Posted BY: James L. Swofford
I’m a capitalist. You are a capitalist. Karl Marx was a capitalist. Josef Stalin was one of the biggest capitalists ever. Bernie Sanders is a capitalist. AOC is a capitalist. All the members of Occupy Wall Street, Antifa, and BLM are capitalists, even if they don’t know it or won’t admit it.
Capital is anything used in production that is not a free gift of the earth like land or human effort like labor or entrepreneurship. That is a bit of a long economist way of saying capital is a tool. So, if you favor using tools, you are a capitalist.
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Less abstractly, if you favor having a smartphone, a laptop, a car, or any other tool at work, then you are a capitalist. If you prefer to dig a hole with your hands rather than a shovel, a post-hole digger, or a machine, then perhaps you aren’t a capitalist. There seem to be few people who really prefer to dig holes with their hands.
Karl Marx popularized the term capitalism despite clearly being a capitalist. Pictures of Marx show that he used pen and ink, which are tools that of course are capital. Further, Marx published his writings using his publisher’s printing presses and binding capital. So, apparently capital was not the issue to Marx. Perhaps it was borrowing money to get tools he could not afford, as people often confuse capital goods or tools with money capital that might be borrowed money.