Good point. In the extreme, capitalisim can be as oppressive as feudalism. I don't know if it's true, but I read that after all the time off for saints days and the like, modern people actually work more hours then medieval peasants. Fortunately, we have other luxaries they lacked to make up for it.
THe world will probably more on the from capitalism eventually. It's moved on from everything else, after all. I suspect that the change will be linked to environmental change and diminishing resources. Once the cost of capitalist profiteering becomes too much society will shift again.
Considering the alternatives, I sure as hell hope not. Its kind of depressing that so many people have essentially negative feelings regarding such an indispensible tool of both personal liberty and social welfare...capitalism (broadly defined) is the most moral as well as the most utilitarian economic system that has ever existed.
Insofar as maintaining a relatively free market economy depends on public support for it -- and I think it is fair enough to say that it is so supported -- it depends at some level on the knowledge of its benefits and its disadvantages. Now, we cannot really predict how knowledge or opinion will develop; it is impossible to say whether in the future there will be public support for a relatively free market economy or that there will not. Therefore, it is impossible to answer the question of whether there is an "expiration date" for free markets in the future as much at it was impossible for Marx to predict that the inner contradictions of capitalism will inexorably lead to communism. HT: Karl Popper.