The Capitalist System and Unmet Human Material Need

  • Edward J. O’Boyle


The capitalist system is identifiable by twelve characteristics and is differentiated from all other economic systems by one in particular (see Figure 5.1). In this chapter, the twelve characteristics are addressed either singly, in pairs, or in sets of three. Between the lines the reader may detect certain misgivings on our part regarding capitalism. No doubt, some of our doubts originated with the social encyclicals or have been reinforced by those encyclicals. Clearly, the capitalist economy is not an ideal system in the sense that it does not fully meet the demands made on it by personalist economics. Even so, it is instructive to examine the capitalist system, even briefly, in order to sharpen our focus as to the essential elements of an economic system that adheres to or is consistent with the principles of personalist economics.


Product Market Economic Resource Private Property Capitalist Economy Creative Destruction 
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  3. Schumpeter, Joseph. “The Instability of Capitalism,” The Economic Journal, September 1928.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward J. O’Boyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Louisiana Tech UniversityUSA

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