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Title: Anti-capitalist  
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Subject: Violence, Definitions of fascism
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This article lists ideologies opposed to capitalism and describes them briefly. For arguments against capitalism, see criticism of capitalism.

Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements, ideas, and attitudes that oppose capitalism. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to completely replace capitalism with another system.

Conservatism and traditionalism

There are strands of conservatism that are uncomfortable with liberal capitalism. Particularly in continental Europe, many conservatives have been uncomfortable with the impact of capitalism upon culture and traditions. The conservative opposition to the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and especially the development of individualistic liberalism as a political theory and as institutionalized social practices sought to retain traditional social hierarchies, practices and institutions. There is also a conservative protectionist opposition to certain types of international capitalism.

Paleoconservatives and other traditionalist ideologies are often in opposition to capitalist ethics and the effects they have on society as a whole, which they see as infringing upon or decaying social traditions or hierarchies that are essential for social order. Some of these ideas are intertwined with religious communism. More nationalist-oriented groups believe that aspects of capitalism, such as free trade infringe upon national sovereignty, that domestic industries and national traditions must be safeguarded, and that preserving this is of greater importance than profit for business.


Main article: Ecofeminism

Ecofeminists criticise capitalism for defining the natural world as simply a body of resources to be exploited and reshaped to serve human purposes and interests. They also see capitalism as inherently sapping the relationship between humans to one another and to the natural world. Ecofeminists see capitalism as a patriarchal construction "based on the colonization of women, nature, and other peoples."[1]


Main article: Fascism and anti-capitalism

Fascism has mixed stances on capitalism; while supportive of private property rights, fascism upholds statism and corporatism and is hostile to the concepts of laissez-faire capitalism, free market systems, free trade, economic individualism, consumerism, and bourgeois culture. Unlike Marxists, for whom social disparities and economic crises result from class conflict, fascists tend to downplay class conflict with calls for national unity. Fascists tend to see economic crises and social problems as resulting from the actions of delinquent individuals, races, or immigrant groups.

Participatory economics and inclusive democracy

"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."

Participatory economics, often abbreviated as Parecon, is a proposed economic system that uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and allocation of resources in a given society. Proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalist market economies and also an alternative to centrally planned socialism, it is described as "an anarchistic economic vision", although it could be considered a form of socialism as under Parecon, the means of production are owned by the working class. It emerged from the work of activist and political theorist Michael Albert and that of radical economist Robin Hahnel, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s.

Main article: Inclusive Democracy

Inclusive Democracy as envisaged by Takis Fotopoulos, is a form of direct democracy. It is a political theory and political project that aims for direct democracy in all fields of social life: political democracy in the form of face-to-face assemblies which are confederated, economic democracy in a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy, democracy in the social realm, i.e., self-management in places of work and education, and ecological democracy which aims to reintegrate society and nature. Here, all decisions are taken by the Demos, and basic economic needs could be met for all based upon a certain amount of work. Additional non-necessary items could be earned by contributing above the minimum required to meet society's basic needs. This approach is markedly anti-capitalist as well as anti-market, including an absence of ability to accumulate wealth, where each person earns for himself only, thereby avoiding the imbalance of power inherent in a capitalist system.[3]


The Catholic Church forbids usury, but with the Reformation and its revolt against Papal dogmatic teaching and then the Enlightenment and its rejection of Papal moral teaching, "Christian Europe" over time accepted some forms of interest-charging, allowing for some societal changes after feudalism was replaced by other forms of government.

Christianity has been the source of many criticisms of capitalism, particularly its materialist aspects. Many early and pre-socialist movements[5] as well as later ones drew principles from the Gospels (see Christian socialism and the Social Gospel movement) and against the "values" of profiteering, greed, selfishness and hoarding. However many Conservative Christians in the US are in favour of capitalism in opposition to secular socialism.

Islam forbids lending money at interest, the mode of operation of capitalist finance; however Islamic banks have developed ways to make a profit in transactions that are traditionally arranged using interest. These include profit sharing (Mudharabah), safekeeping (Wadiah), joint venture (Musharakah), cost plus (Murabahah), and leasing (Ijarah).


Main article: Socialism

Socialism includes various theories of economic organization that advocate public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals, with an egalitarian method of compensation.[6][7][8] Socialists argue for cooperative/community or state control of the economy, or the "commanding heights" of the economy,[9] with democratic control by the people over the state, although there have been some undemocratic philosophies. "State" or "worker cooperative" ownership is in fundamental opposition to "private" ownership of means of production, which is the defining feature of capitalism. Most socialists argue that capitalism unfairly concentrates power, wealth and profit, among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation, stifling technological and economic progress by maintaining an anarchy of production.


Libertarian socialists argue for a total abolition of the state, with most anarchists (including proponents of left anarchism, social anarchism and anarchist communism) opposing capitalism on the grounds that it entails social domination (through inequalities of wealth), involuntary relations and coercive hierarchy (through the perceived pressure on individuals to engage in wage labour). Some forms of anarchism oppose capitalism as a whole while supporting some institutions associated with capitalism, such as markets (supported by some mutualists) and some even go as far as supporting private property (supported by some individualist anarchists). Many anarchists will make the distinction between decentralized currencies being a practical tool for exchange within a community as opposed to capitalism as a politically enforced authoritarian system.


Main article: Communism

Communism, Marxism, and revolutionary socialism disagrees with capitalism and economic liberalism on a fundamental basis, in that communism advocates communal ownership over all means of production and economic decision-making of a society, with the abolishment of private property and government. Friedrich Engels, one of the founders of modern socialist theory, advocated the creation of a society that allows for the widespread application of modern technology to rationalise economic activity by eliminating the anarchy in production of capitalism.[10][11] Marxism argues for collective ownership of the means of production, the elimination of the exploitation of labor,[12] and the eventual abolition of the state, with an intermediate stage, of indeterminate length, in which the state will be used to eliminate the vestiges of capitalism. Some Communist states claimed to have abolished capitalism, although by definition these countries are state capitalist. [13][14]

Anti-globalization movement

Main article: Anti-globalization movement

The anti-globalization movement is a worldwide activist movement that is critical of the globalization of capitalism. Anti-globalization activists are particularly critical of the undemocratic nature of capitalist globalization and the promotion of neoliberalism by international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank without much regard to the often devastating effects of global capital on local conditions.

See also


Further reading

  • by David E Lowes 2006, London: Zed Books
  • "Anti-Capitalism : A Guide To The Movement"

External links

  • Rough Guide to the Anti-Capitalist Movement, League for the Fifth International
  • Anarchists Opposed to Capitalism,
  • How The Miners Were Robbed 1907 anti-capitalist pamphlet hosted at EconomicDemocracy
  • Sam Ashman "The anti-capitalist movement and the war" International Socialist Journal 2003
  • Marxists Internet Archive
  • Dr. Wladyslaw Jan Kowalski
  • Anti-Capitalism as an ideology... and as a movement,
  • Studies in Anti-Capitalism
  • Capitalism/Anticapitalism: a survey and a view

Template:Aspects of capitalism

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