Capitalism, as an economic system, first debuted in the 14th century and existed in three different historical epochs before it evolved into the global capitalism that it is today. In this article we take a look at the process of globalizing the system, which changed it from a Keynesian, "New Deal" capitalism to the neoliberal and global model that exists today.
The foundation of today’s global capitalism was laid, in the aftermath of World War II, at the Bretton Woods Conference, which took place at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in 1944.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up