What Is Capitalism?
Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals or businesses own capital goods. The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market — known as a market economy — rather than through central planning—known as a planned economy or command economy. 
The purest form of capitalism is free market or laissez-faire capitalism. Here, private individuals are unrestrained. They may determine where to invest, what to produce or sell, and at which prices to exchange goods and services. The laissez-faire marketplace operates without checks or controls. 
Today, most countries practice a mixed capitalist system that includes some degree of government regulation of business and ownership of select industries. 
Capitalism vs. Socialism
In terms of political economy, capitalism is often pitted against socialism. The fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism is the ownership and control of the means of production. In a capitalist economy, property and businesses are owned and controlled by individuals. In a socialist economy, the state owns and manages the vital means of production. However, other differences also exist in the form of equity, efficiency, and employment. 
Free-market capitalism has generated the world’s greatest economic growth, lifted millions of people out of poverty, and achieved the highest standards of living.
Socialism is inferior to capitalism. Socialism is worse for the rich, the poor, and the middle class. Over the long haul, socialism doesn’t produce better outcomes for anyone other than well-connected government officials, bureaucrats and their cronies who grift off the public via bribes and getting around the rules they put in for anyone else. Many of you will not accept the incontrovertible evidence, so work through these quotes that help explain why capitalism is better than socialism. I do add a proviso. Capitalism can become corrupted. the solution they sell is to through out capitalism and institute communism masquerading as socialism. The solution to corrupted capitalism is to remove the corruption. Here are many quotes on the topic.
“America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to ‘the common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.”Ayn Rand
“It is the common error of Socialists to overlook the natural indolence of mankind; their tendency to be passive, to be the slaves of habit, to persist indefinitely in a course once chosen. Let them once attain any state of existence which they consider tolerable, and the danger to be apprehended is that they will thenceforth stagnate; will not exert themselves to improve, and by letting their faculties rust, will lose even the energy required to preserve them from deterioration. Competition may not be the best conceivable stimulus, but it is at present a necessary one, and no one can foresee the time when it will not be indispensable to progress.”John Stuart Mill
You can read a more complete quote here.
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”Adam Smith
“Capitalism is the most cooperative system ever created for the peaceful improvement of peoples’ lives. It has only a single fatal flaw: It doesn’t feel like it. The market system is so good at getting people—from all over the world—to work together that we barely notice how much we’re cooperating.”Jonah Goldberg “Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy”
“The growth of world prosperity is not a ‘miracle’ or any of the other mystifying terms we customarily apply to countries that have succeeded economically and socially. Schools are not built, nor are incomes generated, by sheer luck, like a bolt from the blue. These things happen when people begin to think along new lines and work hard to bring their ideas to fruition. But people do that everywhere, and there is no reason why certain people in certain places during certain periods in history should be intrinsically smarter or more capable than others. What makes the difference is whether the environment permits and encourages ideas and work, or instead puts obstacles in their way. That depends on whether people are free to explore their way ahead, to own property, to invest for the long term, to conclude private agreements, and to trade with others. In short, it depends on whether or not the countries have capitalism.”Johan Norberg
“Capitalism is about the mutual creation of wealth rather than the pillaging of it.”Ted Malloch (Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is Chief Executive Officer of a strategy company.)
“Attempts to secure an equal outcome always require unequal treatment of individuals.”Ted Malloch
“This isn’t new. Those who favor socialism always make the moral case for it. The truth is, maybe they actually believe in it, but in the real world, socialism harms, it weakens the economies of countries that have tried it. It just does. Weaker economies hurt everybody in them. Socialism kills incentive, opportunity, freedom. It is the opposite of what America is all about. Look, socialism always harms the people it claims to help the most. It handicaps them, leaving them weaker, less self-determined, less free.”Bobby Jindal
“Socialism is when government’s taking care of you, you send all your money to the government, the government decides how to spend it instead of letting the people spend it and make all those decisions.”Bob Latta
“Socialism values equality more than liberty.”Dennis Prager
“Socialism is for those who think most people are losers. Capitalism is for those who think most people can take care of themselves.”John Hawkins
“I’m also a conscious capitalist — I believe economic freedom and entrepreneurship are the best ways to end poverty, increase prosperity, and evolve humanity upward. I believe that all forms of socialism have been proven over time to result in a loss of both economic and civil liberties, with increasing poverty.”John Mackey
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Steal a fish from one guy and give it to another — and keep doing that on a daily basis — and you’ll make the first guy pissed off, but you’ll make the second guy lazy and dependent on you. Then you can tell the second guy that the first guy is greedy for wanting to keep the fish he caught. Then the second guy will cheer for you to steal more fish. Then you can prohibit anyone from fishing without getting permission from you. Then you can expand the racket, stealing fish from more people and buying the loyalty of others. Then you can get the recipients of the stolen fish to act as your hired thugs. Then you can . . . well, you know the rest.”Larken Rose
“People say capitalism is selfishness. No, socialism is selfishness. The idea that I have to pay for you to paint watercolors in your basement is a selfish philosophy.”Ben Shapiro
“Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”Milton Friedman
“What is socialism? The longest road from capitalism to capitalism.”Soviet joke
It is difficult to understand the logic of the ‘liberals’ with their push for socialism and communism. The moan about the power of corporations but they have become the tools of monopolists working in collusion to empower the State to control us all. Why do liberals and lefties not care about liberty? Do they not see that eventually, after they have given all their power to the State in order to enforce a propped up society, they will find themselves in even a worse predicament? The liberals are endorsing nothing short of totalitarianism.
Totalitarianism is a form of government that prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state, and exercises an high degree of control over public and private life. In totalitarian states, political power tends to be held by autocrats who employ campaigns in which propaganda is broadcast by state-controlled mass media.
Totalitarian regimes are often characterized by extensive political repression, a complete lack of democracy, state control over the economy, extensive censorship, mass surveillance, limited freedom of movement including the freedom to leave the country, and common use of state terrorism. Totalitarian regimes also tend to use concentration camps, repressive secret police, religious persecution or state atheism.
“In practice, socialism didn’t work. But socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy. In the vast library of socialist theory (and in all of Marx’s compendious works), there is hardly a chapter devoted to the creation of wealth to what will cause human beings to work and to innovate, or to what will make their efforts efficient. Socialism is a plan of morally sanctioned theft. It is about dividing up what others have created. Consequently, socialist economies don’t work; they create poverty instead of wealth. This is unarguable historical fact now…”David Horowitz
“A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.”F.A. Hayek
“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!”Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) (Economist and social philosopher)
Ludwig makes an accurate observation. The dogmas are driving destructive forces that eliminate freedom, liberty, and prosperity from peoples that previously enjoyed freedom and prosperity.
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”Winston Churchill
Winston should know, he had his debts paid off by the perpetrators of WW2.
Naomi Klein is a little more balanced in her thoughts about Capitalism and Socialism:
“A term like capitalism is incredibly slippery, because there’s such a range of different kinds of market economies. Essentially, what we’ve been debating over—certainly since the Great Depression—is what percentage of a society should be left in the hands of a deregulated market system. And absolutely there are people that are at the far other end of the spectrum that want to communalize all property and abolish private property, but in general the debate is not between capitalism and not capitalism, it’s between what parts of the economy are not suitable to being decided by the profit motive. And I guess that comes from being Canadian, in a way, because we have more parts of our society that we’ve made a social contract to say, ‘That’s not a good place to have the profit motive govern.’ Whereas in the United States, that idea is kind of absent from the discussion. So even something like firefighting—it seems hard for people make an argument that maybe the profit motive isn’t something we want in the firefighting sector, because you don’t want a market for fire. ”Naomi Klein
If you wish to check the power of your logic to see if you can see through some anti-Capiatlist logic, try this:
“It turned out that capitalism alone could make people not only rich and happy but also poor, hungry, miserable, and powerless.”Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
Masha Gessen was born into an Ashkenazi Jewish family in Russia. In 1981 the family moved to the United States to escape anti-Semitism. In other words, her family and her kindred were not popular and probably for a reason. She also writes on LGBT rights, and gender issues. She is correct that Capitalism corrupted can make people “poor, hungry, miserable, and powerless.” But Jewish Communism makes all people equally “poor, hungry, miserable, and powerless.”
Marx had a formula of accusing those that you oppose of doing the things that you are doing. Here is a classic:
Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.Karl Marx. Capital
I often say: “Test for opposites.” We could say about Communism: “Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” Capitalism run correctly provides jobs, livelihoods, joy and satisfaction. Welfarism destroys a nation. Socialism destroys its capacity to produce the necessities of life. Communism is total control over your life while you live in fear of the state.
Marx was no example of a community minded person. He would have been a ‘bad apple’ in a communist state as witnessed by his behaviour to community effort. Marx evaded military conscription thanks to a supposed ‘weak chest’. This was a ‘vague’ diagnosis which was certainly exacerbated by his late-night partying, bad diet, drinking, and chain-smoking. His father even told him how best to avoid the draft, writing to Marx, “If you can, arrange to be given good certificates by competent and well-known physicians there, and you can do it with good conscience … but to be consistent with your conscience, do not smoke too much.”
I remember a university vacation trip around Europe on an ancient 1951 Ariel NH motorcycle. It was in Yugoslavia that I first saw people in long queues patiently hoping to buy bread. I remember empty shelves in shops. That was something I had never seen before. I saw it very noticeably in Cuba a couple of years ago. The people in Cuba were well fed, but the shop product range was unbelievably small and incomplete. There was one type of biscuit and batteries were impossible to buy. My mouse ceased to function.
I finish on a brighter note:
If capitalism persists for several more centuries, as seems to be highly likely, then from the vantage point of the future, capitalism may be seen as the system responsible for the transformation of the human condition from one of mass subsistence to mass prosperity.Victor D. Lippit, Capitalism
But here is another one with reversed logic. Under Marx type logic. Accuse your opponent of what you have been doing:
Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners.Vladimir Lenin, The State and Revolution
Vladimir neglect to mention that people tend to try to escape from Communism to Capitalist countries. Here is another quote that is fallacious. Corrupted capitalism is a problem. Functioning capitalism is always better than functioning socialism.
Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States
To reword Howard Zinn’s comment: “Socialism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is also a failure the middle classes. It is also a failure for the upper classes.” Socialism makes everybody miserable in poverty, and shortage.
And now Ron Paul:
Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven’t had capitalism. A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank. It’s not capitalism when the system is plagued with incomprehensible rules regarding mergers, acquisitions, and stock sales, along with wage controls, price controls, protectionism, corporate subsidies, international management of trade, complex and punishing corporate taxes, privileged government contracts to the military-industrial complex, and a foreign policy controlled by corporate interests and overseas investments. Add to this centralized federal mismanagement of farming, education, medicine, insurance, banking and welfare. This is not capitalism!Ron Paul, speech, Jul. 9, 2002
Capitalism has given people both the liberty and the incentive to create, produce, and trade, thereby generating prosperity.Johan Norberg, In Defense of Global Capitalism
 From Investopedia.
 Conquest, Robert (1999). Reflections on a Ravaged Century. p. 74. ISBN 0-393-04818-7.