Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship

Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship

New Thinking in Political Economy series

Jesús Huerta de Soto

This highly topical book presents a new theory on the characteristics of entrepreneurial knowledge. It explores the recent shift among professional economists and scholars in their evaluation of the debate of socialism. Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship presents an application of Israel M. Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurship to the theory of the impossibility of socialism. It discusses the influence of the fall of socialism, with particular reference to the evolution of economic thought.

Chapter 7: Final Considerations

Jesús Huerta de Soto

Subjects: economics and finance, austrian economics, history of economic thought, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy


This final chapter will begin with an analysis of the contributions of three theorists – Durbin, Dickinson and Lerner – who, in line with the approach Lange defined with his “classic model”, also attempted to formulate a “competitive” solution to the problem of socialist economic calculation. We shall particularly focus on the innovations these authors sought to introduce, with respect to Lange’s model, and whether or not they were able to comprehend and answer the challenge originally issued by Mises. We shall conclude that “market socialism” amounts to an essentially contradictory and hopeless attempt to achieve an absurd goal, to “square the circle”. This view is also held by a group of socialist theorists who, led by Maurice Dobb, have always pointed to the conflict between traditional socialism and the competitive model, and in fact, a secondary debate emerged, strictly in the socialist camp, between supporters and critics of market socialism. The chapter will conclude with a few final thoughts on the true meaning of the impossibility of socialism and the contributions of Austrian theorists. 1 OTHER MARKET SOCIALISM THEORISTS A large portion of the last chapter was devoted to a careful analysis of Oskar Lange’s proposals. Generally speaking, they are the most commonly cited and considered by the secondary sources which, thus far nearly always in a biased, erroneous manner, have described and commented on the controversy over socialist economic calculation. At the same time, the other market socialism theorists, more often than not, simply repeat Lange’s original arguments, though they...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information