Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Capitalism in a Nutshell

By definition capitalism depends on capital accumulation, the production of an economic surplus that can be reinvested in new capital (property and machines) to expand production even further. In the beginning of Fleeing Vesuvius, the authors demonstrate how producing this surplus was only possible because of the vast amount of cheap (practically free) work performed by fossil fuel energy. Obviously there were rich people (landowners and merchants) prior to industrialization. However there weren’t any capitalists – production was far too limited to accumulate capital.  - Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

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