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New Left Review 48, November-December 2007

Aaron Benanav on Thomas McCraw, Prophet of Innovation. A Schumpeter for post-Keynesian times? Professional trajectory and personal tragedies of the theorist of creative destruction.



In 1918, in a coffeehouse opposite the University of Vienna, Max Weber sat down with his friends Felix Somary and Joseph Schumpeter to discuss current affairs. What were they to make of the October Revolution, and what of the Bolsheviks? Schumpeter suggested that Marxism could now be given a proper laboratory test. Weber countered: it would be a laboratory filled with corpses, since the Bolsheviks were performing the experiment. ‘Every anatomy room is the same thing’, Schumpeter replied. The tone of the conversation escalated and the value-neutral sociologist soon walked out, leaving his strange Austrian counterpart behind.

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Aaron Benanav, ‘Kali’s Prophet’, NLR 48: £3

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