I would suggest you're confusing capitalism with an ideal democracy here. In a capitalist system, decisions are made by capitalists. The liberal argument is that people exercise their "vote" through their spending power, but really when capitalists control the options, people have no legitimate choice in the "voting" process. As you mention, the wealthy have figured out how to control the media, manufacturing, and political processes in concert to build a self-preserving system that is quite the opposite of a democracy -- people have no choice in whether or not they participate.
In the United States, we've coupled capitalism with a representative democracy where both systems are structured to favor wealthy elites (from things like, the history of the Electoral College as an institution expressly reserved for white, Western-educated, wealthy men. All the way through the Super PAC funding we see today and the requirement for candidates to raise certain amounts of money to even quality for presidential eligibility). We certainly learn about capitalism in this country as a democracy, which I think is ironic, since these bottom-up "decisions" are more like public opinion surveys for capital-owners to make their own decisions. We claim it's in the name of personal freedom, but really it seems to be in favor of the "personal freedom" of capitalists and profit-driven corporations to operate freely on the private market. Not as much for everyday individuals to have freedom of choice in how they spend their time & money.
Great article all the way through! Really enjoyed reading this. Keep em coming!