To paraphrase the Beatles: So what does that world look like, then? Come on, we'd all love to see the plan.
Oh, right. Socialism. That "economic" system where we all tithe 50 to 80 percent of our income to a big ol' Treasury Department kitty and the idiots on both sides of the aisle get to decide which schools our children go to, where we can live, what we can buy, and if we are allotted medical treatment for everything from a cold sore to cancer.
Or maybe they're thinking of barter? Of eliminating that nasty lil' disparity-inducing thing called currency in favor of trade? Actually, I've done my fair share of barter and it works up to a point, mainly as a way to flip the bird to the IRS every now and then. But an entire economy built solely on barter is as clunky as a pair of Crocs at a disco.
Let's try it on for size anyway: Say Family A is seeking a babysitter for their two children and Family B, who has no children to look after, needs housecleaning services. The two families get together and agree to provide those services for each other. No money is exchanged – just the services. Everything is fine for about six months. Then the wife in Family A starts doing a crappy job with the toilets. What recourse does Family B have? They can either accept half-assed work, or terminate their agreement and go looking for another toilet scrubber. But what if they can't find anyone who needs babysitting? And what if Family A, who is lousy at scrubbing toilets but aces at sewing clothing, can't find anyone who needs clothing?
Wouldn't all this be much easier if everyone agreed to establish a CURRENCY which would represent labor of ALL KINDS and which is accepted EVERYWHERE for just about EVERY good and service?
In a nutshell, that's what gets the ball of capitalism rolling, so I simply do not understand why the word itself sets everyone's teeth on edge. Would it make people feel better if we named it instead: "An economic system based on the mutually or unanimously agreed upon value-for-value exchange of goods and services between two or more parties"?
No? Well then, linguistic brevity aside, until someone, somewhere, can quit their whining and present to me an economic system that works better AND doesn't require that some gub'mint official shoves a gun in my face to enforce, well, then, "capitalism" will just have to do.
Janet Daley from the Telegraph explains it pretty well.