Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements, ideas, and attitudes which oppose capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to completely replace capitalism with another system.

However, there are also ideas which can be characterized as partially anti-capitalist in the sense that they only wish to replace or abolish certain aspects of capitalism rather than the entire system.


Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 argue for a total abolition of the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

, with most anarchists (including proponents of left anarchism
Left anarchism
Left anarchism or left-wing anarchism refer to left-wing forms of anarchism. It posits a future society in which private property is replaced by reciprocity and non-hierarchical society...

, social anarchism
Social anarchism
Social anarchism is a term originally used in 1971 by Giovanni Baldelli as the title of his book where he discusses the organization of an ethical society from an anarchist point of view...

 and anarchist communism
Anarchist communism
Anarchist communism is a theory of anarchism which advocates the abolition of the state, markets, money, private property, and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with...

) opposing capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 on the grounds that it entails social domination (through inequalities of wealth), involuntary relations and coercive hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

 (through the perceived pressure on individuals to engage in wage labour
Wage labour
Wage labour is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer, where the worker sells their labour under a formal or informal employment contract. These transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages are market determined...

). Some forms of anarchism oppose capitalism as a whole while supporting some institutions associated with capitalism, such as market
A market is one of many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers...

s (supported by some mutualists
Mutualism (economic theory)
Mutualism is an anarchist school of thought that originates in the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who envisioned a society where each person might possess a means of production, either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor in the free market...

) and some even go as far as supporting private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

 (supported by some individualist anarchists
Individualist anarchism
Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and his or her will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems. Individualist anarchism is not a single philosophy but refers to a...


Conservatism and traditionalism

There are strands of conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 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 Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, 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
Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations designed to allow "fair competition" between imports and goods and services produced domestically.This...

 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
Religious communism
Religious communism is a form of communism centered on religious principles. The term usually refers to a number of egalitarian and utopian religious societies practicing the voluntary dissolution of private property, so that society's benefits are distributed according to a person's needs, and...

. More nationalist-oriented groups believe that aspects of capitalism, such as free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

 infringe upon national sovereignty
National sovereignty
National sovereignty is the doctrine that sovereignty belongs to and derives from the nation, an abstract entity normally linked to a physical territory and its past, present, and future citizens. It is an ideological concept or doctrine derived from liberal political theory...

, that domestic industries and national traditions must be safeguarded, and that preserving this is of greater importance than profit for business.


Ecofeminism is a social and political movement which points to the existence of considerable common ground between environmentalism and feminism, with some currents linking deep ecology and feminism...

 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 it 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."


Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 has mixed stances on capitalism; while supportive of private property rights, fascism is hostile to the concepts of laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 capitalism, free trade, economic individualism, materialism, and bourgeois culture. Fascists acknowledge the existence of the class conflict
Class conflict
Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

 that exists in capitalist societies and seek a solution to it.

Participatory economics and inclusive democracy

Participatory economics
Participatory economics
Participatory economics, often abbreviated parecon, is an economic system proposed primarily by activist and political theorist Michael Albert and radical economist Robin Hahnel, among others. It uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and...

, 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
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 are owned by the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

. It emerged from the work of activist and political theorist Michael Albert
Michael Albert
Michael Albert is an American activist, economist, speaker, and writer. He is co-editor of ZNet, and co-editor and co-founder of Z Magazine. He also co-founded South End Press and has written numerous books and articles...

 and that of radical economist Robin Hahnel
Robin Hahnel
Robin Hahnel is a Professor of Economics at Portland State University. He is best known for his work on participatory economics with Z Magazine editor Michael Albert. He is currently a visiting professor at Lewis & Clark College....

, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s.
Inclusive Democracy
Inclusive Democracy
Inclusive Democracy is a political theory and political project that aims for direct democracy, economic democracy in a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy, self-management and ecological democracy...

 as envisaged by Takis Fotopoulos
Takis Fotopoulos
Takis Fotopoulos , born , is a political philosopher and economist who founded the inclusive democracy movement. He is noted for his synthesis of the classical democracy with the libertarian socialism and the radical currents in the new social movements...

, is a form of direct democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure 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
Economic democracy
Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that suggests a shift in decision-making power from a small minority of corporate shareholders to a larger majority of public stakeholders...

 in a stateless
- Society :* Anarchy* Stateless communism, which Karl Marx predicted would follow capitalism and socialism* Stateless nation, a group of people without a nation-state* Stateless society, a society that is not governed by a state...

, moneyless and marketless economy, democracy in the social realm, i.e., self-management
Self-management means different things in different fields:* In business, education, and psychology, self-management refers to methods, skills, and strategies by which individuals can effectively direct their own activities toward the achievement of objectives, and includes goal setting, decision...

 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.


The Catholic Church forbids usury
Usury Originally, when the charging of interest was still banned by Christian churches, usury simply meant the charging of interest at any rate . In countries where the charging of interest became acceptable, the term came to be used for interest above the rate allowed by law...

, but with the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 and its revolt against Papal dogmatic teaching and then the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 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
Economic materialism
Materialism is a mindset that views the consumption and acquisition of material goods as positive and desirable. It is often bound up with a value system which regards social status as being intrinsically linked to affluence as well as the perception that happiness can be increased through...

 aspects. Many early and pre-socialist movements as well as later ones drew principles from the Gospels (see Christian socialism
Christian socialism
Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology and the doctrine of the social gospel...

 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 . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

Riba means one of the senses of "usury" . Riba is forbidden in Islamic economic jurisprudence fiqh and considered as a major sin...

 lending money at interest, the mode of operation of capitalist finance
"Finance" is often defined simply as the management of money or “funds” management Modern finance, however, is a family of business activity that includes the origination, marketing, and management of cash and money surrogates through a variety of capital accounts, instruments, and markets created...

; 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).


Socialism includes various theories of economic organization that advocate public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals, with an egalitarian
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 method of compensation. Socialists argue for cooperative/community
A cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit...

 or state control
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

 of the economy, or the "commanding heights" of the economy, 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 the 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
Capital (economics)
In economics, capital, capital goods, or real capital refers to already-produced durable goods used in production of goods or services. The capital goods are not significantly consumed, though they may depreciate in the production process...

 and derives its wealth through exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

, stifling technological and economic progress by maintaining an anarchy of production.


Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 and revolutionary Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 disagrees with capitalism and economic liberalism
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

 on a fundamental basis, in that communism advocates communal ownership over the means of production and economic decision-making of a society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

, with the abolishment of private property and government. Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

, 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. Marxism argues for collective ownership of the means of production, the elimination of the exploitation of labor, and the eventual abolition of the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

, with an intermediate stage, of indeterminate length, in which the state will be used to eliminate the vestiges of capitalism. Some Communist state
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

s claimed to have abolished capitalism, although some Marxist theorists describe them as state capitalist
State capitalism
The term State capitalism has various meanings, but is usually described as commercial economic activity undertaken by the state with management of the productive forces in a capitalist manner, even if the state is nominally socialist. State capitalism is usually characterized by the dominance or...

, rather than anti-capitalist.

Anti-globalization movement

The anti-globalization movement is a worldwide activist
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 movement that is critical of the globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

 of capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

. Anti-globalization activists are particularly critical of the undemocratic nature of capitalist globalization and the promotion of neoliberalism
Neoliberalism is a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that emphasizes the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the...

 by international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF) and the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 without much regard to the often devastating effects of global capital on local conditions. Meetings of such bodies are often met with strong protests.

See also

  • Capitalism
    Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

  • Corporatocracy
    Corporatocracy, in social theories that focus on conflicts and opposing interests within society, denotes a system of government that serves the interest of, and may be run by, corporations and involves ties between government and business...

  • Critique of capitalism
  • Post-capitalism
    Post-capitalism refers to any hypothetical future economic system that is to supersede capitalism as the dominant form of economic organization.-Post-capitalist systems:There have been a number of proposals for a new economic system to replace capitalism...

  • The Black Book of Capitalism
    The Black Book of Capitalism
    Le Livre Noir du Capitalisme is a French book published in 1998, in reaction to The Black Book of Communism . Unlike the latter however, Le Livre Noir du Capitalisme does not attempt to provide a comprehensive tally of victims of the politico-economic system in question...

  • Transformative Studies Institute
    Transformative Studies Institute
    The Transformative Studies Institute is an independent 501 nonprofit educational think tank based in the United States. It “was created to provide an inclusive educational space for research and practice for social justice by academics, community organizers, activists, and political leaders”...

  • Occupy Wall Street
    Occupy Wall Street
    Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing series of demonstrations initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters which began September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall Street financial district...

Further reading

External links

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