Pretty nifty graphic there, eh? I figured with all the talk about “isms” and their misuses and abuses in the media, government, and the blogosphere, I would cover them here.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, they are capitalism, communism, fascism, marxism, and socialism. Please note, these are in alphabetical order – so as not to imply favoritism to any of these philosophies. While everyone I have come across seems to understand the basic principles behind capitalism (whether they agree or disagree) the primary confusion seems to be between the other four. There are some similarities, but they are distinct philosophies.
The “isms” will be presented in alphabetical order as well. The way I will lay this out is to first give you the actual definition of the term and I will follow that up with a brief discussion regarding the origins and the individuals instrumental for advancing these philosophies.
I will give you fair warning – this is a fairly lengthy post. However, it is well worth your time to read it. I guarantee you will learn more about these “isms” than you ever thought you knew. I guarantee you will have a clearer understanding of the “isms” and will be able to use them in a more scholarly manner and will have the tools necessary to correct those who only think they understand them.
Capitalism as defined by Merriam-Webster’s is:
An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.