We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I always explain "capitalism" to children as when one places (invests) a seed (capital) into the ground it comes up with many more seeds just like it. Capitalism is nature, natural, and any other way is unfruitful.
I would explain this to adults, but it's too late for most of them.
Capitalism isn't an ideology at all; it's an activity. It's not something you pontificate about, it's something you do.
It's not synonymous with "free market economy" either. No capitalist wants a free market. They want to corner the market. But they'll operate in any market that allows them to accumulate capital (which is why capitalists cheerfully thrive in the People's Republic of China).
I've tried to come up with a real definition of capitalism. Really, we don't have a word for the liberty to use productive capital to make wealth for oneself. It's the age of redefining words so I say we use capitalism.
Capitalism is a name given to the individual liberty or, as permitted, by the current entity that has monopoly on violence, to retain their personal earnings over that required for subsistence and use this savings, or capital to create wealth for their own self.
The type of capitalism one has is determined by who is permitted to engage in investments to better themselves up to State capitalism, commonly known as total socialism. Laissez Faire capitalism has the fewest restrictions and permit the most individuals to better themselves. Crony capitalism is when friends of the office holder are given special leave to better themselves. This is facilitated by interventionism and is better called government cronyism.
Socialism, in contrast, uses government to limit the individual ownership of productive capacity up to total socialism where the individual is permitted no ownership/control of productive capacity except for their direct personal skills and even then may be prevented by the overseers from using their skills in a job that requires them, instead being assigned other work. Under socialism, the liberty to better oneself is limited to government bureaucrats, controlling policitial party members and their cronies. The rest of the populace being slaves regardless of the treatment they receive.
Precisely what makes a slave is that he is allowed no use of productive capital to make wealth on his own account.
I think the term "capitalism," in an age of widespread lending suffused with cronyism and government intervention, distracts the eye from the free-market aspect by focusing on "capital." It's an older concept that doesn't fit so well anymore. I use the phrase "free market" whenever I can.