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Can Capitalism Survive? Paperback – February 2, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“The 20th century’s foremost economist.” (Steve Forbes, Forbes)

“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) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books (February 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891396765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891396762
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,395,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. J. Streeter on September 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Can Capitalism Survive? is NOT and answer to critics of the 1942 Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. It is simply a later edition with a new name! I rate Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy as one of the most important, insightful books on economics, but this later edition is misrepresented here as a subsequent answer to the original work.
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.
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Format: Paperback
At times, Schumpeter sounds more like a philosopher than an economist. This book seems to be very focused on accomplishing its goals.

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. Without this entrepreneurship, interest and return on capital approach zero. 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.
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Even though schumpeters work was done 80 years ago it is living right up today as we contemplate where to go with a screwed up economic and social society. Many of the problems faced today were considered in this superb ecomic work. The introduction by Tom Bottomore lays the framework for this immortal exposé about Marxism ,capitalism, and Socialim by Schumpeter, it is living discussion about we are facing today
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