Difference Between Capitalism And Feudalism

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Capitalism bases its structure on money, labor and competition as the critical elements while feudalism bases its structure on lords, vassals and fiefs. The elitist system that exists in a capitalist environment is created by the access to resources, as opposed to a feudal system where resource and health are inherited. Money is a critical element of the capitalist system because it directly controls labor through employment and purchasing power. Competition, too, is a critical element of the capitalist system because the business warfare between companies determines the quality of goods and services. In a feudal system, soldiers secure specific territories and they are governed under a lord (Mackrell, 2013). This individual is responsible for the land as the ruler of the area, and he provides opportunities to use the land to nobles called vassals. The vassals are a link between the lords and the peasants, and they negotiate opportunities on how to utilize land to favor both their interests as well as that of the kingdom. The fiefs are the divisions of land throughout the kingdom, and the number of fiefs determines the number of vassals, who in turn determine the level of productivity.


The leadership system in capitalism depends entirely on the access to resources and wealth by the population. A majority of the leaders in capitalist systems are the financially wealthy, and they are responsible for controlling the wealth and vast majority of resources in the world. According to Amnesty International, the gap between the rich and poor will expand to the extent that 1% of the population will control 50% of the Earth’s resources by 2016. Policies and the future of the world are determined by the elite in the capitalist system, and even political leaders have a very small say in matters of importance (Black, 2006). Feudalism, however, features monarchies as the major leaders that determine the future of the community. Kings, Queens and emperors are the main frontrunners that solely depend on the fate of their territories by controlling the militaries that provide protection over the realm. The monarchial system is a dominant leadership feature because the leaders control the resources within their territories and thus have the right to claim even works by others. The change of leadership is hereditary, and even the financial wealthy can never match up to the leadership in a feudal system because they are not of the same bloodline.


A capitalist society is perhaps best recognized for its globalization strategy that incorporates all the countries of the world. The global hegemony achieved by the United States in the twentieth century particularly after the collapse of Communist Russia exemplifies globalization. The system aims to control resources from multiple continents around the world and integrate different economies together. A capitalist economy cannot affect a single country because there are massive trading activities that characterize the system. Capitalism involves the entire globe in terms of progress, and almost every country in the world has been affected on ay or the other by capitalism. Feudalism, however, incorporates strategies that are beneficial to a specific territory, with international trading only at a minimum. The lords grant land to the vassals in a bid to create a self-reliant empire and for the king to further enrich themselves through territorial expansions (Abels, 2009) Unlike capitalism where money is the most important resource, feudalism incorporates land as its most important resource. The progress that is achieved in a feudal society greatly depends on the available land and the permissions granted by the lords. The globalization aspect is rare because the focus is on the development of the kingdom as an entirety.

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