“Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods and services for profit.”
The definition above is the generally accepted definition on the internet of capitalism.
I think this definition is wrong because it is too narrow. An economic system based on private ownership does not have to always be for profit. Charities should be considered capitalist endeavors as much as other private activity. Helping out your neighbor or your friends is capitalism. Being nice to others is capitalism.
Taking money from everyone indiscriminately to fund economic ideas which some, but not all people, agree on -is not capitalism. Enlisting people like the IRS and congress and police to enforce such economic mandates is uncapitalistic.
When something is private, it refers to something that is not public, which is to say it is not an official government entity or is not activity of the government.
Private charities fall into this category and can reasonably considered “private” and therefore are a creation of goods or services that are not for profit yet not of the government. The money which funds their actions is volunteered and given at will. It is a privately owned means of production creating goods and services. That is the definition of capitalism minus the profit clause, yet these entities exist all around us, without the force or management of government.
Recently, Ive closely watched friends and family and public support for such “socialistic” ideas as making things free by government decree or ascertaining that problems should be remedied by government decree. Nearly all of these people are people that I like and respect as fellow good hearts just like me.
Often times, there is contingent support for using government to enact such changes for the better of everyone- a so-called common good.
I think they are subscribing to false solutions.
Our lives aren’t better because government regulated new ideas and products into existence. Great breakthroughs in science mean nothing until they can be commercialized for us all to afford and use personally. Great ideas mean nothing until enough people act on them.
Cell phones, medical advances, better transportation, faster communication, cooler music, new cultural trends, better looking people, healthier more vibrant lives, the depletion of global abject poverty, the end of world wars, the general widespread ability to adapt as a society and species- these things are better than before and continue to get better because all of us interact with each other and spread ideas and knowledge and experience and grow from each other.
We do these things of our own free will. We do these things because we can. We achieve and build and progress through agoristic means. Our presidents and congressmen and bureaucrats are not making us do these things, nor can they possibly begin to try.
The world is in a constantly improving state and it’s because of you, not because your president or your senate or your governor. They can merely get out of your way and allow you to do what you should have always been able to do.
Nothing should stop you and those who agree with you from accomplishing your goals, so long as you don’t take from others or hurt others in the process.
The world will never be perfect, but striving for that perfection can only be accomplished by all of you in a society in which relations between people are voluntary exchanges, engaging in a furthering of peaceful revolution.
You make friends by convincing each other that you should do more together, not separately and not be forcing others to do things with you.