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Capitalism Isn’t a ‘System’

 

 

 

 

Socialists err dangerously when they assume a market economy is a conscious project.

 

Airy, abstract words are the currency of democratic politics. Conservatism, liberalism, nationalism, democracy, socialism—you have to use them, but they can easily gum up your thought. George Orwell famously objected to the haphazard use of “fascism,” and before him Samuel Taylor Coleridge complained bitterly that “Jacobin” has “either no meaning, or a very vague one: for definite terms are unmanageable things, and the passions of men do not readily gather round them.” 

 

The ill-defined word of the moment is “capitalism.”

 

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