Comment: Strictly speaking capitalism

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Strictly speaking capitalism

Strictly speaking capitalism is capitalism. Private ownership of the means of production, (and everything else). As opposed to socialism which is government ownership of the means of production. It use was popularized by Marx's writings who wanted to draw this very distinction.

If you add in fascism, nominal private ownership but government control of the means of production, it becomes clear what system we are burdened with and it's neither capitalism nor socialism.

Personally I'm fond of the word capitalism and I mean it in the sense Marx did and in the sense Austrians do, free markets.

I also think it's counterproductive to keep giving up words. People who are attracted to freedom can hardly find their brethren if they keep making us change our banner. Do we believe in capitalism, free markets, a voluntary society? Obviously we believe in all of those and they are the same thing.

This is a tactical argument and I'm not committed either way.

I'm inclined to keep the word capitalism, and instead of retreating from the negative connotations, point out that they are not the result of capitalism but the result of fascism, and to a lesser extent, in some markets like education, or health care in some countries, of socialism. Education is the only fully socialized market and we see the result is atrocious. In the US health care is fully fascistic, there is not one thing you can do without permission, and the result is similarly atrocious. One can easily contrast with fully elective health care which is much more of a free market, or fully free market health care (for foreigners) in places like India.

I think it's problematic to allow them to shift the results of a collectivised economic system onto a word which is associated with us who categorically reject such.

If we say "I'm not a capitalist, I'm a free marketeer" we're essentially admitting to a crime we never committed. It certainly looks to the person deciding the issue for themselves that we seem to be guilty of something.

If they have so sullied the word that we have to give it up, so be it. But it does mean we lost a battle, and that ground will have to be made up.