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Joseph Alois Schumpeter quotes (showing 1-30 of 30)

“Geniuses and prophets do not usually excel in professional learning, and their originality, if any, is often due precisely to the fact that they do not.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“The first thing a man will do for his ideal is lie”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter
“History is a record of "effects" the vast majority of which nobody intended to produce.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter
“This civilization is rapidly passing away, however. Let us rejoice or else lament the fact as much as everyone of us likes; but do not let us shut our eyes to it.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“Politicians are like bad horsemen who are so preoccupied with staying in the saddle that they can’t bother about where they’re going.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter
“Please do not think that I am accusing socialists of insincerity or that I wish to hold them up to scorn either as bad democrats or as unprincipled schemers and opportunists. I fully believe, in spite of the childish Machiavellism in which some of their prophets indulge, that fundamentally most of them always have been as sincere in their professions as any other men. Besides, I do not believe in insincerity in social strife, for people always come to think what they want to think and what they incessantly profess. As regards democracy, socialist parties are presumably no more opportunists than are any others; they simply espouse democracy if, as, and when it serves their ideals and interests and not otherwise. Lest readers should be shocked and think so immoral a view worthy only of the most callous of political practitioners, ...”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“In one important sense, Marxism is a religion. To the believer it presents, first, a system of ultimate ends that embody the meaning of life and are absolute standards by which to judge events and actions; and, secondly, a guide to those ends which implies a plan of salvation and the indication of the evil from which mankind, or a chosen section of mankind, is to be saved.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“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.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“Social structures, types and attitudes are coins that do not readily melt. Once they are formed they persist, possibly for centuries, and since different structures and types display different degrees of this ability to survive, we almost always find that actual group and national behavior more or less departs from what we should expect it to be if we tried to infer it from the dominant forms of the productive process.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“إن من سيدفع عجلة التغير من الرأسمالية الى الإشتراكية هم المتعلمين الذين يظنون أنفسهم أنهم أذكى الناس ولكن لا يجدون وظيقة لأن ليس لديهم مهارات للسوق فيقولون إن المشكلة من الرأسمالية ولو أن النظام عادل لكانو هم المتحكمين في الدولة لأنهم هم المتعلمين”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter
“Nothing should be more obvious than that the business organism cannot function according to design when its most important “parameters of action”—wages, prices, interest—are transferred to the political sphere and there dealt with according to the requirements of the political game or, which sometimes is more serious still, according to the ideas of some planners.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“As a matter of practical necessity, socialist democracy may eventually turn out to be more of a sham than capitalist democracy ever was. In any case, that democracy will not mean increased personal freedom.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“In order to identify himself with the capitalist system, the unemployed of today would have completely to forget his personal fate and the politician of today his personal ambition. The long-run interests of society are so entirely lodged with the upper strata of bourgeois society that it is perfectly natural for people to look upon them as the interests of that class only. For the masses, it is the short-run view that counts. Like Louis XV, they feel après nous le deluge, and from the standpoint of individualist utilitarianism they are of course being perfectly rational if they feel like that.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“Created by wars that required it, the machine now created the wars it required.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Imperialism; And, Social Classes
“However, whether favorable or unfavorable, value judgments about capitalist performance are of little interest. For mankind is not free to choose. This is not only because the mass of people are not in a position to compare alternatives rationally and always accept what they are being told. There is a much deeper reason for it. Things economic and social move by their own momentum and the ensuing situations compel individuals and groups to behave in certain ways whatever they may wish to do—not indeed by destroying their freedom of choice but by shaping the choosing mentalities and by narrowing the list of possibilities from which to choose.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“Capitalism Survive?—I have tried to show that a socialist form of society will inevitably emerge from an equally inevitable decomposition of capitalist society.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“Capitalism does not merely mean that the housewife may influence production by her choice between peas and beans; or that plant managers have some voice in deciding what and how to produce: it means a scheme of values, an attitude toward life, a civilization—the civilization of inequality and of the family fortune.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“Wherever autocratic power vanished at an early date—as in the Netherlands and later in England—and the protective interest receded into the background, they swiftly discovered that trade must be free—“free to the nethermost recesses of hell.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter
“Whether a free lance or a party executive or a civil servant, the individual socialist looks upon the advent of socialism, naïvely but naturally, as synonymous with his advent to power. Socialization means to him that “we” are going to take over. Displacement of existing managements is an important, perhaps the most important, part of the show. And I confess that in conversing with militant socialists I have often felt some doubt as to whether some or. even most of them would care for a socialist régime, however perfect in other respects, if it were to be run by other people.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“To begin with, convinced socialists will derive satisfaction from the mere fact of living in a socialist society.4 Socialist bread may well taste sweeter to them than capitalist bread simply because it is socialist bread, and it would do so even if they found mice in it.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“The exaggeration of the definiteness and importance of the dividing line between the capitalist class in that sense and the proletariat was surpassed only by the exaggeration of the antagonism between them. To any mind not warped by the habit of fingering the Marxian rosary it should be obvious that their relation is, in normal times, primarily one of cooperation and that any theory to the contrary must draw largely on pathological cases for verification. In social life, antagonism and synagogism are of course both ubiquitous and in fact inseparable except in the rarest of cases. But I am almost tempted to say that there was, if anything, less of absolute nonsense in the old harmonistic view—full of nonsense though that was too—than in the Marxian construction of the impassable gulf between tool owners and tool users. Again, however, he had no choice, not because he wanted to arrive at revolutionary results—these he could have derived just as well from dozens of other possible schemata—but because of the requirements of his own analysis. If class struggle was the subject matter of history and also the means of bringing about the socialist dawn, and if there had to be just those two classes, then their relation had to be antagonistic on principle or else the force in his system of social dynamics would have been lost.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest—why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs. They were enemies who only waited to fall on the Roman people.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Imperialism and Social Classes: Two Essays by Joseph Schumpeter
“This may have something to do with a tendency to discount the cost or quality advantages of quasi-monopolist combination that is at present as pronounced as was the exaggeration of them in the typical prospectus or announcement of sponsors of such combinations.]”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“Two points in particular must be mentioned. I have pointed out before that social legislation or, more generally, institutional change for the benefit of the masses is not simply something which has been forced upon capitalist society by an ineluctable necessity to alleviate the ever-deepening misery of the poor but that, besides raising the standard of living of the masses by virtue of its automatic effects, the capitalist process also provided for that legislation the means “and the will.” The words in quotes require further explanation that is to be found in the principle of spreading rationality. The capitalist process rationalizes behavior and ideas and by so doing chases from our minds, along with metaphysical belief, mystic and romantic ideas of all sorts. Thus it reshapes not only our methods of attaining our ends but also these ultimate ends themselves. “Free thinking” in the sense of materialistic monism, laicism and pragmatic acceptance of the world this side of the grave follow from this not indeed by logical necessity but nevertheless very naturally. On the one hand, our inherited sense of duty, deprived of its traditional basis, becomes focused in utilitarian ideas about the betterment of mankind which, quite illogically to be sure, seem to withstand rationalist criticism better than, say, the fear of God does. On the other hand, the same rationalization of the soul rubs off all the glamour of super-empirical sanction from every species of classwise rights. This then, together with the typically capitalist enthusiasm for Efficiency and Service—so completely different from the body of ideas which would have been associated with those terms by the typical knight of old—breeds that “will” within the bourgeoisie itself. Feminism, an essentially capitalist phenomenon, illustrates the point still more clearly. The reader will realize that these tendencies must be understood “objectively” and that therefore no amount of anti-feminist or anti-reformist talk or even of temporary opposition to any particular measure proves anything against this analysis. These things are the very symptoms of the tendencies they pretend to fight.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“Every socialist wishes to revolutionize society from the economic angle and all the blessings he expects are to come through a change in economic institutions. This of course implies a theory about social causation—the theory that the economic pattern is the really operative element in the sum total of the phenomena that we call society.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“Socialist endeavour of the Fabian type would not have amounted to anything at any other time. But it did amount to much during the three decades preceding 1914, because things and souls were ready for that kind of message and neither for a less nor for a more radical one. Formulation and organization of existing opinion were all that was needed in order to turn possibilities into articulate policy, and this "organizing formulation" the Fabians provided in a most workmanlike manner. They were reformers. The spirit of the times made socialists of them. They were genuine socialists because they aimed at helping in a fundamental reconstruction of society which in the end was to make economic care a public affair.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“If we limit ourselves to painting as an example, both for brevity’s sake and because in that field my ignorance is slightly less complete than it is in others, and if (wrongly, as I think) we agree to start an epoch with Giotto’s Arena frescoes and then follow the line (nothing short of damnable though such “linear” arguments are) Giotto—Masaccio— Vinci—Michelangelo—Greco, no amount of emphasis on mystical ardors in the case of Greco can obliterate my point for anyone who has eyes that see.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
“Voters thereby prove themselves bad and indeed corrupt judges of such issues and often they even prove themselves bad judges of their own long-run interests, for it is only the short-run promise that tells politically and only short-run rationality that asserts itself effectively.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
“The reduced sense of responsibility and the absence of effective volition in turn explain the ordinary citizen's ignorance and lack of judgement in matters of domestic and foreign policy which are if anything more shocking in the case of educated people and of people who are successfully active in non-political walks of life than it is with uneducated people in humble stations.”
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy


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