Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 month ago

Why do "capitalists" insist capitalism has existed for all eternity?

Have they never read a basic economic book in their life? Adam Smith shows in Book 3 in "Wealth of Nations" how capitalism arose out of the feudal system as a result of craftsmen coming together in cities for mutual protection against the great barons, and the king then giving huge rights and privileges to those cities in order to give himself support against the great barons.

These free market cities become more and more powerful until they eventually become more powerful than the king himself. The great barons found that they could make a lot of money by selling off their surplus product to these new wealthy cities rather than by sharing it with menial servants, slaves, serfs, etc. So they began to dismiss their servants, slaves, serfs, etc, and as a result, stripped their own powers. As Smith put it, "Having sold their birthright, not like Esau for a mess of pottage in time of hunger and necessity, but in the wantonness of plenty, for trinkets and baubles, fitter to be the playthings of children than the serious pursuits of men, they became as insignificant as any substantial burgher or tradesman in a city."

The king and great barons thus became powerless to the new capitalist class, replacing feudalism with free markets.

What does it mean to even say hunter-gatherer tribes were capitalist? They literally did not even have capital. Capital is something invested to make a profit. There was no money, there was no investment, the concept of "profit" doesn't even make sense

Update:

"Moron, hpw do you think the Roman Empire functioned" the Roman Empire was largely slave-based. I don't think slaves really count as capitalism, part of the definition of capitalism is wage labor. Slaves are not wage laborers, they are not hired employees who can freely move from employer to employer. They are not paid wages... 

3 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Moron, hpw do you think the Roman Empire functioned 

  • 1 month ago

    The ruling classes of all social orders, and all political-economic systems have tried to present their systems as being eternal and in accordance with human nature.

    Capitalism is an advancement from feudalism, but a precursor to a higher, more advanced system which will eventually replace it.

  • 1 month ago

    Because they think the barter system was a form of capitalism.

    Mostly because they never bothered to learn what the words they use actually mean.

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