Why socialism failed: Toward a theory of system breakdown -- Causes of disintegration of East European state socialism IVAN SZELENYI and BALAZS SZELENYI University of Califbrnia, Los Angeles In 1942 Schumpeter wrote Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. 1 The book was written in the shadows of the Great Depression and was inspired by the hopes of an allied victory. Of central importance to the book then was to construct the vision, and write of the needs, of the post-fascist post-war reconstruction era. In the work, in the light of the developments of the second half of the twentieth century, Schumpeter asked two poignant questions and gave two debatable answers: "Can capitalism survive? No ''2 and "Can socialism work? Of course it can" Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, in our mind, is a companion volume of Mannheim's Man and Society in the Age of Reconstruction 3 and Karl Polanyi's The Great TransformationJ Schumpeter, Mannheim, and Polanyi shared one common belief and one common interest: each
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