What is characteristic of our system? The characteristic of our system, or one of its most important characteristics, is that each person has his/her own individual freedoms. We leave persons these freedoms.
This can be seen upon observation to be a genuine characteristic of how we live ---- we allow one another individual freedom, and I think this is occurring under the present system of capitalism. This is the freedom to do what one likes, or express ourselves as we like. Members of a certain family may oppress one another ---- but out in the general society what we are discussing is a situation in which we are quite tolerant, so it is true that we allow one another to do what one another wants to. You will see this cultural characteristic, in particular, in the newer and more affluent districts more so than in small towns or in rural life.
Likewise these districts are the more capitalistic ones. In more rural areas there may be other cultural styles. There it may be more homogenious, more conforming; and those too are parts of the society so we do have these two zones. The more powerful persons in our society live in an atmosphere of tolerance, and not an atmosphere that is more puritanical or conformist. And I think that this "diversity" - if I may call it that - or tolerance - characterizes the type of a society we have in general, since such tolerance encompasses quite a few persons within that developed country. This, then, is one of our main characteristics, and this is the system that might be characterised as contemporary "Capitalism."
When we see that we have this practice of allowing each other freedom, another question comes up: "where does it come from?" Usual answers have to do with politics and ideas. This tolerance of one another is said to come from ideas, or from the overthrow of more hierarchical societies through revolution, or radical reform. I don't thnk so. I don't think it comes from politics, or democracy. And it does not comes from noble ideas, either, which is to say ideology --- like saying our freedom came from men in powdered wigs. I think a better answer would be that it comes from capitalism. Now it is hard to understand how a society could grow up, structurally, around money, around pecuniary interest. Yet that is what happened. A society came about through money. But that is cultural, and not a mere matter of individuals pursuing individualistic plans to make "x" amount of dollars. Capitalism, therefore is a "great transformation," of society, from one form to another. How did that happen? How did what some economists call "institutions," and also the entire institution, the society itself, somehow get organized around people making money?
At any rate, this is what happened, and, thinking this way, I call the entire structure "social" which automatically brings about a contrast with descriptions of capitalistic social processes as being of necessity "private" or "individual." I do not think we should miss this social (socialist) part. Everything is not "private" or "individual." Because of the fact that humans are social, there were social structures already in place when any changes occurred, and it is within these social structures that capitalism evolved, so that a new, "bourgeois" kind of society replaced the older one, and this tolerant society diffused outward, affecting a larger number of persons.