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There are many ways that countries are run Obviously most are run by officials--but what kind of system do they govern by Some of the most important systems used today are capitalism socialism and communism Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned Business organizations produce goods for a market guided by the forces of supply and demand Capitalism requires a financial system that enables business firms to borrow large sums of money or capital to maintain and expand production Underlying capitalism is the presumption that private enterprise is the most efficient way to organize economic activity Freedom under capitalism has only one meaning freedom form the initiation of force by others Politically the root political cause of capitalism is freedom The marketplace is the center of the capitalist system It determines what will be produced who will produce it and how the rewards of the economic process will be distributed From a political standpoint the market system has two distinct advantages over other ways of organizing the economy a no person or combination of persons can control the marketplace which means that power cannot be monopolized by a certain party or a special interest group b the market system tends to reward efficiency with profits and to punish inefficiency with losses Economists often speak of capitalism as a free-market system ruled by competition But capitalism in this ideal sense cannot be found anywhere in the world The economic systems operating in Western countries today are mixtures of free competition and governmental control Socialism is a form of government where the right to property is vested in the government The term socialism is commonly used to refer both to an ideology--a comprehensive set of beliefs or ideas about the nature of human society and its future desirable state--and to a state of society based on that ideology Socialists have always claimed to stand above all for the values of
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