Capitalism and free markets are not the same. Though you are correct, they are often seen as being synonymous. Capitalism foments monopolies, and monopoly markets aren't free by any stretch of the imagination. Below is a article which elucidates the differences a bit more. Many of the markets in the US are not free, because they are regulated. Healthcare in the US isn't a free market. Transportation isn't a free market. Capitalization is about ownership. Free markets are about the lack of regulation. The two are not the same. http://www.investopedia.com/ask/ans...-capitalist-system-and-free-market-system.asp I've live in the US for almost 62 years and I have never heard the mainstream left deride capitalism. They have derided capitalists (e.g. The Great Recession of 2007-2009). But mainstream liberals or leftists have never used the word "capitalism" is a derisive or pejorative manner. The American left isn't nearly as left or as liberal as what we see in Europe as evidenced by Obamacare. Obamacare didn't change the ownership structure of American healthcare not even by a single iota. It just changed how it was regulated and financed. Regardless of all the claims made by so called American conservatives, healthcare in the US is still a private sector enterprise. The mainstream American left, isn't advocating government ownership. It is advocating regulating business to mitigate some the intrinsic problems associated with capitalism like the excessive accumulation of capital among a few individuals. As previously noted, by others capitalism is the best of a bunch of flawed economic systems. It's a great tool, but it is not without problems (e.g. The Great Depression, robber barons, pollution, bank runs, frequent depressions, hyper inflation, et al.).