Capitalism is a system of economic organization, but it is also related to a model of society .
Capitalism contrasts with the feudal model. In feudalism, only what was necessary was produced (autarchy) and wealth was based on ownership and exploitation of the land, therefore, as it did not generate surplus production, commercial activity was very limited.
On the other hand, capitalism contrasts with socialism, the latter which is based on state control of the means of production.
Capitalism as an economic system works through laws, the so-called market laws, which are also known as the law of supply and demand
More schematically, this law states that when demand is greater than supply, product prices tend to rise, and conversely, when supply is greater than demand, prices tend to fall. In addition to this law, there are other elements that involve capitalism: interest- based relationships for individuals and competition between companies.
Capitalism as an economic structure emerged in the Renaissance, when the feudal model went into crisis due to the emergence of a new social class : the bourgeoisie. Another key circumstance was the arrival of the bank as an entity that boosted credit.
Capitalism has not ceased to evolve and introduce variants in its approaches
There is a capitalism based on a mixed economy that combines the initiative of capital and private property with state intervention (this model is applied in most countries today). Just as there is a capitalism in which the market acts freely, simply with the performance of market laws and with a null participation of the state in relation to economic activity .
Although the capitalist system is the most widespread on the planet, there are a number of aspects of this model that have been harshly criticized: the encouragement of individualism, competition (something affixed to cooperation), the idea of profit as an engine of the economy and, in a nutshell , all the circumstances proper to capitalism in which there is injustice and inequality between individuals.
There are many critics of capitalism: anarchists, communists, ecologists and socialists. In recent years a new group has emerged to deal with capitalism: the anti-globalization movement.