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Distinguishing Capitalism from Growth

Posted On: Nov 22, 2019   |   Posted By: Steady State

Distinguishing Capitalism from Growth

By James Magnus-Johnston
Capitalism and growth might have similar connotations, but they have important distinctions, too. “Capitalism” has become a clumsy catch-all for any number of value-laden projections-greed, big business, innovation, accumulation, complexity, workaholism. “Growth,” meanwhile, is a landmine of technical and cultural connotations, and I'll explore just a couple of them here.
Private property: the essence of capitalism.
Technically speaking, their differences seem straightforward. Growth is a material increase in economic production and consumption. Capitalism is a highly complex term , but for our purposes can be distilled down to an economic system of private property in a competitive market. And to put them together: a capitalist economic system drives growth and wealth accumulation.
Critics articulate how each phenomenon eventually limits its own effectiveness. The economy is subject to the dynamics of any expanding complex system: it cannibalizes its foundation as it...

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