Capitalism is an economic system in which capital goods are owned, operated and traded by private individuals, businesses, or corporations for the purpose of profit. In a capitalist system, private control of these productive enterprises is protected by the rule of law. A capitalist political system protects the exchange and distribution of capital between legal or private persons, which is driven by competition and profit-maximization, and where investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods, commodities and services are predominantly determined through the operation of a market economy in which anyone can participate in supply and demand and form contracts with anyone else, rather than by central economic planning. Human labor power is for sale in the market as one of the many commodities.
In capitalist systems, goods and services, including those regarding the most basic necessities of life, are produced for profitable exchange. Capitalism is originally defined as a mode of production, where it is characterized by predominantly private ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange in a mainly market economy. According to Marxist analysis, a core requirement of a capitalist society, is that a large portion of the population, must not possess sources of self-sustainment that would allow them to be independent, and must instead be compelled, in order to survive, to sell their labor for a living wage. Capitalism is usually considered to involve the right of individuals and businesses to trade, incorporate, and employ workers, in goods, services (including finance), labor and land. In modern "capitalist sta. es", legislative action is confined to defining and enforcing the basic rules of the market though the state may provide some public goods and infrastructure.
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