Schumpeter: The Transition From Capitalism to Corporatism

The objective of this work is to research the theory of Joseph Schumpeter, which held that the demise of capitalism would lead to corporatism. Schumpeter's theory will be contrasted with Marx's theory of capitalism that would evolve into socialism. Finally, this work will examine how capitalism can be constrained by the creation of a welfare state and a constriction on entrepreneurship.

SCHUMPETER

The work of Henrekson and Jakobsson (2001) entitled: "Where Schumpeter was nearly Right - the Swedish Model and Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy" states: "In Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (CSD), Joseph Schumpeter raised the question as to whether capitalism as an economic system would be able to survive. He concluded that socialism would eventually displace capitalism in the Western democracies. While he thereby reached the same conclusion as Marx, his arguments were quite different. It was not the shortcomings or the instability of capitalism that produced the victory of socialism. Instead, it was the superior performance of capitalism that paved the way for socialism." The work of Schumpeter indicated that "different countries are unlikely to follow the same route to socialism." (Henrekson and Jakobsson, 2001)

According to Henrekson and Jakobsson only a very few economists "have done more than Joseph Schumpeter...to increase our understanding of the role of the entrepreneur in the capitalist economy. In particular, he asserted the crucial role of the entrepreneur in the process of innovation and creative destruction -- today it is virtually impossible to conceive of a dynamic capitalist economy in the absence of the Schumpeterian entrepreneur." (2001) Schumpeter's (1942) later work viewed the declining economic importance of the entrepreneur as one of the major forces in the transformation from capitalism to socialism. Schumpeter claimed that by means of modern techniques and modern modes of organization, the innovation process would become more and more automated, and so innovations would no longer be connected with the efforts and the brilliance of a single person. They were increasingly to become the fruits of the organized effort of large teams. This would be done most effectively within the framework of large corporations." Henrekson and Jakobsson, 2001)

Schumpeter held that the large corporation would be enabled "from its monopoly power to finance new innovations" to perfect its monopolizing position and effectively "crowd out entrepreneurs and smaller firms.' (Henrekson and Jakobsson, 2001) it was posited by Schumpeter that capitalism would "kills itself by undermining its political base by its own efficiency; the forces of creative destruction would eventually kill capitalism itself." (Henrekson and Jakobsson, 2003) the entrepreneurs in the view of Schumpeter are "the backbone of the bourgeoisie, thus providing capitalism with its institutional and political basis." (Henrekson and Jakobsson, 2001)

The work of Raines and Leathers entitled: "Behavioral Influences of Bureaucratic Organizations and the Shumpeterian Hypothesis Controversy" states that Schumpeter "stressed the importance of understanding the nature of capitalist evolution and integrating the knowledge in economic theory." (2007) Schumpeter's "The Theory of Economic Development" was published in 1911 in German and translated in 1934 to English attributed innovational successes to "the special vision and organizational effects of the individual entrepreneurs." (Raines and Leather, 2007) the work of Raines and Jung (1992) explained by stating "...those entrepreneurs possessed 'super-normal qualities of intellect and will' and 'super-rational characteristics' that enabled them to break down social resistance to change and extend the economic and technologies frontiers." (Raines and Leather, 2007) in 1928 Schumpeter wrote and article which described in brief, "innovation in the big firms as becoming an impersonal 'automized' process, carried out as a matter of course on the advice of specialists." (Raines and Leather, 2007) the focus in this article was that "trustified capitalism reduced the instability of the capitalist system." (Raines and Leather, 2007) Schumpeter's views on entrepreneurship and innovational processes in large corporations was presented in the work entitled: "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy" in which he state the hypothesis that "large corporations are more powerful engines of technological and economic progress than competitive firms rested on claims that large-scale monopolist firms have both demand-side and supply-side advantages." (Raines and Leather, 2007) Demands for innovations are greater in the larger firms since "their market power increases their ability to profit from successful innovations. At the same time, they will generate a larger supply of innovations because of the superior methods available only to monopolists, namely the ability to attract 'better brains' and secure financial standing." (Schumpeter 1950; as cited in Raines and Leather, 2007)

Raines and Leathers state that Schumpeter "discussed the rationalizing influence on capitalism on the bourgeois mind and the erosive effects of certain modern trends on the socio-psychological 'superstructure' of the capitalist economy. One of those trends was the influence of large bureaucratic corporations on the behavioral tendencies of stockholders and managers." (2007) Schumpeter is noted as having stated: "First, a given set of propensities to feel and to act may be altered by changes in the social environment while the fundamental pattern underlying it ("human nature") remains what it is. We will call this Change by Reconditioning. Second, still within that fundamental pattern, reconditioning may impinge on propensities to feel and to act, which, though ultimately amenable to change by environmental alterations -- particularly if these alterations are carried out rationally -- yet resist for a time and create trouble as long as they do. This fact we may associate with the term Habits." (1950; as cited in Raines and Leathers, 2007)

In regards to capitalist evolution, it was posited by Schumpeter that "reconditioning" in an unplanned nature of "propensities to feel and act" was "in progress of as the economic motivations of property owners and businessmen were being altered by the influence of modern large-scale industrial corporations. Because bourgeois society was 'cast in a purely economic hold.' (1950; as cited in Raines and Leathers, 2007) that society so readily responded to a system of "pecuniary rewards and penalties that success became identified with business success. Resting on a 'schema of motives that is unsurpassed in simplicity and force' (1950; as cited in Raines and Leathers) that system's major achievement was in attracting 'the majority of super-normal brains'." (1950; as cited in Raines and Leathers, 2007) Schumpeter held that assuring the "maximum performance of an optimally selected group" could be assured with the capitalist conditioning and selection processes. The bourgeois mind is held by Schumpeter to be socalized by the large bureaucratic corporation, which also worked toward a "relentlessly" narrowing of the "scope of capitalist motivation." (1950_) Schumpeter held as well that "evaporation of the material substance of property" occurred due to ownership and management separation in the large enterprise as the proprietor's interest is replaced by that of stockholders, salaried executives, and managers. Parceling out of the shares of the corporations "walls and machines in a factory" results in the removal of the "life" form the "idea of property." (Schumpeter, 1950) This results in the stockholders failing to think as would a property owner and often results in hostility being developed not only toward their own corporations but toward larger business as well. (1950) Schumpeter states specifically "Dematerialized, defunctionalized and absentee ownership does not impress and call forth moral allegiance as the vital form of property did. Eventually there will be nobody left who really cares to stand for it -- nobody within and nobody without the precincts of the big concerns." (1950: as cited in Raines and Leather, 2007) Raines and Leathers state: "Of direct relevance to the Schumpterian hypothesis is the "reconditioning" process occurring internally in large corporate enterprises. Business executives, managers, and sub-managers acquire the psychology of the salaried employee working in a bureaucratic organization, and rarely identify with the interests of the stockholders (1950, p. 141; as cited in Raines and Leather, 2007). Their system of values and conception of duty undergo a profound change for two reasons. One is the effect of large corporations on the innovational process, which is to routinize the entrepreneurial function. The other is the process of conditioning people for performance within the corporate bureaucracy and selecting individuals for success within the corporate hierarchy." (Raines and Leather, 2007) Schumpeter writes that the "perfectly bureaucratized giant industrial unit" is that which results in the ousting of the entrepreneur. (1950: as cited in Raines and Leather, 2007) Elimination of the individual function of leadership and creative has been eliminated within the large corporation due to the fact that "...innovation itself is being reduced to a routine. Technological progress is increasingly becoming the business of teams of trained specialists who turn out what is required and make it work in predictable ways." (1950: as cited in Raines and Leather, 2007) Schumpeter states "Bureau and committee works tends to replace individual action...Rationalized and specialized office work will eventually blot out personality, the calculable result, the 'vision'. The leading man no longer has the opportunity to fling himself into the fray. He is becoming just another office workers - and one who is not always difficult to replace. (1950)

The process was…