Sociology Index


Books on Capitalism, State Capitalism, Spirit of Capitalism, Karaoke Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system in which capital, that is, goods or wealth used to produce other goods for profit, is owned privately and profit is reinvested to facilitate capital accumulation. The methods of the economic exchange in capitalism are unique. Nations maintain different varieties of capitalism because of economic globalization because of diverse domestic settings.

Unlike capitalism, in a barter system of economic activity a producer may grow a particular produce and barter it for an equivalent value of another produce produced by someone else. In capitalism, a person uses capital to produce goods and then sells those goods for an amount of cash. The cash received in capitalism is greater than the value of the goods produced.

Why was the rise of capitalism in Germany and Japan associated not with liberal institutions and democratic politics, but rather with statist controls and authoritarianism? The histories of German and Japanese capitalism demonstrate that capitalism's structural forms and functional relations evolve by means of different processes with different goals.

Relative autonomy perspective assumes that the state can and does play a limited independent role in the maintenance and stabilization of capitalist society. John David Rose, quoting capitalism's icon Adam Smith, points out that "Adam Smith's famous 'invisible hand of the market' is just as apt to push present chiefs of industry into fraud as honest productivity."

Marxist theory has abandoned the notion of the ‘mode of production’ and has encouraged a trend to naturalize capitalist categories. Weber and Schumpeter argue that a healthy capitalism requires economic and non-economic institutions. An absence of this may lead to capitalist petrification or collapse, according to them.

The Political Economy of Post-Industrial Capitalism 
George Liagouras, University of the Aegean (Greece) 
We are entering a new era of information or ‘post-industrial capitalism’. Information capitalism can be either post-Fordist (see Fordism), or post-industrial.

Turning Modes of Production Inside Out - Or, Why Capitalism is a Transformation of Slavery 
David Graeber, Department of Anthropology, Yale University
A notion of a mode of production that recognizes the primacy of human production might show us that capitalism, or at least industrial capitalism, has far more in common with, and is historically more closely linked with, chattel slavery than most of us had ever imagined.

The Problem of Crony Capitalism - Modernity and the Encounter with the Perverse 
Joel S. Kahn, La Trobe University. - Francesco Formosa, School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University 
Taking an ethnographic research it is argued that the continual attempt to relocate such phenomena precludes the possibility of serious analysis or assessment of these phenomena.