Capitalism is an economic system of production and distribution, based on the concept of private property, universal legal equality and freedom of enterprise. A main criterion for making economic decisions is pursuit of capital increase and collecting profit.
The concept of Capitalism is an economic abstraction, stressing the most distinctive features of economy for a particular period of its development and discarding the less significant ones. The real life economy was never based only on private property and did not give complete freedom of enterprise. To some extent there were always features unusual for capitalism, that is estates of the realm; limits on the property possession, including limits on the sizes of the real estate or land lots; customs barriers; competition law and so on. A part from them is a heritage of previous epochs, and other part is the development of capitalism itself.
The Oxford dictionary of English marks that word “capitalism” was first used in 1854 by a novelist William Makepeace Thackeray for denotation of the totality of terms for possession a capital. In 1867, in his work “Capital,” Carl Marx used a term “capitalism” for denotation of the capitalist method of production, and also a “capitalist” as a proprietor of capital. For denotation of the economic system first the term was used in 1884, in the “Best times” by Due.
Use free sample research papers on capitalism to understand that Marxists and anarchists conditionally divided capitalist society by social classes. In their opinion, the dominating class of capitalist society, possessing property (in form money, capital, earth, patents goods) and existing due to profit from this property, was bourgeoisie.
A numerous working class (the so-called proletariat) not having in the order of capital goods and living by the free sale of the labour force was used in the initial phase of capitalism development.
Due to technical progress, social development and other factors there was a transition to the post-industrial society in which the culture-social distinctions are smoothed in a civilized manner, position of workers gets better, with the simultaneous decline of the labour force, with the increasing value of the middle class, consisting of skilled workers, office workers, successful representatives of small and middle business and other persons, having a certain level of steady legal income.
There are still debates on the historical role of capitalists. Marxists underline their controversy, considering them, from one side, exploiters, appropriating the surplus value created by the labour of hired workers. On the other hand, they specify their progressive role in the development of capital goods and preparations of pre-conditions for a next public formation.
Marxists believe that capitalism develops due to the contradiction between public character of production and private character of appropriation of results of this production inalienably inherent to this society.
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