Because they have the choice to spend their time pursuing those luxuries. Slaves cannot make that call. Definitely. But that's wasteful of people's time and energy. To be a subsistence farmer with no access to fertilizers, tractors etc allows you to "obtain our resources for our survival directly from the earth" - but that also enslaves you. You work hard, 50-80 hours a week, or you die. Again, you can do that - but you have then relegated people to lives of misery, since most people cannot create their own steel, or antibiotics, or fuel. Exactly. In fact, if you have two people, one a good fighter and one a good harvester, then it makes a whole lot of sense for one to protect the forage and the other to harvest it. That, of course, "enslaves" the fighter (using your definition) and removes him from ensuring his survival directly from the earth - but it makes a lot more sense in a community. The capitalist allows access to his property. In your first example, the fighter allows the harvester access to "his" property to harvest. The harvester "pays" the fighter in food. They, of course, both really own the bush. Right. But capitalist do not (and do not claim to) work alone. They work within an economic community, and in fact depend on it. Most solitary animals claim as much territory as they can hold. Their limits are not their requirements, but rather the limits placed upon them by the limits of their bodies. Of course you can, and every society the Earth has ever seen has had elements of both. And yet we do have both - quite successfully. Because you pay them to cooperate with you. Instead of giving the good fighter some berries to get him to defend your forage bush, you are giving him money to design your widget. He is free to leave if he does not like the trade he is making - and you are free to fire him if you don't like the trade you are making. And if you wanted to be a subsistence farmer you should have thought of that before you got that mortgage.