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What is Capitalism?

At the time of this writing I am working toward my master’s degree in anthropology in college.  Recently in a theory class we were discussing world systems theory, global economics and money.  At one point the professor made the point that there is profound difference between money and capital, and then posed the question “what is that difference?”  I was surprised to see that within a class of intelligent and well educated blooming social scientists, there was little clear understanding as to what exactly capitalism is.

In short; money is a symbolic mode of exchange.  In our society the simplest form of money comes in banknotes and coins.  People and governments agree that these particular bills and coins have a certain amount of value and can be exchanged for goods and services that are perceived to be of a certain value in relation to money.

Capital is not necessarily money, but it’s usually spoken of in that context.  Capital is (more)


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