Capitalism

Capitalism refers to an economic system where the means of production and trade are controlled by the private owners in pursuit of profit.

Characteristics
Arguments in favor of Arguments opposing
Private ownership of the means of production and trade.
Private ownership can result in more efficient use and management. Private ownership may create a class distinction and may be unneccessary for collective production.
Allocation of resources based on price mechanism.
Capitalism helps to regulate supply and demand based on market prices. Capital markets are susceptible to mispricing which can negatively impact supply and demand.
Encouraged pursuit of profit.
Accumulated capital can be reinvested in the economy helping to increase the total quantity of capital. An overaccumulation of capital is possible where surpluses of capital and labor coexist.

Competing Views...

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Karl Marx: "The directing motive, the end and aim of capitalist production, is to extract the greatest possible amount of surplus value, and consequently to exploit labor-power to the greatest possible extent.", Das Kapital (Buch I) 1867, Vol. I, Ch. 13, pg. 363, [URL]
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