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The word Capitalism is used for many different meanings, sometimes opposite ones. However, most of them are variants on the definition economic system where capital goods belong to private individuals.

An opposing term would thus be collectivism (and variants).

Capitalism and political ideologies

There are many different and opposite ideologies that defend capitalism:

Many different and opposite ideologies fight capitalism and argue for collectivism, which

  • socialism argues for extensive State control of economy, though with small tolerated areas of capitalism.
  • fascism argues for extensive State control of economy, with delegation of its powers to complacent capitalists.
  • communism argues for complete and direct State control of economy.
  • libertarian socialism argues for collective control of economy without the need for a State.

Arguments for and against capitalism

Since there are so many divergent ideologies backing or fighting capitalism, there is no possible agreed upon argument list for or against it. See under each of the above ideologies what it has to say about capitalism.

Beyond economical matters, see also the more general opposition between individualism and collectivism.

See also