The Four Ages of Capitalism
The lion, the tiger, and the leopard are three species of the same genus—obviously different and obviously alike.
HE WORD capitalism
in its modern sense is only 150 years old.1
But the two human characteristics on which it is founded are universal, stretch back into the mists of history, and explain why efforts to replace the chaos and injustice of the markets with more rational or moral systems have always failed. These two basic human qualities are the competitive spirit (ambition) and the desire for sensual gratification and mastery of the material world (which can be described pejoratively as greed). However, these emotions are not sufficient to define capitalism. As expounded by Max Weber in ...