Capitalism Is Not The “Market System”

With the Democratic Socialists of America now counting 48,000 people within its membership and socialist candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushing for free universities and Medicare for All, Americans are once again discussing capitalism versus socialism. Fortunately, they are not doing so in the old Cold War manner of uncritically celebrating one while demonizing the other. Rather, it’s a debate over the choice Americans must make now between keeping capitalism or changing the system to some form of socialism. As debates often do, this debate awakens us to problems and differences in how we understand its basic terms. For clarity and to make progress in this important debate, we need to stop conflating “capitalism” with the market. This is done far too often and on all sides of the debate.
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