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American Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system in


which wealth, and the means of
producing wealth, are privately owned
and controlled rather than commonly,
publicly, or state-owned and controlled.
Through capitalism, the land, labor, and
capital are owned, operated, and traded
by private individuals or corporations,
and investments, distribution, income,
production, pricing and supply of goods,
commodities and services are determined
by voluntary private decision in a market
economy

A distinguishing feature of capitalism is
that each person owns his or her own
labor and therefore is allowed to sell the
use of it to employers.
In a "capitalist state", private rights and
property relations are protected by the
rule of law of a limited regulatory
framework
The central axiom of Capitalism is that
the best allocation of resources is
achieved through consumers having free
choice, and producers responding
accordingly to meet collective consumer
demand. This contrasts with planned
economies in which the state directs what
shall be produced.
American Caste System
The first Non-working Caste
Those who don't (cannot) work [The
Outcastes] -the uneducated, unemployable,
addicts, handicapped poor, elderly poor.
Many of these outcastes are minorities or in
jail.

The Working Castes
Those who work primarily with their hands
[Unskilled manual workers] - minimum
wage, service industry (most of these are
barely making it) .
Those who work primarily with their hands
[Skilled manual workers] - blue collar
workers, trades people etc (many of these are
insecure and constantly worried that they
may fall into 1)
American Caste System
The Working Castes
Those who work primarily with their heads
[White collar, mental workers] - office
workers, engineers, first line supervisors,
journalists, teachers, academicians, other
professionals etc (many are struggling to get
into 4, shocked when they fall into 1).
American Caste System
The Working Castes
Those who work primarily with their mouths
[Management, verbal workers] - managers
(middle and upper), newspaper/magazine
editors, politicians, independent business
owners, self-employed lawyers and doctors
etc. These often imagine that they rule the
world without acknowledging (or even
realizing) that they have been bought and
paid for the other non-working caste.



American Caste System
American Caste System
The Second Non-working Caste
Those who don't (don't need to) work [The
CAPITALISTS] - Some of these actually do
choose to work, but their income is primarily
'unearned' and comes from their invested
capital. They essentially live off the labor of
1 through 4.
American Caste System
The Second Non-working Caste
The capitalists' main job is to remain invisible
(unless they are politicians) and use their power and
influence (they own the media as well as
government leaders - both elected and appointed) to
keep the four working castes suspicious and
distrustful of each other and together learn to hate
the other non-working group or some foreign threat

Capitalism and Democracy
It has been suggested by some that there
was a deliberate decision after World War II
to use terms like the 'free world', the 'free
market', 'free enterprise' in order to imply
that all these were synonymous with
freedom and a democratically elected
government.
This has become so pervasive in the US that
many people very likely think that a
capitalistic state means a democratic one.
Capitalists and Entrepreneurs
the myth that all capitalists (or at least
most of them) are entrepreneurs -
constantly starting new ventures, taking
major risks, helping the economy to grow
and generally raising the standard of
everyone else. The truth is very few
capitalists are entrepreneurs who start
their own enterprises
Characteristics of Capitalism as
practice
The accumulation of the means of
production (materials, land, tools) as
property into a few hands; this
accumulated property is called "capital"
and the property-owners of these means
of production are called "capitalists."
Productive laborthe human work necessary to
produce goods and distribute themtakes the
form of wage labor. That is, humans work for
wages rather than for product
Labor also becomes "efficient," that is, it
becomes defined by its "productivity"; capitalism
increases individual productivity through "the
division of labor,".
Result of the division of labor is to lower the
value of the individual worker; this would create
immense social problems in Europe and America
in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Characteristics of Capitalism
as practice
Characteristics of Capitalism
as practice
The means of production and labor is
manipulated by the capitalist using
rational calculation in order to realize a
profit. So that capitalism as an economic
activity is fundamentally teleological
Capitalism as a way of thinking is
fundamentally individualistic, that is, that the
individual is the center of capitalist endeavor.
All individuals are different, that society is
composed of individuals who pursue their own
interests, that individuals should be free to
pursue their own interests (this, in capitalism, is
called "economic freedom"), and that, in a
democratic sense, individuals pursuing their
own interests will guarantee the interests of
society as a whole.
Characteristics of Capitalism as
way of thinking
Capitalism as a way of thinking is
fundamentally based on the Enlightenment idea
of progress; the large-scale social goal of
unregulated capitalism is to produce wealth,
that is, to make the national economy wealthier
and more affluent than it normally would be.
The entire structure of capitalism as a way of
thinking is built on the idea of "economic
growth." This economic growth has no
prescribed end; the purpose is for nations to
grow steadily wealthier.
Characteristics of Capitalism as
way of thinking
Economics, the analysis of the production and
distribution of goods, has to be abstracted out of
other areas of knowledge.
In other words, capitalism as a way of thinking
divorces the production and distribution of
goods from other concerns, such as politics,
religion, ethics, etc., and treats production and
distribution as independent human endeavors.
In this view, the fundamental purpose and
meaning of human life is productive labor
Characteristics of Capitalism as
way of thinking
The economic world view treats the economy
as if it were mechanical, that is, subject to
certain predictable laws. This means that
economic behavior can be rationally calculated
, and these rational calculations are always
future-directed . So, the mechanistic view of the
economy leads to an exclusively teleological
world picture; capitalism as a manipulation of
the "machine" of the economy is always
directed to the future and intentionally regards
the past as of no concern


Characteristics of Capitalism as
way of thinking
The fundamental unit of meaning in capitalist
and economic thought is the object , that is,
capitalism relies on the creation of a consumer
culture, a large segment of the population that is
not producing most of what it is consuming.
Since capitalism, like mercantilism, is
fundamentally based on distributing goods
moving goods from one place to another
consumers have no social relation to the people
who produce the goods they consume.
Characteristics of Capitalism as
way of thinking