We explain what capital is and what are the ways to obtain it. In addition, the meanings of this term in various fields.
What is capital?
The term capital comes from the Latin capitālis . The concept of capital has different meanings, depending on the context and the discipline that is used.
In terms of economy , the term capital is referred to as value . At first it was used as a synonym for money. Being this money invested, it becomes one of the factors of the productive process, as well as the labor force and the land.
Some examples of capital in the production process could be materials, machinery, computers, raw materials, real estate , among others. In turn, capital is used to access the workforce.
Other authors prefer to define capital as the total assets or assets, whether state, private, industrial, etc. It fulfills the function of producing new wealth or profits , either through investment or loan.
There are several ways to access capital, one of the means is through the surplus of production, another is thanks to the work done on the natural environment, for example the exploitation of forests or lakes. Another means of access is thanks to savings and from Marx’s conception from surplus value .
Many times when the concept of capital is used it is to refer to one of the works of the mentioned thinker, Karl Marx . The Capital treaty is a critique of political economy. In it, the relations between the social classes that Marx defines, such as the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, are defined . At the same time it explains how the second acts in a dominant way over the first. This book has been elementary to understand the operation of the capitalist system . It is also studied not only from the economy, but also by political scientists, philosophers, sociologists, etc.
Authors such as Pierre Bourdieu claim that capital exceeds material, that is money and goods, what he calls symbolic and cultural capital. This term includes values such as generosity, honesty and, above all, the knowledge acquired.
The way to access this capital is diverse. In some cases it may be through experience and in other cases it is acquired through institutions, for example educational. This capital is used as a means of power to conserve and increase capital itself.
Other types of capital
From the political physical point of view it is understood that a capital is the head and main city of either a national or provincial state . Normally these cities are characterized as the economic and political centers of these states. They are usually the cities that have the largest population . Many times capitals are used as one of the symbols and constituted elements of nations.
In the Catholic Church , the concept of capital is related to the seven capital sins . These are understood as sins that give rise to others. These seven are: gluttony, greed, lust, pride, anger, laziness and envy. From Catholicism it is understood that these vices are totally contrary to the morals and teachings of Christianity, that is why they openly repudiate them.