Summer Reading: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Feast of St Sisoes the Great

Capitalism_Square.jpgTHIS SUMMER we'll be reading and discussing Joseph Schumpeter's classic study, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (available at Eighth Day Books: 1.800.841.2541).

If you don't live in the Wichita area, please consider forming your own reading group.

If you live in the Wichita area, we'll meet on Mondays at The Ladder, headquarters for Eighth Day Institute (2836 E. Douglas...east of Eighth Day Books and behind Hannah Banana). Our goal is to read the whole book. All together we will meet from 7:30 to 9 pm on five Monday evenings this summer: July 11, July 18, July 25, August 8, August 15.

Our first meeting will be on July 11, 7:30 pm at The Ladder. We will discuss Tom McCraw's introduction and chapters I-VIII (80 pp). The late professor McCraw, who taught intellectual history in the University of Texas's American studies program and business history at Harvard Business School, is an excellent writer and the author of the best biography of Schumpeter (available in book and audio formats). The section for our first night includes “The Marxian Doctrine” (Chapters I-IV and the first chapters on capitalism (Chapters VI-VIII.)  If you are used to economics, sociology, political science, social philosophy, and society forecasting as separate boxes within which specialists stay inside their narrow boundaries, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn from the breadth of his purview and knowledge.

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  • Malcolm Harris
    commented 2016-07-14 15:37:16 -0500
    In his famous Chapter VII, Schumpeter coined the phrase, “Creative Destruction.”
  • Malcolm Harris
    commented 2016-07-14 15:17:34 -0500
    Monday we are doing Part II, “Capitalism,” which overlaps the reading from last Monday.

    A few comments based on people’s reactions far:

    1) Schumpeter writes magnificent English despite our mother tongue’s not being his Muttersprache.
    2) two possible errors appear in my edition so far: “negative” for “negate” and “vote” for “choose,’ the latter I think being Schumpeter’s slip of the pen (”wählen" can be both “choose” and “vote” or “elect” in German.)
    3) Schumpeter uses some fancy words well: they are not technical terms in economics. Treat it as a chance to build your vocabulary. Think of that school marm who told you “look it up in the dictionary, young man/woman!”
    4) I can’t blame you if you skip “Marx the Economist.”
  • Malcolm Harris
    commented 2016-07-10 21:46:45 -0500
    Dear fellow wisdom seekers,

    If you do not have have McCraw’s introduction or have not done the reading yet, come anyway. I will catch you up.

    I am hoping our second session will be more interactive. while tomorrow night will be stage setting.