historical usage of capitalism
On the surface, the meaning of capitalism seems straightforward, referring to an economic system in which private individuals, rather than governments, own property and businesses. But beneath the surface, strong currents of opinion and theory swirl about the term. Many people fiercely espouse capitalism as an economic freedom inseparable from democracy, as reflected in several books considered classics and still avidly read today: for example, Capitalism and Freedom by Nobel laureate Milton Friedman (first published in 1962), and Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph A. Schumpeter (first published in 1943). So it may be a challenge to use the term without triggering a discussion of its broader political context.
popular references for capitalism
— The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism: A treatise on economics and political science by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, first published in 1928.
— The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures: 2009 play by Tony Kushner. The play's title was inspired by Shaw's book and Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
— Capitalism: A Love Story: 2009 documentary film written and directed by, and starring, Michael Moore.
—Monopoly, the classic capitalism board game, from Hasbro. (“The success of Monopoly mirrors the success of capitalism,” noted Philip E. Orbanes, in his 2006 book, Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game. )
OTHER WORDS FROM capitalisman·ti·cap·i·tal·ism, nounpro·cap·i·tal·ism, noun
How to use capitalism in a sentence
Before anti-vaxxers, there were anti-fluoriders: a group who spread fear about the anti-tooth decay agent added to drinking water.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers|Michael Schulson|July 27, 2016|DAILY BEAST
A few years back, designer John Galliano was fined by the government for sharing just such anti-semitic sentiments in public.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead|Luke O’Neil|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The “doctorate” Duke claims is from an anti-Semitic Ukranian “diploma mill” as described by the State Department.The Price of Steve Scalise’s Silence|Jason Berry|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Charles “Father” Coughlin, a raving anti-Semite, was one of the most popular radio hosts in the country.Why Was Bess Myerson the First and Last Jewish Miss America?|Emily Shire|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The anti-crime cops began searching the likely path of flight.Shot Down During the NYPD Slowdown|Michael Daly|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
To give him a party name, he became an anti-clerical, strictly in a political and lawful sense.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman
Martini appeared from his little anti-room, with a lamp in his hand, as the prison clock struck ten.
The unoccupied pallet of Martini lay in one corner of this miserable anti-room.
He sincerely hates all anti-tobaccoites and has a supreme disgust for the memory of King James I. and all royal foes of the plant.
Let no opportunity be missed of exposing the true character of the vile and selfish agitators of the Anti-corn-law league.
British Dictionary definitions for capitalism
Cultural definitions for capitalism
An economic and political system characterized by a free market for goods and services and private control of production and consumption. (Compare socialism and communism.)