Joseph Schumpeter: Social structures are coins that do not readily melt

Economic sociologists an political economists will surely discern the grace and insight in the following Joseph Schumpeter’s quote (from his magnum opus Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy), which beautifully describes the essence of institutions, their socio-historical embeddedness, as well as their persistence in front of change:  

Social structures, types and attitudes are coins that do not readily melt. Once they are formed they persist, possibly for centuries, and since different structures and types display different degrees of this ability to survive, we almost always find that actual group and national behaviour more or less departs from what we should expect it to be if we tried to infer it from the dominant forms of the productive process.” (Schumpeter 1943: 12-13) 

Joseph SchumpeterCapitalism, Socialism and Democracy

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  1. A really insightful guy. I’ve just done a drawing of Schumpter, I’d be happy for you to use the image in any of your posts if you’d like – let me know!

  2. Thanks, Joe!
    This is a really great drawing!! I saw now on your website…
    I gladly accept your generous offer — I noted this down, and in the future will surely get back to you.

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