One day we are going to wake up and see that the economic system does not work anymore. We have been trained, in the U.S., to confute two words: "economy," and "competition." Because of this we have so little interest in the fates and fortunes of others.
We see Europe is going down. So, we say, "who cares?" It's a competitive system, isn't it?
That kind of language is related to the peculiar double nature that U.S./Americans have. The U.S. is successful, powerful, and influential---the prime instance of capitalist economic growth. Yet we do not equate that with cooperativeness. But, truly, cooperativeness is also a part of capitalism, as of life in general. Our attitude is twisted because we have been trained not to focus on the sorts of things that the word "cooperation" would bring up. Only the opposite word, competition, is allowable. That isn't free speech. That is a rancid pile of propaganda, to say the least about it. This is our US/American ethos, and what the ethos does is that lets us "see" only competition. That's what I mean by a double nature. We in fact live in a system that is cooperative but we think only this word "competitive." Now what I think is going to happen eventually, is that out of this blindness you get blind persons running the economy. Eventually, the economy is run by unthinking automatons (even in the case of gov't "intervention," so this covers both types).
We can improve our understanding of the success of the U.S. in the world by making recourse to the concept of culture. This (capitalistic) success is tied up with culture. Culture is what people(s) do; the success or America, then, was not simply a matter of competition; and not simply a matter of cooperation. It is culture and tradition. What was there, in this great success of capitalism, was the matter of culture. It was all the complexities of human culture.
This is how we understand capitalism through cultural, or "social," ideas. It also may shed some light on why I say that you can think of "socialism" as being something found within capitalism rather than a separate system in itself. The correct understand of capitalism follows: by killing the "socialism" within capitalism you kill capitalism. Not a good idea, if there is no other place to find the socialism.