What comes to mind when you think of capitalism? The first answer most people will give is money. That is, except for those that understand the purpose of money and that the currency is largely made up to facilitate trade and value assets.
This blog post will entertain the idea that anyone, or most people, can be a capitalist. Many will claim to be anti-capitalist because they are not interested in “playing the game”, or they are content with their life and not into raising their standard of living.
Let’s start with the definition of capitalism:
Capitalism is defined as a system made up of private owners who control a nation’s industry and trade for profit, as opposed to being controlled by the state. At one time these private owners were mostly small businesses. Throughout the end of the 19th century and the 20th century, the private ownership has tilted more toward corporations.
Is capitalism all about money?
Technically capitalism isn’t just about money, since currency is a social construct. The definition says it is about profit though. Money is a tool or a resource that is used to make said profit. The profit is made by being of service to others. However, it trends toward favoritism because a capitalist is only serving people who can pay for the created product.
Money may not have necessarily been the end goal during the early stages of capitalism. As standards of living rose, so did the cost of living. In the 21st century, we are moving into supercapitalism, or hyper-capitalism. This is where few of us will experience the highest standard of living known to man. The pitfall is money becomes more of an end goal with most successful capitalists giving in to the “money is everything” mentality; most religious people would see this as idolatry.
Is capitalism a biblical system?
The kingdom of God is bigger than money, no doubt. The underpinnings, or ideas, behind any man-made system may come from the Divine; though humans are flawed and can corrupt anything.
More about this topic in a recent blog post with the same title:
The most interesting answer to who can be a capitalist came in some recent article that I read recently. It said basically that anyone who believes in the free market is a capitalist, while anyone who believes the government needs to have more authority over our lives is a socialist. According to that definition, you can be an exploited worker and still be a capitalist. Especially since all socialism seems to offer exploited workers is dependency on government welfare programs. Even most people who profess to be anti-capitalists would choose capitalism over any form of communism any day of the week.
Since there has always been a system of free enterprise as long as there has been money, I wouldn’t worry about all the fear mongering surrounding the possibility of collapse. Especially when you understand that the market is rigged not to collapse anyway. Businesses do adapt though. Like everything else, economies hit their peak and then they go backward. The benefit of moving backward is everything that went out of style may become popular again.
We may be in late-stage capitalism but if it did crash it would just start over again. Remember no matter what system you live under, including a traditional economy which is what most third world (or developing countries have) it is God who brings true prosperity. When we give credit to a system, that shows we are making an idol out of the system.