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Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Loss of Faith in Capitalism, Excerpt FROM Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter

[p. 161] They [the bourgeoisie] talk and plead--or hire people to do it for them; they snatch at every chance of compromise; they are ever ready to give in; they never put up a fight under the flag of their own ideals and interests--in this country there was no real resistance anywhere against the imposition of crushing financial burdens during the last decade [originally published in 1942] or against labor legislation incompatible with the effective management of industry. Now, as the reader will surely know by this time, I am far from overestimating the political power of either big business or the bourgeoisie in general. Moreover, I am prepared to make large allowances for cowardice. But still, means of defense were not entirely lacking as yet and history is full of examples of the success of small groups who, believing in their cause, were resolved to stand by their guns. The only explanation for the meekness we observe is that the bourgeoisie order no longer makes any sense to the bourgeoisie itself and that, when all is said and nothing is done, it does not really care.
It could also be that it just doesn't care about the long run or simply doesn't appreciate the dangers of gradually chipping away at capitalism.

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