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The Influence of Friedrich von Wieser on Joseph A. Schumpeter

  • Warren J. Samuels
Chapter

Abstract

Within the last year I have been privileged to work on the careers and contributions of Friedrich von Wieser and Joseph A. Schumpeter. I have worked with W. E. Kuhn, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to secure his translation (and forthcoming publication) of Wieser’s Das Gesetz der Macht (The Law of Power), for which I have written an introduction. In addition, I have written a critique of Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, given as two lectures in March 1982 at the University of Notre Dame in a series devoted to a reconsideration of the book on the occasion of its fortieth anniversary.

Keywords

Economic Analysis Social Economy Economic Order Economic Sociology Historical Education 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Joseph A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1954), p. 6. Apropos of natural science, Schumpeter undoubtedly understated the role of the past in its development, a matter now clearer after the work of Thomas Kuhn.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Seymour E. Harris (ed.), Schumpeter: Social Scientist (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951), p. 29.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Theo Suranyi-Unger, Economics in the Twentieth Century (New York: Norton, 1931), p. 319.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    For example, Jacob Oser, The Evolution of Economic Thought, 2nd edn: (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970), p. 413.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    T. W. Hutchison, A Review of Economic Doctrines, 1870–1929 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953), pp. 191–2.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Ben B. Seligman, Main Currents in Modern Economics (New York: Free Press, 1962), p. 696.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    Enrich Schneider, Joseph A. Schumpeter, W. E. Kuhn, trans. (Lincoln: Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska, 1975), p. 1.Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    Leo Rogin, The Meaning and Validity of Economic Theory (New York: Harper, 1956), pp. 546–8.Google Scholar
  9. 17.
    William M. Johnston, The Austrian Mind (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), p. 253.Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    Harris (ed.), Schumpeter: Social Scientist, p. ix; and W. E. Kuhn, The Evolution of Economic Thought, 2nd edn (Cincinnati: South-Western, 1970), p. 403.Google Scholar
  11. 18a.
    Paul Samuelson has written: ‘Being the son of Schumpeter, I am the grandson of Böhm-Bawerk and Menger. Being the son of Leontief, I am the grandson of Bortkiewicz and am the great-grandson of Walras’ (Paul A. Samuelson, The Collected Scientific Papers of Paul A. Samuelson, R. C. Merton (ed.) (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1972), vol. 3, p. 684).Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization (New York: Viking Press, 1959), vol. 4, p. 166; and Harris (ed.), Schumpeter: Social Scientist, pp. 56, 102.Google Scholar
  13. 24.
    Julian Freund, in Tom Bottomore and Robert Nisbet (eds.), A History of Sociological Analysis (New York: Basic Books, 1978), p. 183.Google Scholar
  14. 25.
    Lewis A. Coser, Masters of Sociological Thought, 2nd edn (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977), p. 424.Google Scholar
  15. 27.
    Allen M. Sievers, Revolution, Evolution, and the Economic Order (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1962), p. 26.Google Scholar
  16. 34.
    Fritz Machlup, in Harris (ed.), Schumpeter: Social Scientist, p. 95; and Haberler, ibid., p. 29. Joseph A. Schumpeter, Das Wesen und der Hauptinhalt der theoreticschen Nationalökonomie (München und Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1908), p. ix.Google Scholar
  17. 37.
    Ibid., p. 192. Of course, one cannot expect affinity to mean identity. Thus, for example, although, as Johnston (Austrian Mind, p. 84) notes, both Wieser and Schumpeter shared a ‘horror of ideology’, the two disagreed as to the significance of the Austrian psychological approach to economics. Suranyi-Unger, Economics, p. 69, Emil Kauder, A History of Marginal Utility Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965), p. 122; see also ‘On the Concept of Social Value’,Google Scholar
  18. 37a.
    in Joseph A. Schumpeter, Essays, Richard V. Clemence (ed.) (Cambridge: Addison-Wesley, 1951), pp. 1ff.Google Scholar
  19. 38.
    Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, p. 795, n.29. The only reference to Wieser in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, 3rd edn (New York: Harper, 1950) is a citation that Weiser had hinted at the Barone solution in his Natural Value, which first appeared in 1889 (p. 173, n.2).Google Scholar
  20. 39.
    Joseph A. Schumpeter, Imperialism and Social Classes, Bert Hoselitz (ed.) (New York: Meridian Books, 1955), pp. ix–x.Google Scholar
  21. 43.
    Friedrich von Wieser, Das Gesetz der Macht (Vienna: Springer, 1926), translated by W. E. Kuhn,Google Scholar
  22. 43a.
    with an Introduction by Warren J. Samuels, as The Law of Power (Lincoln: Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska, 1983), ch. 12, sec. 5.Google Scholar
  23. 44.
    Robert B. Ekelund, Jr, ‘Power and Utility: The Normative Economics of Friedrich von Wieser’, Review of Social Economy, vol. 28 (September 1970), pp. 179–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 46.
    Joseph A. Schumpeter, Ten Great Economists (New York: Oxford University Press, 1951), p. 301.Google Scholar
  25. 50.
    The following discussion is based in part on my Introduction to the translation of Das Gesetz der Macht (n. 43 above) and my ‘A Critique of Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy’, in Charles Wilber, Capitalism and Democracy: Schumpeter Revisited (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  26. 54.
    Friedrich von Wieser, Natural Value, William Smart, trans. (London: Macmillan, 1893; first published as Der Naturliche Werth, 1889), pp. 58–60, 242, and passim. For Schumpeter’s view, see his ‘On the Concept of Social Value’, pp. 2, 4, 6.Google Scholar
  27. 55.
    Bertrand de Jouvenal, On Power (Boston: Beacon Press, 1962), p. 177.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Warren J. Samuels 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren J. Samuels
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityUSA

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