Capitalism - 

From Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (Online) (emphasis added): “Capitalism” is generally defined as “an economic system characterized by private or corporation ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly in a free market.”  (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated)

From Encyclopedia Britannica (emphasis added): “[C]apitalism, also called free market economy, or free enterprise economy, economic system, dominant in the Western world since the breakup of feudalism, in which most of the means of production are privately owned and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets.” (Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014)

A simpler explanation of Capitalism is as follows: a system in which capital (such as raw materials, intellectual property, etc.) is combined with labor (such as personal industry, creativity, etc.) to produce products and services at the greatest return (profit) to investors.

Tension arises in the context of answering a simple question: to whom goes the return on investment or profit? How much should go to those whom invested money (or other non-labor forms of capital) versus going to those who invested labor and other valuable human characteristics? 

Capitalism has been redefined over the ages as a means of reflecting different, changing social and academic views regarding capitalism, despite the fact that the basic concept has not changed. In particular, more recent efforts seek to rationalize general, public acceptance of unfettered or laissez faire capitalism and further privatization of otherwise public services. Further, more recent definitions endeavor to define capitalism in a socially neutral manner. When compared to earlier versions, notice that these newer definitions do not speak to capitalism’s impact upon humans.