capitalism one

Capitalism, one



bound boundless private (2)
beast constant ownership
prey prosperity beast of prey
profit apply (2) drive/drove/driven (2)
benefit rational self-interest
key (2) ongoing accumulation
exploit unfettered generate (2)
surplus product natural resources
prevail monopoly supply and demand
spur (2) tame (2) win/won/won
fetter competitor lose/lost/lost
reform criticism notwithstanding
remain downside time and again
poverty bankrupt ever greater
impose inequality competition
crisis intrinsic more or less
wage break (2)






What is capitalism? Is it boundless luxury, private ownership, free trade? Only the powerful prevail?

For many, capitalism is like a beast of prey.

According to the father of economics, Adam Smith, profit drives the economy and self-interest is the engine of prosperity. If we all apply rational self-interests, everyone benefits.

Profit was also key for the German philosopher, Karl Marx. According to Marx, capital accumulation is ongoing and benefits only the factory owner.

To generate surplus value, capitalists exploit everyone and everything: workers, machines and natural resources.

Surplus-value, according to Marx, is generated on the free market when the product is sold, capitalism means constant competition, and price is determined by supply and demand.

The winner is the factory owner, who spurs ever greater profits and ever higher production — everyone else loses.

This is how Marx understood early unfettered capitalism.

These criticisms notwithstanding, most countries in the world today are more or less capitalistic economies.

The downsides remain: competitors go bankrupt. Workers receive little of the surplus value that’s been generated — that’s intrinsic to the system.

And there’s more: low wages, inequality, poverty, environmental destruction, financial crisis, the rise of monopolies.

Today laws and rules are imposed to reform capitalism and tame it. But time and again, the beasts of prey breaks through its fetters.

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1. The narrator uses a simile. True or false? What is the simile?

2. What motivates people in economics? Is this good or bad, according to Adam Smith?

3. Everyone benefits from the free market (according to Karl Marx). Is this correct or incorrect? How does the free market work?

4. Is the world divided evenly among countries with capitalist, socialist and communist systems?

5. Are there any disadvantages with capitalism? What are the disadvantages?

6. Pure capitalism is the norm. Is this right or wrong?

7. Is this report slightly biased or completely objective and neutral?


A. Is capitalism very controversial in your society? What are people’s opinions about capitalism?

B. What do you think of capitalism? I completely support it, mostly support it, in the middle, yes and no, I’m against capitalism, I’m totally against capitalism.

C. What will happen in the future?

D. How would you describe your country or regions economic and political system?

E. What, if anything, should be done? Should there be reforms or changes?


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