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Can Capitalism Survive?: Creative Destruction and the Future of the Global Economy Paperback – September 1, 2009
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“The most influential economist of the 20th century.” (Peter Drucker, Fortune)
“The great economist Joseph Schumpeter highlighted the role of innovation in powering the rise of new industries, the creative destruction of existing ones, and the growth in prosperity of economies.” (Richard Florida, Atlantic)
“Schumpeter gave us stunning insights into how the world really works. We are now living, it is said, in the Age of Schumpeter. . . . Schumpeter was a powerful prophet, and he now offers dazzling insights into everything from the rise of Wal-Mart to prosperity’s discontents.” (Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek)
“The greatest defense of capitalist, European civilization ever penned. . . . Schumpeter did more than anyone to persuade American leaders to preserve the capitalist system” (American Conservative)
“Schumpeter may well be the most important economist of the 21st century.” (J. Bradford DeLong, Chronicle of Higher Education)
“Schumpeter was the most farsighted of twentieth-century economists. His focus on capitalism and creative destruction made him the prophet of globalization.” (The Nation)
From the Back Cover
Considered by many economists to be the finest analysis of capitalism ever written, Can Capitalism Survive? introduces Joseph A. Schumpeter's theory of "creative destruction," stating that in capitalist economies new innovations erode the position of established firms while also providing new and previously unforeseen avenues of economic growth. Today the effects of such advancements as Mp3s—replacing CDs, which in turn had replaced cassettes and vinyl records—have proven his ideas correct. Prophetically arguing that capitalist societies are also subject to "perennial gales" of destruction that wipe away fortunes, this great economist revealed the vast, often chaotic economic landscape of world capitalism. First published in Schumpeter's classic Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, here is an invaluable guide the global economy.
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Top Customer Reviews
Schumpeter argued that the painful consequenses of creative destruction would lead societies to move toward socialism. Many now argue that the experiences with totalitarian communism in eastern Europe and Asia have demonstrated that Schumpeter was wrong. But they are overlooking the democratic socialist movement in western Europe. Current economic realities are forcing a retreat from 1980's socialism in Europe, but the result is still a form of socialism that validates Schumpeter's brillient arguement.
First, the author attempts to correct the wrong reasons for capitalism's failure. This is primarily a response to criticisms about price rigidity as well as the Marshall-Cournot theories on monopoly. Regarding the Marshall-Cournot theories, Schumpeter explains that pure-competition, as opposed to monopolistic-competition, has both advantages and disadvantages to the consumer. While monopolistic-competition may allow for some ability to bend production to the will of the profiteer, it also allows for economies of scale and the capacity to withstand supply/demand shocks (promoting stability to fight supply shortfalls especially).
Next, the author addresses both the theory of the conservation of capital and the theory of vanishing investment opportunity. The author's correct understanding of corporate finance and project profitability measurement makes it easy to see why the conservation of capital theory may at worst lag progress, and at best be irrelevant. While the theory of vanishing investment opportunity is refuted in the short-term, his thesis seems to not fully reject it. At some point, the author states, needs may be so satisfied (technologically I assume) that entrepreneurship ceases to exist (due to competitive investment driving interest and return on capital to zero as investment outlets disappear). Thus, the primary tools which allow the bourgeois class to maintain class separation disappear. The author does state that when this would occur is currently "incalculable." Further, and one of my reasons for 4 stars instead of 5, the author does not critically examine a corporate world with no entrepreneurship.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
May be one of my favorite reads ever. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in economics or capitalism as a whole.Published 15 months ago by tykerns22