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Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy [Kindle Edition]

Joseph A. Schumpeter
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 0415107628
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0415107624
  • Edition: 1
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Book Description

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 899 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0415107628
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 13, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SEPDJ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,983 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
The book is a classic. Joseph Schumpeter achieved immortality through his use of the words "creative destruction." However his seminal work, "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy" is much more than a narrative of the process of creative destruction and of what that portends for the capitalist order. Indeed the author spends precious little print on that topic though he does bring it up in the context of the underlying forces of capitalism. Instead the author tries to paint his strokes on a vast canvas and lays out the historical developments of capitalism and socialism in this masterpiece, also taking care to explain the connections of each with democracy; hence the title of the book. The book is divided into five parts- three of which are on the topics I have alluded to above, and are titled "Can Capitalism Survive?," "Can Socialism Work?," and, "Socialism and Democracy." The first and last sections are less vast in their scope and focus instead on particular topics; the first being a description of the Marxian doctrine in its fullest ambit as they pertain to Marx's labor theory of value and his world vision of the impending collapse of capitalism, while the final section is a historical narrative of his times describing the growth of Socialist parties in Britain, Germany, France, Russia and the United States. One cannot fail to be impressed by Schumpeter's vast knowledge of history and of contemporary developments, not to mention, his ability to see the underlying causes that were driving these developments and what that might mean for human civilization during the road ahead.

To me, the biggest aha of the book is Schumpeter's assertion of capitalism's impending collapse.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not by bread alone February 7, 2008
This classic blew the toupees off of economists of all schools, scrambling their papers, when it appeared in 1942. The strong analytical winds of "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy" have not died down.
Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950), scion of the Austrian School of subjective economics although very much his own intellectual conscience, posited that capitalism tends toward self-destruction and socialism is heir apparent like it or not (Schumpeter didn't personally endorse socialism). Through this work and others, Schumpeter (although not Jewish himself) fulfills a teaching of one of the great sages of Israel - "Ben Zoma says: Who is wise? He who learns from every man..." (Ethics of the Fathers 4:1).
Like his teacher Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, Professor Schumpeter gave Karl Marx his due, crediting Marx as one of the fathers of economic theory, following the line back to the Classical School. Many of the Reagan-era neoconservatives (the "neo" ought to stand for Not Educated Overall) that wore Adam Smith ties and imagined Marx to be the polar opposite of classical economics probably never read Marx or the writings of his greatest influence, the Classical School's David Ricardo. Bohm-Bawerk and Schumpeter, who both served as finance ministers for the nation of Austria, took time to study Marx.
Schumpeter holds that Marx was correct in his central observation that capitalism would break down but wrong in some of the reasons he (Marx) gave. Schumpeter credits one of the fathers of the German Historical School - Gustav von Schmoller - for the insight that what would replace capitalism is state socialism, marked by increased bureaucratization, as opposed to Marx's socialism run by the masses.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This review is about the printed version that Amazon sells as Routledge 1994 edition of Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.

The copy I received is a cheap version, with irregularly cut edges and paper that is not book quality. The last page of the book says:

Made in the USA
Lexington, KY
04 October 2012

which was two days after I ordered the book.

Amazon should not be selling these copy shop items as if they were real books, especially not at $70.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary! October 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I never get tired of reading this great book. A must read for anyone claiming to understand capitalism. Schumpeter presents one of the best criticisms of Marxist ideology.
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By John
"Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy" is a great book and anyone with serious interest in economics and government should read it. Of course the groundbreaking concept (or at least term) that came from this book was "creative destruction."

Having said that, there are some weaknesses. The book has a style that requires intense concentration.

And, the author made the mistake that so many other authors have made of assuming that it is possible to convince socialists that socialism is wrong by presenting rational arguments against socialism.

I don't think socialists will turn into capitalists from reading this. However, people who already understand capitalism (and therefore already are capitalists) will benefit.

John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"
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