Chapter 9: The Sociology of Socialism
The capitalists pushed the aristocrats to the brink of extinction. The next step will be for the capitalists to dig their own grave: ‘The very success of the business class in developing the productive powers of [the] country ... has paradoxically undermined the social and political position of the same business class.’ (Schumpeter, 1950b:423). Soon it too will be no more. The bourgeoisie will flourish only so long as the entrepreneurs hold sway (Schumpeter, 1942a:134). The legitimacy of the property-owning class is not in doubt so long as its leading members are known to be the iconoclasts who usher in the new. Things change radically when it is the bureaucrat on a wage who, working in a team and seldom pictured in the press, makes the decisions that shape people’s lives. Corporate capitalism is an epoch in which labour and not capital is put in control. Centralist socialism, creating nothing new, merely perpetuates the tradition of post-entrepreneurial choice when it concentrates command in the hands of salaried politicians who take no share in the profits of the firm. The sociology of capitalism gives way to the sociology of socialism once an obsolete and functionless social grouping has without disruption been tidied out of the way. This chapter is concerned in three sections with three aspects of the society that is to come: cultural values, national character and the potential for Catholic corporatism. It is not concerned with class location and class consciousness. Schumpeter, like Marx, has little or nothing...
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