Money and wealth

Capitalism, entrepreneurship, industry. These terms are often used inter-changeably, but they are not the same.

Capitalism is a system of social, political, and economic governance. It is the rule of capital, of property, of surplus value. In a capitalist society, the rules of the game are determined by capital for the benefit of capital.

To some degree, the interests of the great mass of people—the public—must also be accommodated, or perhaps managed from above. Capitalism and democracy exist in tension, because the interests of the demos do not always align with the interests of capital.

Entrepreneurs create businesses. They deliver goods and services. They build, invest, and produce. You can be a capitalist without ever being an entrepreneur. Capitalism, especially finance capitalism, need never invent a product, start a business, or create a job.

Entrepreneurs make things, capitalists leverage capital in a restless effort to convert nature into capital. Surplus value begets more surplus value, which begets more surplus.

An entrepreneur becomes a capitalist when his chief and overwhelming purpose is to invest capital in order to accumulate greater capital. Eventually he will understand that making things is a poor wealth strategy.

Those who make things earn money. Those who leverage capital to convert the world into capital generate personal wealth. Indeed, those who own productive property are wealth.

Industry can exist without capitalism. Entrepreneurs can, and do, create jobs and factories and goods. From a capitalist perspective, shutting down factories, or substituting capital for labor, can be as lucrative as opening a factory and hiring workers.

Entrepreneurs, capitalism, and industrialism co-exist. They are related. But they are not the same.


A job is not property. Industry is not capitalism. A capitalist is not necessarily an entrepreneur. Money is not wealth. America is not a democracy.

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