Difference Between Capitalism and Feudalism
Capitalism vs Feudalism
In economics, there are two related models that have shaped standards of living and social classes today. These are Feudalism and Capitalism. In fact, renowned economists like Karl Marx, would recognize some correlation in the two constitutions such that in both structures, the power of the dominant class is based on the exploitation of the subordinate class. Despite the said similarity though, a great deal of differences exist between Feudalism and Capitalism.
Feudalism is a political and military system between a feudal aristocracy (a lord or liege), and his vassals. In its most classic sense, feudalism refers to the Medieval European political system composed of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs. The group of feudalism can be seen in how these three elements fit together. The obligations and relations between lord, vassal and fief form the basis of feudalism. A lord granted land (a fief) to his vassals. In exchange for the fief, the vassal would provide military service to the lord. The land-holding relationships of feudalism revolved on the fief. There were thus different ‘levels’ of lordship and vassalage. In a typical feudal society, the ownership of all land was vested in the king. Servicing him was a hierarchy of nobles, the most important nobles holding land directly from the king, and the lesser from them, down to the seigneur who held a single manor. The political economy of the system was local and agricultural, and at its base was the manorial system. In the manorial system the peasants, laborers, or serfs, held the land they worked from the seigneur, who granted them use of the land and his protection in return for personal services and for dues. Throughout the medieval years, increase in communication and the concentration of power in the hands of monarchs in France, Spain, and England broke down the structure and facilitated the emergence of burgess class. The system broke down gradually and was eventually replaced by a more contemporary approach to resource management, which is Capitalism.
Capitalism is one of the most influential factors that define economic classes today. It is a structure in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for profit. Capitalists are conventionally composed of private entities that make and implement market decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments without much intervention from the public or government bodies. Profit, the major goal of any capitalist, is distributed to shareholders who invest in businesses. Salaries and wages, on the other hand, are paid to workers employed by such businesses. Capitalism, being an influential and flexible system of a mixed economy, drove the main means of industrialization throughout most of the world. There are different types of capitalism. These are anarcho-capitalism, corporate capitalism, crony capitalism, finance capitalism, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, neo-capitalism, post-capitalism, state capitalism, state monopoly capitalism and technocapitalism. However varying, there is general agreement that capitalism encourages economic growth while further extending disparities in income and wealth. Capitalists believe that increasing GDP (per capita), the main unit in measuring wealth, is set to bring about improved standards of living, including better availability of food, housing, clothing, and health care. They deem that a capitalist economy holds better practical potentials in being able to raise the working class’ income through new professions or business ventures as compared to other types of economies. Unlike Feudalism though, it doesn’t maintain lords and serfs. Rather, it recognizes corporations and businesses to be the ruling body above the working class. What makes it distinct from Feudalism is that the subordinate class has freedom to demand from its employer and the employer hold limited authority, mostly professional in nature, over the subordinate.
1) Feudalism involves aristocracy and vassals while capitalism is privately owned and operated for profit.
2) The obligations and relations between lord, vassal and fief form the basis of feudalism while profit is the main goal of capitalism.
3) Capitalism doesn’t maintain lords and serfs.
4) In capitalism, the subordinate class has the freedom to demand from the employer.
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