Creative Destruction

In the middle of World War II, a Harvard economist published one of the most thorough explanations of how capitalism works by questioning many of its most sacred assumptions. Weaving economics, politics, society, and history into a 400-plus page analysis that he titled Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Joseph Schumpeter explored whether capitalism was destined to fail, whether socialism could replace it and achieve similar success, and whether democracy would prevail under either system. He ultimately contended that capitalism would destroy itself by eventually producing a class of people who are at once beneficiaries of its success and opposed to it, that socialism was not a healthy alternative, and that democracy was a fragile method that had a better chance of being preserved in a capitalist ...

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