. Rick Norwood (talk) 01:08, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Corruption[edit]

According to User:Srich32977‎ the NPOV on Capitalism is that there is no corruption in capitalism, it isn't subject to it at all; it is no way a weakness of Capitalism. Rich individuals never pay off politicians to write laws to distort markets. We Wave Been Told. Corruption can only happen under communism or whatever(!?) Apparently he's going to edit war until that's widely accepted.GliderMaven (talk) 22:17, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

You are referring to the reversal of your section on corruption.[1] The problems with that section include that it is unsourced and does not explain the connection between corruption and capitalism. Advanced capitalist countries actually have lower corruption levels. TFD (talk) 23:06, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Firstly, User:Srich32977‎ did not say that. Secondly do you have any reliable sources that say that corruption is more prevalent under capitalism than other economic systems? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 23:14, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I made no claim that is more common, only that it is a known weakness that rich individuals not infrequently pay/finance politicians for favourable laws. Are you claiming that corruption cannot happen under capitalism and that it shouldn't even be mentioned? There's articles like crony capitalism and robber barons about how that happens at least sometimes. You certainly get corruption under (for example) communism, but it's usually of a different form.GliderMaven (talk) 23:26, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I am not saying that it cannot happen, but that doesn't mean that it should be included. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 23:37, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Crony capitalism shouldn't be mentioned in an article on capitalism?GliderMaven (talk) 23:51, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
The material that you added made no mention of capitalism, it was a general look at political corruption, not specific to one economic system. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 00:17, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
OK, then I will add crony capitalism.GliderMaven (talk) 04:22, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Crony capitalism is already mentioned in the article but if you want to expand it, you need to show its relevance. As I understand it, underdeveloped and Communist countries have a history of corruption that continues as they develop capitalism. So a neutral way to put it into the article is to explain the introduction of capitalism into these countries that do not have strong liberal traditions. TFD (talk) 04:32, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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referenced information deleted[edit]

"According to economist Joseph Schumpeter, capitalism is the most successful economic system that has existed thus far. Capitalism, he observed, creates wealth through advancing continuously to ever higher levels of productivity and technological sophistication; this process, known as creative destruction, requires that the "old" be destroyed before the "new" can take over.[1]"

I'm not sure what the objection is to this statement, which can be confirmed by many other references. The reasons for its deletion also seem strange: "too specific" and "according to Marxism capitalism will be replaced." Please note that it doesn't say that capitalism is "good", just that it is the "most successful", which it clearly is. Comments? Rick Norwood (talk) 13:05, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

No, it isn't clear that capitalism is the most successful. There are a lot of criticism about capitalism from thousands of economists. Picking just Schumpeter's opinion and adding it to the lead isn't neutral. His opinion can be added to subsections. emijrp (talk) 19:32, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I agree the information in the paragraph can be in the article, just not in the lead as it doesn't really summarize the article. Perhaps in "Characteristics" just after the first paragraph and before or in "Summary" or at the bottom of the article in "Economic freedom" (as that is sort of a "Praise" section to offset "Criticism". I also removed the quote by Cassidy. It just restates the first sentence. We should probably avoid any quotes in the lead. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 19:57, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Hi everyone! I'm the person who originally removed it. I took it out of the intro because it didn't seem like an introductory statement - "creative destruction" is not a general description of capitalism, just one popular theory about capitalism's tendency to create change. I called it "too specific," which was maybe awkward wording, because it would clearly belong better in a body section of the text. It probably wouldn't have looked as out of place as it did if it hadn't been introduced by a subjective statement like "capitalism is the most successful economic system that has ever existed," which did very much read like an attempt to put "capitalism is good" into the introduction of an article that is supposed to be neutral. 74.96.155.160 (talk) 22:39, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Wow, then we seem to have a consensus that it is OK to put in the article, but not in the lead . . . . . . now all we need is someone who cares enough about Schumpeter to do it. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 08:24, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

I think almost any modern economist would agree that capitalism is the most successful economic system that ever existed, not as a subjective opinion but as a statement of fact. It is no more subjective than any other statement about the world as it is today. And certainly the success or failure of capitalism is an important property of capitalism. On the other hand, I agree that the "creative destruction" idea does not belong in the lead. I'll look around for a better statement by a major economist of the idea that capitalism, in its various forms, is now pretty much universal. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:04, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Gilpin, Robert (2000). The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy in the 21st Century. Princeton University: Princeton University Press. Introduction. ISBN 978-0-691-09279-9. 

Could we not have a page for "a capitalist"?[edit]

My suggestion is that the definition of "a capitalist" should be indentified as "a benefactor of capital". I think this is an objective, widely used and to use common language "nonpolitical" description.

It also neither necessitates, nor does it in any way rule out supporters of "capitalism", as such would defend it in terms of their own direct or indirect benefit; Wether through morality, theism, emotion etc.

Do we currently have any way of sourcing this definition, considering both the material referred to on the "Capitalism" page and other potential sources? If so, the original article could also possibly be shortened and cleared up even further.

78.69.217.113 (talk) 09:10, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

By new page I assume you mean a new article. There was an article in 2009: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Capitalist&oldid=323522168 It has since been linked to here with the justification of "All explained in Capitalism article. What is here is a weird hodgepodge". Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary is policy that explains why we do not have articles about words. Like anything else if there is enough written about the word, the word can get an article, but I feel an article about "Capitalist" as a word itself lacks content. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:09, 24 July 2016 (UTC)