Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

eBook - 2015
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Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy is perhaps the most important and influential book on the subject ever written This volume is the result of an effort to weld into a readable form the bulk of almost forty years' thought, observation and research on the subject of socialism. The problem of democracy forced its way into the place it now occupies in this volume because it proved impossible to state my views on the relation between the socialist order of society and the democratic method of government without a rather extensive analysis of the latter. Moreover, this material also reflected the analytic efforts of an individual who, while always honestly trying to probe below the surface, never made the problems of socialism the principal subject of his professional research for any length of time and therefore has much more to say on some topics than on others. In order to avoid creating the impression that I aimed at writing a well-balanced treatise I have thought it best to group my material around five central themes. Links and bridges between them have been provided of course and something like systematic unity of presentation has, I hope, been achieved. But in essence they are-though not independent-almost self-contained pieces of analysis.
Publisher: [United States] : Sublime Books : Made available through hoopla, 2015.
ISBN: 9781617208683
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


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Jul 16, 2016

Schumpeter is best remembered for having coined the term "creative destruction" a process well understood today whereby entire industries and the jobs that go with them are continually rendered obsolete as new products, new technologies, new ways to make money emerge. Schumpeter speculates about the possibility of a democratic socialist utopia, but he unconvincingly discounts the reality of human acquisitiveness and the desire for upward mobility. Further, he naïvely discounted the authoritarian nature of the Russian experiment of his day, suggesting that the degree of coercion in the soviet model would be relaxed as conditions improved, which they did not. The book is colored very much by the widespread debate of his day (WW2 era) as to whether capitalism or socialism would prevail. Lost in the titanic struggle between those two competing ideologies is democracy which, as it turns out today, cannot truly survive under either regime. With the benefit of hindsight I'm perhaps being unfair in judging the book on its merits, since Schumpeter could not have foreseen the calamitous outcome of the Soviet "planned economy". Nor could he have foreseen today's dilemma in America where a few billionaires have become so powerful that they are able to subvert the democratic process (ref. "Dark Money" by Jane Meyer). It seems to me that Schumpeter was no democrat. An interesting work from an historical perspective but certainly neither prophetic nor very useful in addressing the issues of our day when democracy has failed to take root in much of the world and is at risk almost everywhere that it has been instituted.

Nov 16, 2009

its the 1947 edition, but this recent publication has a 7 font, and unfortunately that's too small a print for this complex book


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