During the last decades there has been an increase of anti-capitalistic movements around the world which are fundamentally different from those of the XIX-th and XX-th centuries in the sense that they do not belong to a "working class", but rather to a "middle class" who has had high levels of education.

By capitalism I mean any exchange market economy (with private property, one currency, representative democracy, competitive markets,...), i.e. in a broad sense and not referring to regional particularities (for example US vs Europe).

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    $\begingroup$ So what is your question? If it really is the (broad) title, that doesn't belong to Economics but rather Sociology/History. $\endgroup$
    – FooBar
    Feb 23 '15 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ Probably not. It turns out it's a pretty decent system, though we haven't worked out all the kinks yet. That said, this question is either too broad or opinion based. $\endgroup$ Feb 23 '15 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ Got it. I don't think this a proper question to be asked in Economics. Should I delete the question? $\endgroup$ Feb 23 '15 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ No - it´s actually a very good question - it´s just one we don´t know the full answer to yet. $\endgroup$
    – Lumi
    Feb 23 '15 at 19:44

I agree that this question is too broad, but here's a perspective: much of the criticism of modern capitalism is from people who've been in the system. What about people who haven't been in the system, like in Vietnam or China, where they haven't been under capitalism in the past? Do they tell us what we're missing out on?

One study I've seen all over:

A world-topping 95 percent of Vietnamese say that most people are better off in free-market economies, and 76 percent of Chinese agree, according to a Pew survey of nearly 49,000 people worldwide that might have astonished Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong. Seventy percent of Americans and 65 percent of those in the UK expressed support for a free-market economic system.

This is part of the reason why this question is too broad. We could say that while some systems abandon it, others will use it. I also don't know if a capitalist-like system didn't exist before Adam Smith, as from reading some Roman history, there seems to be times where there was a merchant class featuring open markets with entrepreneurs where they would meet the needs of those they traded with and while they certainly didn't call it capitalism (I assume), like we do, seems very similar.

I believe Plato pointed out that civilizations often move from one system to another, like Oligarchy to Democracy, before reverting, so the very nature of a Meritocracy may be a transitional stage in a civilization's history.


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