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Capitalism

Capitalism has frequently been identified as the central driving force of modernity, sometimes alone, but usually in combination with the state, religious or philosophical ideas, or a combination of them. As a starting point, capitalism can be defined as a system of production and exchange operating on a continual basis in which goods (commodities) are produced to be sold on a market with the aim of maximizing profit. Capitalism is founded on the private ownership of the “means of production,” and work is organized via the labor contract in which wages are exchanged for work. This entry examines capitalism as a system of production and exchange, its relation to market and consumer society, and raises issues of diversity and the “spirit” and ideas it embodies.

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