The word CAPITALISM, which means at least two very different things:
A free market, in which private property and services are exchanged without anyone’s permission.
Government benefits to existing businesses, including subsidies and regulations designed to prevent or discourage competition from new businesses.
Conservative politicians point to the first to gain approval for the second. Progressive politicians point to the second to scare you away from the first. Despite their rivalry for office, they share a vital interest in preserving the system, and thus in obscuring the difference between the two “capitalisms”.
So I’ve stopped using the word “capitalism”, at least on its own. For the first I say “free market” or “open market”. I haven’t quite decided what to call the second; it has been called “crony capitalism” and “neo-mercantilism”.
Honestly, the Listserve is often terrible – a lot of your standard “feel good” fare without a lot of depth. That’s kind of the nature of the beast. But about as often, interesting, thought-provoking bits come through.
The one question I would raise in response to Anton is whether or not the “crony capitalism” is really a separate ‘type’ of capitalism or if it’s just a feature of the “free market” capitalism. I’m wouldn’t be surprised if the function money plays always results in the type of glad-handing system we’ve ended up with.