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Kapitalismus, Sozialismus und Demokratie

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,874 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
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 predi ...more
Paperback, 552 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by UTB (first published 1942)
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Brilliant at times, but also pigheaded — my star rating would only detract from a more comprehensive understanding of the book — deserves more time and effort than I can spare here, so I'm going to instead present a fraction of my notes

Schumpeter might be loosely grouped with the other Austrian School of economists, but I see traces of him in some neo-Marxist thought, including Wallerstein and Sweezy, as well as many of the neo-Keynesians—

Schumpeter is arguably most famous for his phrase and ide

In the end it will be seen that the greatest enemy of capitalism was always democracy, i.e. the will of the people. Once the people turn anti-capitalistic, under the influence of a disaffected intelligencia, there is absolutely nothing that can stand against them. Schumpeter at one and the same time believes that Capitalism is the most adequate description of economic reality and that it is doomed. How is this possible? - But it is exactly as the Savior of the Christians said so long ago
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic of economics and of entrepreneurship that lots of people have read in their undergraduate economics or business classes. It is worth reading to get the full perspective of Schumpeter's view of how the economy works. This is perhaps the most articulate statement on the role of of "creative destruction" and innovation as critical to the success of capitalism. It is also also very cynical of Marxist approaches to economics. Strangely enough, the section on socialism suggests that ...more
Eric Baldwin
It shows how democracy is a vast conspiracy, elections are fraudulent, individual votes are useless, and human nature is corrupt.
In the wake of the Second World War, Joseph Schumpeter wrote an exceptionally intriguing book that everyone, capitalist or socialist in persuasion, should read, and will probably enjoy reading. Heavily inspired by Marx and especially his theory of history, as much a sociological as an economic text, and broad-ranging in its analysis of the relationship between capital and society, it's a difficult book to pin down, and clearly the product of a remarkable thinker.

The question-- which all propheti
Jim Puskas
Schumpeter is best remembered for having coined the term "creative destruction" a process well understood today whereby entire industries and the jobs that go with them are continually rendered obsolete as new products, new technologies, new ways to make money emerge. Schumpeter speculates about the possibility of a democratic socialist utopia, but he unconvincingly discounts the reality of human acquisitiveness and the desire for upward mobility. Further, he naïvely discounted the authoritarian ...more
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Schumpeter lived a very, well, Schumpeterian lifestyle, battered up and down and around the world by the winds of economic turmoil. He argues that this undulating dynamism is in fact the defining attribute of capitalism and the reason it has been so undeniably successful at achieving economic growth. Unlike most economists he defends capitalism warts-and-all: He fully recognizes that we have never lived in anything like a perfectly-competitive efficient market, and goes on to say that we wouldn' ...more
Whitlaw Mugwiji
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It is a great read, especially for those interested in the political economy. It is Schumpeter’s best book, which is famous for popularising his acclaimed theory on capitalism, "creative destruction". Definitely not a light read, it took me forever to finish. But it was worth the read. I must confess, it is a difficult read even for those with an economics background, or those who have read Hegel’s dialectics or Karl Marx’s interpretation of history through dialectic materialism, as these theori ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Schumpeter must have been a really shitty human being to hang out with. And his dating profile must have been intolerable to even read. Schumpeter does a better take-down of socialism and Marx than Hayek or Von Mises, but never gets into any libertarian sounding nonsense and his shtick about capitalism is the best pitch I've heard for it in awhile. Also for a book about economics, it's written in like, the most bitchy tone.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. An Austrian economist I can read and agree with most of the time. One of the best analysts since Weber.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got to read selective parts of this book and thought the analysis of Marxist thought was incredibly insightful and Schumpeter's prediction of capitalism's end compellingly argued. Particularly his analysis of Democracy as a mode of self-determination both politically and economically leads to the argument that it is inseparable from socialism. He is not a fan of this outcome, but is inclined to give credit to the power of this motive in determining systems of governing and economics.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For someone who criticizes others for being prolix, he sure can ramble. Visionary economic foresight though.
Otto Lehto
Schumpeter was a fascinating character, and his essays and books are fascinating to read. They seem to elude easy categorization. This particular book evinces an almost Hegelian dialectical method, whereby socialism and capitalism are seen as two sides of the same modernist coin.

The section on capitalism contains the analysis of "creative destruction", which is justifiably well-known. But that only takes up a few pages, whereas the rest is devoted to a historical analysis of the conditions unde
Sean Rosenthal
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting Quotes:

"The...process of industrial mutation...incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure FROM WITHIN, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism...The problem that is usually...visualized is how capitalism administers existing structures, whereas the relevant problem is how it creates and destroys them."

-Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

"There are ultima
Edward Tse
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tough book, but a vitally important book for understanding the subtle relationships between capitalism, socialism and democracy, especially in its explanation of how capitalism works through 'creative destruction'. Originally published in 1942, 1947 and 1950, this book still has wide applications for today, especially those sections dealing with entrepreneurship, central planning, and democratic processes. But beware, the points Schumpeter makes in this book are extremely subtle, and one canno ...more
Ethan Jacobs
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- His writing style is a little tough to engage with at times, but his astute and eye-opening analysis of the progression of capitalism certainly made this book worth reading. The ouline of socialism with its somewhat arduous details, while necessary to appeal to his audience, was a bit... dull. I guess that the reality of a potentially effective socialism just isn't very romantic. All in all, worth the read.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Famous for two things, creative destruction and the theory of democratic elitism. Most of the work is about socialism, its history and why he thought it would triumph over capitalism. His democratic elitism, which I used for a paper, is a lot like Woodrow Wilson's idea of presidential leadership, of the will of the people being incoherent and contradictory, and the necessity of elites to present coherent visions of leadership through open competition.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Eggheads
The man can turn a phrase. Very enjoyable, though the economics content is rather minimal beyond Chapter 8. After wrestling with the question over the past few months, I have to disagree with McCraw's thesis that this was a satire. And with that, the logic on the end of capitalism seems weak. Most of my colleagues loved reading this, but certainly not all.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chapters 21 and 22. I do really like his two conceptions of democracy. Perhaps a little too pessimistic when it comes to the stupidity of the population, especially in political matter. Chapter 22 was great, and I think the role of leadership in a democracy is too often overlooked. Conception of democracy as the power struggle between the political elite very interesting.
Vitaly Repin
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book.

I think that this is "must read" book for everybody who is interested in the perspectives of capitalism and socialism and their connections with democracy. The book was published in the middle of XX century but it is still very valid for our time.

--Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Prefaces and Comments on Later Developments:
Preface to the First Edition, 1942
Preface to the Second Edition, 1946
Preface to the Third Edition, 1949
The March into Socialism

Neil Rempel
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hard book, will need to reread it in the future....slower!
Philip Chaston
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting exploration of how Schumpeter tried to reconcile socialism and democracy. Like Marx, the trends he identified did not last ten years. He thought they might outlive the C20th.
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: study
I didn't read the whole book; i enjoyed what i read, although the language was quiet difficult for me. . .
Jack Keener
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a difficult book to explain concisely with out an understanding of when it was written and the prevailing economic theories and thought of the time. It does not provide much in way of direction to our current era and the prose is denser than most people take the time to read now. The didactic several chapters on socialism is largely pointless now given the many case studies that prove the point better. There are some key points that can be synthesized and used to understand the trajector ...more
Andrej Drapal
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I intended to read this book for quite some time. For schumpeter is still evaluated as important writef of economy issues and author of disruption concept.
What I am really suprised after reasing it is that I could find no reference to Scumpeter as a communist economy supporter. I could hardly find a book that would so overtly support marxian ideology. He even praises Lenin and Stalin. How come that let' say Wikipedia does not mention this? Terrible.
The book hopelessly seek to reconcile economi
Guillaume Kosmala
Schumpeter keeps a clear head throughout, tearing Marx apart and giving Capitalism its due diligence, yet after that reaches the inexorable conclusion that because of Capitalism's inevitable never-ending economic success it will undermine the social institutions it needs to survive and Socialism will have to be put in place as a replacement. (Did Fukuyama ever read this because it kicks his End of History right in the balls?)
Rade Ralevic
Outstanding analysis of problems with capitalism as well as creative destruction theory but unbelievably naive programme for the future socialist society.

At times I thought that the author is making fun with socialist. But no, he really wanted to believe in that utopia. It is strange since t is obvious that he read Von Mises's analysis of impossibility of socialist system without prices.
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  • The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time
  • The Constitution of Liberty
  • The Affluent Society
  • The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
  • The Accumulation of Capital
  • Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology
  • Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders, the Golden Age, the Breakdown
  • Principles of Political Economy: And Chapters on Socialism
  • The Theory of the Leisure Class
  • Stabilizing an Unstable Economy: A Twentieth Century Fund Report
  • Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance
  • Debunking Economics - Revised and Expanded Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned?
  • The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before Its Triumph - Twentieth Anniversary Edition
  • The Firm, the Market, and the Law
  • The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism
  • The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups
  • Capitalism and Modern Social Theory: An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber
  • Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System
Joseph Alois Schumpeter (8 February 1883 – 8 January 1950) was an Austrian American economist and political scientist. He briefly served as Finance Minister of Austria in 1919. One of the most influential economists of the 20th century, Schumpeter popularized the term "creative destruction" in economics.
More about Joseph Alois Schumpeter

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“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.” 32 likes
“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.” 9 likes
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