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Capitalist Reality and 'Creative Destruction': Remembering Joseph Schumpeter (Part I: Entrepreneurship)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 2, 2012

Ed. Note: Occasional posts at MasterResource include big-picture entries on key social science thinkers that are relevant to understand dynamic market capitalism versus its opposite, political capitalism. This entry examines a leading twentieth-century thinker whose work continues to frame many debates in applied economics and political economy.

Brilliant, blithe, eclectic, and obsessive, the immaculately attired, aristocratic scholar [Joseph Schumpeter] captured the essence of entrepreneurial capitalism and introduced the terms “creative destruction” and “business strategy.”

– Robert Bradley, Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy, p. 100.

“I set out to become the greatest lover in Vienna, the greatest horseman in Austria, and the greatest economist in the world. Alas, for the illusions of youth: as a horseman, I was never really first-rate.”

– Joseph Schumpeter, as recalled by student M.