Joseph A. Schumpeter, capitalism, socialism, and democracy

Cunningham, Stuart D. (2010) Joseph A. Schumpeter, capitalism, socialism, and democracy. The International Journal of Cultural Policy, 16(1), pp. 20-22.

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This is a review of "Capitalism, socialism, and democracy", by Joseph A. Schumpeter, New York, Harper Perennial, 1942 (first Harper Colophon edition published 1975).

"The public mind has by now so thoroughly grown out of humor with it as to make condemnation of capitalism and all its works a foregone conclusion – almost a requirement of the etiquette of discussion. Whatever his political preference, every writer or speaker hastens to conform to this code and to emphasize his critical attitude, his freedom from ‘complacency’, his belief in the inadequacies of capitalist achievement, his aversion to capitalist and his sympathy with anti-capitalist interests. Any other attitude is voted not only foolish but anti-social and is looked upon as an indication of immoral servitude."

We might easily mistake this for a voice weary of contemplating the implications for neo-liberal nostrums of our current global financial crisis were it not for the rather formal, slightly arch, style and the gender exclusive language. It was in fact penned in the depths of World War II by Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter, who fell off the map only to re-emerge from the 1970s as oil shocks and stagflation in the west presaged the decline of the Keynesian settlement, as east Asian newly industrialising economies were modelling on his insistence that entrepreneurialism, access to credit and trade were the pillars of economic growth, and as innovation became more of a watchword for post-industrial economies in general. The second coming was perhaps affirmed when his work was dubbed by Forbes in 1983 – on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of both men – as of greater explanatory import than Keynes’. (And what of our present resurgent Keynesian moment?)...

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ID Code: 28228
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Joseph Schumpeter, cultural policy
DOI: 10.1080/10286630902807278
ISSN: 1028-6632
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Author
Deposited On: 26 Oct 2009 22:28
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2013 01:27

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