If it is only one half of a dichotomy, you could say the other half is capitalism. But is there a midway between the two? Or are there part socialist, part capitalist philosophies?

  • You may want to look at Marx's dialectical method, often referred to as dialectical materialism.
    – user48488
    Jul 25, 2021 at 12:59
  • There has been plenty of systems that were nor socialism nor capitalism before those two started to become relevant (roughly the XIX century). Feudalism, for example, gave most property rights to the lord, so it wasn't socialist, but the lord had duties toward their peasants that are foreign to capitalism, where the relationship between owner and laborers is the employment contract, no more no less.
    – armand
    Jul 26, 2021 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


As discussed socialism is not well defined (it's contextual locally, and changes over time, as discussed in Isn't socialism a form of democracy? ). Well another shocker: capitalism is not well defined either, changing meaning over time and region.

Nearly all countries have in practice mixed economies. Consider even in the USA, Tesla received state aid in it's early days which would certainly violate Ayn Rand's vision of laissez-faire capitalism. So in a very real sense, even China has a mixed economy, with some elements of free markets, and some economic planning and market interventions. We might call China's the most planned major economy, and the USA's maybe in some senses the least planned & regulated, and in that sense there is a spectrum. In practice it's more like pick-and-mix, with sets of evolved emergent bolt-ons and compromises. In a very real sense, all major economies mix capitalism with elements that can be identified as socialist. It's largely about rhetoric how these are identified and reacted too. For instance there is a widespread practice of ignoring that the USA's economy was at it's most successful when taxes on the rich were highest, as much as 90% income tax on the highest wealth bracket.

You have to consider politics, the decision making process, and accountability/transparency, separately to economic policy. It's not a given, when you talk about a capitalist country, or region.

You might like this discussion: Philosophers on alternatives to capitalism and communism

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