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Andy Rutledge

Project Launch:Capitalism Is…

November 30, 2012 | By Andy Rutledge

This week, I and my team at Unit Interactive launched a fun side project (still alpha version). Capitalism Is… is a simple, concise site that walks people through some of the important aspects of capitalism. After describing eight facets of capitalism along with some explanatory text, users are presented with a short quiz that probes their core values and tests their understanding of individual rights.

Capitalism Is cropped screengrab
The first couple of screens from Capitalism Is…

Why?

Our reasons for creating this site were manifold. Partly, I wanted to help shed clear light on important facets of capitalism that most Americans have never learned. Either because of apathy or misinformation, most American regard capitalism as merely a greed-based business philosophy for maximizing profit (and “on the backs of the poor and disadvantaged” is what they’re too often told in anticapitalist propaganda). So because of vacuous notions like this, capitalism needs simple, accurate explanation and clarification.

Another reason for our project was for our team to practice some web development techniques. Things like parallax scrolling effects, auto scrolling behaviors, serving appropriate styles and images (only) to specific screen-size and bandwidth connections, etc. are all good candidates for practice and experimentation. The Capitalism Is… project is a useful playground for that stuff.

It’s important to note that in keeping with the spirit of the playground, the site is currently in what we’d call alpha condition, as there are several issues with the parallax and other scrolling behaviors on Mac machines in Safari. We’re working on these.

Mostly, however, and as we describe in the about page for the project, as professionals we have certain fundamental obligations to society, to clients, to the profession, and to our peers and colleagues. Our professional ethics are an important basis for our practice and these flow directly from requisite capitalist values. So because capitalism is widely misunderstood, this little site is meant to shed some light on capitalism and perhaps spark further investigation by others; aspiring design professionals, especially. The design profession needs that proper understanding of capitalist morality.

Please visit Capitalism Is…, get acquainted with what capitalism actually is, and give the little quiz a try!