WiKi Entry on Rentier Capitalism

Rentier capitalism is a term currently used to describe the belief in economic practices of monopolization of access to any kind of property (physical, financial, intellectual, etc.) and gaining significant amounts of profit without contribution to society.[1][2][3] The origins of the term are unclear; it is often said to be used in Marxism, yet the very combination of words rentier and capitalism were never used by Karl Marx himself.


Current usage of the term ‘rentier capitalism’ describes the gaining of ‘rentier’ income from ownership or control of assets that generate economic rents rather than from capital or labour used for production in a free competitive market.[7] The term rentier state is mainly used not in its original meaning, as an imperialistic state thriving on labor of other countries and colonies, but as a state which derives all or a substantial portion of its national revenues from the rent of indigenous resources to external clients.

Guy Standing has claimed rentier capitalism has become predominant in capitalistic economies since the 1980s.[8] Brett Christophers of Uppsala University, Sweden has asserted that rentier capitalism has been the foundation of the United Kingdom’s economic policy from the 1970s onwards.[9]