2011년 10월 4일 화요일

[자료] Joseph Schumpeter and the German Historical School

지은이: Yuichi Shionoya

Peter Koslowski

* * * 
(...)

In ^Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy^, Schumpeter presented his famous thesis on the demise of capitalism in consequence of its success. Although this book might appear to be a paradoxical and eccentric impromptu, it was a serious economic sociology and its scientific components were structured in many years of Schumpeter's academic life.

In fact, no book has been misinterpreted and misunderstood than this. ^Foreign Affairs^ in the 75th Anniversary issue selects some sixty volumes as the "Significant Books of the Last 75 Years." Francis Fukuyama's comment on ^Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy^ is representative of the general misunderstanding: "Schumpeter's work stands as one of the most brilliantly wrong-headed books of the century in its central predicition that socialism would ultimately replace capitalism because of the latter's insuperable cultural contradictions."[28]

If Schumpeter had in fact predicted unconditionally the arrival of socialism, it would be natural to say that he was wrong, in view of the fact that present-day capitalism is far from dying and moving to socialism; on the contrary, socialism has collapsed and is moving to capitalism. But he did not make such a prediction. In ordr to remove such a misunderstanding, a few methodological notes should be presented.

First, by socialism Schumpeter did not mean the development-oriented system actually adopted by dictatorship in less developed countries. He believed that as capitalism grows and matures, it must change itself in the historical process. Socialism is, as it were, the highest stage of capitalism. The readers of Schumpeter should not confuse the two understandings of socialism. Moreover, as he consitently asserted that the premature socialisation of countries would result in economic failure and political oppression, the breakdown of the socialist countries in the contemporary world rather demonstrates the truth of his thesis.

Second, Schumpter did not contend that capitalism would automatically bring about a socialist system; rather, if the tendency inherent in capitalism should fully work itself out, socialism would be feasible. Even when it is feasible, it can be realised only by political choice, not spontaneously. If political choice in a large scale is directed to the resurgence of capitalism, the tendency toward socialism can be reversed.

Schumpeter replied to the change that his argument was defeatist:

The report that a given ship is sinking is not defeatist. Only the spirit in which this report is received can be defeatist: The crew can sit down and drink. But it can also rush to the pumps. If the men merely deny the report though it be carefully substantiated, then they are escapists. [29]

The quest for a small government that started with the Thatcher-Reagan revolution in the 1980s has become quite common in most of the advanced capitalist countries today. The leading idea, attaching importance to the market principle, advocates the abolition of government regulations, the restructuring of the welfare state, and the improvement of efficiency in government administration.

Indeed, in the 1920s and 1930s, the capitalist countries suffered from two evils of capitalism, depressions and distributive inequality, and faced at the same time ideological challenge from communism. But they got rid of the crisis owing to the Keynsian full employment policy and the Beverifgian social security system. The continuous intervention of government into markets before long had to affect the functions of a capitalist system adversely, because capitalism under social policy was more and more approaching socialism. Schumpter continued to give warning against this situation, calling it "capitalism in the oxygen tent" or "capitalism in fetters." The current attempts of reform in the advanced capitalist countries are nothing but what Schumpeter called the rush to the pumps to save a ship. The real process of institutional changes must be a zigzag around the essential trend of history, and Schumpeter said about this process: "a century is a 'short run'." [30] 

Third, Schumpeter's argument does not depend on the value judgements that socialism is desirable. In terms of ideology he had a negative attitude toward socialism, but in terms of science he submitted a hypothesis on the trend of economic system toward socialism. After WW I, he joined the Socialisation Commission of Germany and the cabinet of Austria, though he was not a socialist. Asked about the motive, he is remembered to have said that "If somebody wants to commit suicide, it is a good thing if a doctor is present."

So much for the methodological notes. Schumpeter summarised the lines of reasoning as follows: [31] 
(1) as innovations are organised, automated, and routinized, economic development becomes the tasks of experts in government bureaucracy, so that the function of enterpreneurs tends to become obsolete and their social status is lost;
(2) owing to the development of rational habits of mind, the pre-capitalist elements that supported the working of capitalism with regard to moral, disciplinary, habitual, and institutional aspects are destroyed;
(3) the development of capitalism has created a political system of democracy that is interventionist in the interest of workers and and intellectual class that is hostile to capitalism;
(4) the value scheme of capitalist society, with wealth as the standard of success, loses its hold, and there is an increased preference for equality, social security, government regulation, and leisure time.

Most readers of ^Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy& are fascinated by his pens and liable to overlook the framework of economic sociology in that book. According to my reconstruction of the materials he left, the apparatus of Schumpeter's economic sociology consists of a set of submodels:
(1) general theory of innovation, (2) theory of social class, (3) theory of social values or social leadership, (4) theory of ^Zeitgeist^ or ideology, and (5) interactions between economic and non-economic areas.

Schumpeter maintained that there are a limited number of people in various areas of social life, who are able to destroy existing orders through the introduction of innovations and thereby succeed in creating the current of the time, in contrast to the majority of people who stick to adaptive and customary types of behaviour. Those innovative people are called leaders or innovators. Entrepreneurs are innovators in the economic area. Based on the dichotomy of human types, Schumpeter distinguished between statics and dynamics in various areas of social life. (...)

댓글 쓰기