Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | April 5, 2012

Question of the Week #13: Culture

Question of the Week #13:

What is the difference between “capitalism” and “monopoly”?



  1. good question

    • Thank you very much, Louise. I hope several of y’all will post answers before I post my two cents. Cheers, Ashley

  2. Under capitalism, any person or company is free to compete in any market, selling goods or services to those who choose to buy.

    In a monopoly, someone – usually a government or government entity – controls the production and marketing of one or more products or services. The buyer has no choice but to buy from the monopolist at whatever price is set.

    • Thank you so much, David. You summed up these definitions as well as my Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate dictionary did. I picked this question because I’ve frequently heard people treat these two words like synonyms. They’re actually close to being opposites. I suspect the only difference is that capitalism applies to the private sector and monolopy applies to the private sector, to government, and to labor unions. Cheers, Ashley

  3. Well, I was thinking, they’re really not the same or opposite things, but David summed it up much better than I could!

    • You’re so right that David did a great job, Jennette. Cheers, Ashley

      • Please pardon the reply update. My computer glitched and cut out half my answer. Argh! – Ashley

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