Capitalism is not anarchy. They aren't the same thing. They are not mutually exclusive of each other, true, but one does not necessarily rely on the other to exist.
Well, I guess anarchy relies on capitalism, but that's only because we haven't found any other economic system under which you can allow freedom to trade with whomever you please, whenever you please to do so, which would be a prerequisite for anarchy. All other economic forms require some cetralized power to direct traffic, so to speak, which would be anathema to anarchy...The existence of government law, and law enforcement forces does not preclude the existence of a capitalist society. Nor, I might add, is such a thing necessary for capitalism to flourish. There are other methods by which a man can protect the products of his labors, and his property, other than having the government do it. Many others.
The thing is that we've found over the years, that perhaps having the government do it is the most efficient method to achieve this goal, and we have chosen to go down that path. This does not mean that we are no longer under a capitalist economic system.
Capitalism relies on the ability to protect property and the product of one's labors. It does not rely on the government doing so, and having the government do so does not mean that you don't have capitalism.
How do you strike a balance between the absolute minimum of law enforcement necessary to "protect the marketplace," and interference that, to you, becomes socialism?
Example: I write a song, record myself singing it, and sell CDs. You make a million copies of my CD and sell them as bootlegs.
(1) Is it capitalist if I hire muscle to tear down your operation?
(2) Is it capitalist if I tear it down myself, by hand?
(3) What if I do that, and then you hire muscle to eliminate me? Is your retaliatory act still capitalist?
(4) What if the muscle I paid to shut you down have been given exclusive license to respond to patent infringements by a representative republican government, and I pay them not by the job, but via yearly membership dues (taxes)?
Okay, so let's say you choose (4), and you believe that it is "capitalism" when I hire exclusively-licensed muscle to stop your reselling my songs. Ergo you feel that it is still a "fair marketplace" when we're abiding by rules put in place by a representative republican government.
The thing you won't like about that is that, by accepting such a proposition, you're accepting Obamacare as capitalist, too--and it is capitalist. If I can interfere with your CD sales by hiring licensed muscle to force you to follow a set of regulations, and if I can justify that as "capitalism" by claiming that the actions of a representative republic are sufficient to legitimize putting you in jail for selling a product, then United Healthcare and Blue Cross are equally justified in employing law enforcement and taxing agencies to mandate purchases of their products.
Welcome aboard the ACA bandwagon, aspiring socialist!
If the actions of a "representative republic" justify capitalism, then it is also capitalism to prevent private individuals from smoking a $300 bag of marijuana to ease the pain of terminal cancer, or growing a $20 bag of the same marijuana, and instead, requiring them and their insurer to buy a $2400 cocktail of pain drugs that don't work as effectively, and cause constipation and permanent mood alterations?
For the same reason, then, it's "capitalism" to pay thousands of dollars in welfare payments to a woman who drinks in her apartment all day, churning out kid after kid, while a different woman from the same family struggles to get by, making less for working two jobs. If you think that the actions of a representative republic are capitalism, then you cannot object to Hillary Clinton's 2021 government takeover of the gun marketplace on "safety grounds" agreed to by her party's majorities in Congress. Everything that the representative republic does is sanctioned as "capitalism," to you.
Of course this results in cognitive dissonance, because some of the representative republic's actions, real or hypothetical, are unappealing to the so-called "capitalist." In order to distinguish nice, safe, sheltered "free markets" from socialism, the capitalist has to insist upon the government following only certain rules to be called "capitalist." It's the old nitpicking crap again, where the question is begged the first time it's asked.
The capitalist wants fair competition, but only if others are prevented from stealing his property. So, the capitalist pays a few of Grandpa's coins to starving immigrants to shoot Lakota men and rape Lakota women. The capitalist pays more of Grandpa's coins to a man in the territorial office in order to get a patent to said land. Then, the capitalist hires some of the surviving immigrants to mine coal and farm tobacco on his land. He accumulates great wealth by virtue of "title," while those who produce the tobacco, manage the crops, chart the veins, and ship and distribute "his" product die young and poor.
When some of the workers try to take the Lakota land "back" for themselves, the capitalist is unavailable to fight. Instead, he insists that a militia be raised to shoot the workers to death and secure his title. To pay for that militia, the workers and the militia and their families are taxed.
The workers raise a claim of ownership by virtue of having mixed their labor with the property (viva Locke), in contrast to the owner, who spends most of his time in Manhattan town, but for a month a year when he lives on an estate a few miles from the farm. The workers' claim is denied. The Lakota raise a claim of ownership by virtue of having spent generations living on and mixing their labor with the property (viva Locke viva Smith, et. al.). The Lakota claim is denied.
The capitalist neither works, nor defends, his land. He enjoys likening himself to a smith or craftsman, who create things, though he never creates anything. His product--his contribution to humanity, and the supposed reasons for his wealth--is nothing but capitalism. He produces something only inasmuch as he fiercely advocates a belief in competition determined by the imperial British rules of property, where African lives are fungible commodities, foreigners are disposable, and resources belong to whoever is strong enough to hold them. If Country A blows up a building, capitalists see justice, and are delighted; if Country B blows up a building, capitalists see injustice, and demand government reparations and war. A capitalist will sell a patented drug with deadly side effects, demand that the State prevent others from infringing on the patent, and also demand that the State prevent others from developing or using competing products.
There is never, and has never, been a capitalist who consistently advocated for the freedom of the marketplace. Capitalists say they want "free trade," but if recalcitrant natives form a national coalition to hold, administer, and distribute their own resources, capitalist armies invade and install pliant regimes. When people talk about "capitalism," what they really talk about is the law of power: the right of the powerful to define the rules by which marketplaces operate. The powerful decide all of the questions raised previously:
Who may enter and who may not enter the marketplace? What may be sold there? What kinds of transactions are crimes, and what kind are not crimes? Which crimes will be vigorously enforced, and which overlooked when committed by which participants? Who gets to assess transaction fees (taxes) to pay for the military and police protections required to maintain a non-chaotic marketplace, and who gets to control the outlay of the resulting massive super-surplus of resources? Which currencies may be used for transactions at which values, and for which currencies will use result in a quite serious armed response?Upon the breach of any of these rules, the capitalist whines, "Barbarians!" and quits the game. It's self-evident, to him, that what happened wasn't "capitalist." When someone makes the capitalist pay to clean up the poison he dumped in the river, he cries socialism; when Congress uses public funds to raise an army, overthrows an African government, and gives a corporation exclusive rights to take the ruined nation's oil, he calls it capitalism; when the people who work in his plants keep falling into the turbines because they're too dumb to understand warning labels, he insists that capitalism is about requiring local property owners to pay tax based on the value of their houses to fund public schools to train his workers better; when his locality considers requiring him to use more specific labeling on his retail products, he's back to whining about socialism.
Throughout it all, it is completely obvious to him that the things he wants are "capitalism," which is good, and that the things he doesn't want are "socialism," which is bad. A single individual can simultaneously believe that certain lines of legislation, almost identically phrased and rationalized but for the industries they affect, are capitalist or socialist. Point out any contradictions, and you achieve cognitive dissonance; the capitalist, in a fury, doesn't understand why you are so stupid you don't see the difference between "capitalism" and "socialism," since everybody who isn't stupid can tell.
Practically, "capitalism"--like "constitutional law"--really means, "What I like. What I believe in." Humans have developed many terms to distinguish between their various preferences and perceptions, some of great utility and others of lesser. Unlike the difference between "gray" and "yellow," "potato" and "tomato," or "muay thai" and "jiujitsu," the term "capitalism" is so bone-headedly hypocritical of a term that it can't reasonably define anything more specific than flying purple unicorns farting rainbow farts...
...like most modern isms, where imperial propaganda began to mix with the development of language, creating these absurd, multifaceted words that mean everything and nothing all at once, and leave ordinary people powerless to understand the discussions of an educated elite, which can talk for hours about "standard of care" and "capitalism," but which is befuddled by such simplicities as "first, do no harm" and "hungry people."
This one shares the desire of many of the less intelligent capitalists to believe that there can eventually exist some kind of fair marketplace where what a person produces can be protected by a social compact, sold to others, and the profits allowed to accrue to the producer. Hand in hand with that desire, we must accept that creating such a system would mean forming a government to impose marketplace rules, some of which would interfere with participants' abilities to do whatever they wanted, such as steal or rape or kill.
Accordingly, whatever this system is, it would not be "capitalism." We need to get rid of our childish un-word, relegating it to the interpretive realm of those vague "mmmm-mmm" sounds Enya makes in the background of a full third of her songs. We do not need to be so wedded to the term that we fly into a rage when we realize that its tenets are self-contradictory and beyond any fixed understanding. Let us, instead, be honest with each other--we want to create markets where certain kinds of trading are allowed, and others disallowed, based upon what we like or think is fair. We want to create a marketplace based on our own version of morals, rather than on wishful economic principles that are somehow detached from the people and societies who create them.
Let's work together, talking about what those guidelines should be, rather than arguing about what Adam Smith was really thinking about when he took a crap in some outhouse in 1780. Justifying our current market allowances based on references to the abstract, incomplete, self-contradictory guidelines written down by a bunch of colonial slaveholders is foolish as well as wasteful.