Summary of Capitalism Isn’t an Ideology – It’s an Operating System

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Capitalism Isn’t an Ideology – It’s an Operating System summary


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Since the Great Recession, US pundits and observers have increasingly noted that China outpaces the United States in managing the challenges of the modern market economy. The idea that communist China does capitalism better than the democratic US puzzles many. Economic historian Bhu Srinivasan helps clarify the issue while presenting a solution in the form of a new paradigm. getAbstract recommends Srinivasan’s short, bold talk to anybody interested in politics, economic policy, trade or finance.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • What capitalism has in common with your smartphone and
  • How Western democracies should approach the challenges of modern capitalism.

About the Speaker

Economic historian Bhu Srinivasan is the founder of and author of Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism.



Capitalism is essentially a collection of marketplaces. Framing capitalism as an ideology is misleading. People can elevate or discount ideologies. Instead, think of capitalism as an “operating system” similar to the one powering your smartphone. In this analogy, the hardware is physical reality and the apps are entrepreneurship. Capitalism links the two components, just as your phone’s operating system connects hardware to apps.

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