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capitalism

IPA

How to pronounce capitalism (audio)

Dictionary Definition of 'capitalism'

An economic and political system characterized by private ownership of the means of production and the pursuit of profit.
"In a capitalist system, private ownership is central to economic activities."

Detailed Meaning of 'capitalism'

In capitalism, resources, goods, and services are primarily owned and controlled by individuals and private enterprises rather than the state. It is a system based on the principles of free markets, competition, and the accumulation of capital. In this framework, individuals and businesses engage in voluntary transactions, driven by self-interest, with the aim of maximizing their profits. Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment, as individuals are incentivized to create and expand businesses in pursuit of economic success. The price mechanism, shaped by supply and demand, plays a crucial role in determining the allocation of resources and guiding market activities. Capitalism is often associated with concepts such as free trade, economic freedom, and individual liberty. While it has proven to generate wealth and foster economic growth, it also raises debates regarding income inequality, social welfare, and the impact on the environment.

Examples of 'capitalism' in a Sentence

1. Capitalism, characterized by private ownership, has shaped our modern economic landscape.
2. The debate surrounding the benefits and drawbacks of capitalism remains contentious.
3. In a capitalist system, market forces dictate the allocation of resources.
4. Capitalism's emphasis on profit motive fuels innovation and economic growth.
5. Critics argue that capitalism exacerbates wealth disparities and social inequalities.
6. Proponents of capitalism champion it as a vehicle for individual initiative and entrepreneurship.

History and Etymology of 'capitalism'

The noun 'capitalism' has its origins in the mid-19th century and is closely associated with the development of modern economic and political systems. It is formed from the word 'capital,' which comes from the Latin 'caput,' meaning 'head' or 'top.' In this context, 'capital' refers to wealth or assets that can be used to generate more wealth. The suffix '-ism' is often used to denote a system, doctrine, or ideology. Therefore, 'capitalism' refers to an economic and political system characterized by the private ownership of the means of production and the pursuit of profit. The etymology of 'capitalism' reflects the central role of wealth and financial resources in this system, where the accumulation and investment of capital are fundamental to economic activity and development.

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Quiz Categories Containing 'capitalism'

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