<political philosophy> economic system in which the principal means of production, distribution, and exchange are in private (individual or corporate) hands and competitively operated for profit. A mixed economy combines the private enterprise of capitalism and a degree of state monopoly, as in nationalized industries and welfare services. Most capitalist economies are actually mixed economies, but some (such as the US and Japanese) have a greater share of the economy devoted to free enterprise. The reputation of capitalism, which was quite bad for a while, has recently been on the rise. This is no doubt due mainly to the universal failure of socialism and communism, but credit must also be given to those scholars who have emphasized that what has been traditionally lampooned as evil "capitalism" is in fact the idea of minimal government, which is better described as classical liberalism or libertarianism, which is much more "human" than the twentieth-century authoritarianism and totalitarianism that supplanted capitalism historically. However, some economists insist that capitalism is not a doctrine or theory in political philosophy in the way that Marxism is, because the free market is not an ideology but simply the economic phenomenon that occurs naturally in the absence of political control. References from dialectical materialism and social Darwinism.
Based on [The Ism Book]
Edited by Giovanni Benzi
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