I would like to ask this question:

Title: What are the defining features of Capitalism?

Body: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for an economic system (or mode of production) to be classified as "Capitalism"?

Is it markets? Is it for-profit corporations? Is it limited liability companies? Is it workers selling their labour to capitalists/employees? Is it freedom to set up companies? Is it a subset of these?

I imagine the answer would depend on a particular schools of thought and/or the view of particular economists, so in principle I would expect different answers.

Disclaimer: I am not interested in your opinion about what capitalism is and it is not. I am looking for authoritative answers, with proper references

Do you think this would survive a "too broad" or "primarily opinion based" flagging? I want to stress the point in the disclaimer, as I'm afraid eager newer users will be easily tempted to respond with their opinions.

Let me know if you think there is a way to salvage the question to make it (relatively more) on-topic.

  • $\begingroup$ "I am not interested in your opinion" - you might make this more general, eg I am not interested in opinions (yours or others') ... Otherwise it could invite answers that refer to published opinions. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2017 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


To me the question looks on-topic (and also like a good question)!

But anyway, if people vote it as off-topic then they should explain why in the comments. It is always possible to edit a closed question and then flag it for a moderator to reopen.


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