Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy / Edition 6by Joseph A. Schumpeter
Pub. Date: 08/28/2006
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy remains one of the greatest works of social theory written this century. When it first appeared the New English Weekly predicted that `for the next five to ten years it will cetainly remain a work with which no one who professes any degree of information on sociology or economics can afford to be unacquainted.'/b>/b>… See more details below
Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy remains one of the greatest works of social theory written this century. When it first appeared the New English Weekly predicted that `for the next five to ten years it will cetainly remain a work with which no one who professes any degree of information on sociology or economics can afford to be unacquainted.' Fifty years on, this prediction seems a little understated.
Why has the work endured so well? Schumpeter's contention that the seeds of capitalism's decline were internal, and his equal and opposite hostility to centralist socialism have perplexed, engaged and infuriated readers since the book's publication. By refusing to become an advocate for either position Schumpeter was able both to make his own great and original contribution and to clear the way for a more balanced consideration of the most important social movements of his and our time.
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Economist Joseph A. Schumpeter¿s keen intellect makes some of today¿s scholarship sound like the spouting of ideology on talk shows. Some consider him the greatest economist of the twentieth century. Only an intellect of his towering stature would be able to present a case that while Marx was wrong about how capitalism would collapse, he was probably correct that it eventually would. Schumpeter also contends that socialism may eclipse free-market economies, news he feels society should greet with angst. He believed that capitalism¿s doom would proceed not from a revolution by an angry proletariat, but rather as a result of successes that would give rise to a class of elites who would gradually institute systems of central control. Fully understanding this complex, although non-mathematical, treatise may require some background; it is not a book for the novice. While this 1942 classic may seem dated in spots, those who conclude that it is time to tap dance on socialism¿s grave should consider that Schumpeter expected socialism¿s dominance to take a century or more. We recommend this classic to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the historic, economic case for the rise of socialism.