Catholic Social Teaching gateway
In a broad, imprecise sense, capitalism is used for any market economy, any economic system in which private businesses trade in markets, regardless of the extent to which they are driven by an overriding aim of maximizing profit.
In a more precise or strict sense, capitalism is defined by the word ‘capital’. Capitalism names an economic system in which capital is determinative – in which the overriding aim is to maximize the return to capital.
This is how I distinguished two meanings of ‘capitalism’ earlier, although there I introduced them in the opposite order, looking at capitalism in its precise sense first.
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