What is capitalism?

If someone asks you for a summary and you don’t know how to explain it in scientific terms, you can paraphrase Thomas Sankara’s quote:

“It is the system where you have to decide whether a minority drinks champagne or everyone has access to drinking water.”

If it’s still not clear, you can tell them the story of the former revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, from 1983 to 1987:

A reader of Marx and Engels and a jazz guitarist, Sankara was assassinated by his former friend in a coup with the help of the French government. A right-wing dictatorship friendly to the French was installed. Much of the progress Sankara made in power was undone during this period. Many believe that the coup happened because Sankara, a pan-Africanist, was fighting for African countries to unite and refuse to pay the debt that colonizing nations, like France, had imposed on them.