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Can Capitalism Survive? Paperback – 2 Feb 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books (2 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891396765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891396762
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,795,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Graham Mummery TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the twentieth century, perhaps only Keynes had more influence on economics than Joseph Schumpeter. However, his thinking comes from a different tradition (i.e Austrian) of economic thought and he had a more conservative political outlook. My reason for buying this volume was to get a view into his thought from the man himself, having previously encountered him only in popularisations. Robert Heilbroner in The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (Penguin Business Library) has a particularly good chapter on him.

"Can Capitalism Survive?" appears to be a section of Schumpeter's most famous book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (Routledge Classics). Though it has a slightly abstract and academic style, it repays effort and gives a window into the author's ideas such as creative destruction and his view of markets. Schumpeter's take on them is one of dynamic processes. Cycles of innovation through entrepreneurs making new industries to obsolescence and slumps (or destruction) that go with it. He views these as being an inevitable part of capitalism.

It's interesting here to compare this with Keynes' views on markets as they share some similarities in recognising that slumps are apart of capitalism. Yet it's this, perhaps one of the most important of his insights that, proponents of the "efficient markets hypothesis" rejected from Keynes, partly for ideological reasons. Yet in rejecting Keynes, they were also rejecting Schumpeter who they might have found more ideological sympathy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Some confusion about this book. 9 Sept. 2013
By W. J. Streeter - Published on Amazon.com
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.
The emergence of economics 7 Aug. 2013
By JAMES H. VAN HORN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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
Must read for anyone interested in economics 7 Nov. 2014
By tykerns22 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
May be one of my favorite reads ever. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in economics or capitalism as a whole.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
received book and satisfied.. 2 Nov. 2014
By R Dalmasi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
received book and satisfied.....
5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Mindful projections, limited by ideological bias 18 July 2010
By M. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joseph Schumpeter's 'Can Capitalism Survive?' presents a detailed theory of his projection for the future of capitalism, while extrapolating on the reasons for and against its coming demise.

His observations about the superstructure of the capitalist economy are incredibly astute, in ways that other economists of the Austrian school would fail to perceive- it's historical significance, and, most importantly, it's ramifications on the development of society over the past two-hundred years.
Moreover, he humbly acknowledges, in ways other free-marketeers do not, a number of its negative consequences on social development- particularly in regard to family-structure, faith and basic humanistic compassion.

And yet, throughout the work there are a number of pressing contradictions in his logic- particularly in his failure to reconcile the historical development of capitalism vis-a-vis previous systems of social order.
He, like most economists, also attempts to repudiate any moral arguments in the battle between capitalism v. socialism (ones that he suggests would inherently favor socialism)-- while simultaneously defending an individualist utilitarianism throughout the entire work.
His position? The long-range, the broad-picture of economic development is what we must fixate upon, rather than the current condition when discussing the merits of unfettered capitalism. Here he introduces his theory of 'creative destruction', arguing that the growth of technology is spurred on by a perpetual cycle of destruction and creation of existing structures, which is constantly leading innovation. With this he staunchly defends the technological and material progress of the past two centuries as indebted solely to capitalism. He attributes all the positives of modernity to capitalism--embodied rationality-- while arguing that the rationality of socialism, and recognition of failures within capitalism, as short-sighted. In short, he has his cake and eats it too.

Schumpeter's 'Can Capitalism Survive?' is as much a treatise in defense of capitalism as it as a lamentation for its potential destruction. While it may be dated (completed and published in 1942), it continues to provide a number of solid arguments for those in favor of its continuation, even if his underlying ideology blinds him in recognizing some pressing logical shortcomings.
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