Course Hero. "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Study Guide." Course Hero. 26 Apr. 2019. Web. 15 Aug. 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Capitalism-Socialism-and-Democracy/>.
Course Hero. (2019, April 26). Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 15, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Capitalism-Socialism-and-Democracy/
(Course Hero, 2019)
Course Hero. "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Study Guide." April 26, 2019. Accessed August 15, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Capitalism-Socialism-and-Democracy/.
Course Hero, "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Study Guide," April 26, 2019, accessed August 15, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Capitalism-Socialism-and-Democracy/.
Schumpeter acknowledges a rejoinder, or reply, to his argument in the previous chapter, that projecting the production rate of an earlier age into the future from 1928 is not a tenable, or defensible, basis for an argument. Schumpeter suggests that his illustration is intended only to give a "quantitative idea" of what capitalism might accomplish in the future if it "repeated past performance." He proceeds to consider what circumstances would need to be in place for capitalism to repeat past performance, as well as the problems in answering this question. One major problem is whether the type of economy that occurred in the period in question was favorable, neutral, or unfavorable to produce the growth that ensued. He answers the question as follows:
Many times Schumpeter sets up his own arguments by anticipating (or perhaps repeating) criticisms of what he has said previously. He takes that approach here. It is important to Schumpeter that his argument be "plausible," to use the phrase from the chapter title. He has committed himself to scientific rigor and to avoiding prophecies and flights of fancy. To project growth into the future, he must demonstrate that it is reasonable to use such growth as a fair reading of capitalism's prospects. He spends a good deal of time considering the value of that approach. In this chapter Schumpeter also argues with other economists through his own arguments. The point about monopolistic competition, which is one he reconsiders throughout the text, is a major point of contention between Schumpeter and many of his peers.
A modern reader may find Schumpeter's offhand comment about "supernormal brains" odd. In Schumpeter's time and circumstances, it was quite ordinary to describe human capabilities in such terms, according to theories of biological determinism, or the idea that individuals' activity is determined by their genetics, not their environments.