Are Entrepreneurs Dangerous to the Market Economy more than Marxists?

Yes — asserts regarding the odd question in the title one of the founders of Ordoliberalism Professor Franz Böhm:

The entrepreneurs […] in contrast with their emphatic declarations in favour of the market economy, are more inclined, at least, to contribute to its general abuse and destruction. In fact, the most radical and comprehensive socialist attacks on the market economy, such as that of Marx, do not undermine the market’s authority as seriously as the unscrupulous and ignorant cynicism from inside the camp of those who are supposed to be supporting the market. (Böhm 1979: 446)

Franz BöhmBöhm (1895–1977) – a German noted economist, lawyer, and politician – was one of the protagonist of the Ordoliberal doctrine that shaped the post-World War II German economic policies. Ordoliberalism manifests a firm commitment to competitive and robust markets operating within a strong social, political, and moral framework, backed by state agencies  via a concrete set of rules directing socio-economic activity. While some perceive Ordoliberalism as a German (camouflaged) variant of Neoliberalism, other see it as a practical path to moderate welfare state. (In this respect, Foucault’s bright insight springs to mind). The editor of Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics that published in 1978 the article from which the above quote was taken, described Böhm  “As one of the most prominent representatives of neoliberalism [that] advocated ardently the establishment of an effective legal framework for the newly established social market economy of this country.” The article itself “Left-Wing and Right-Wing Approaches to the Market Economy” (open-access below) depicts conceptual debate in post-World War II Germany regarding economic models and reflects aspects of Ordoliberal ideas.

Böhm, Franz. 1979. “Left-Wing and Right-Wing Approaches to the Market Economy.Zeitschrift Für Die Gesamte Staatswissenschaft / Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 135(3): 442-448.
More on Böhm and Ordoliberalism: Grosseketller, Heinz. 2005. “Franz Böhm (1895 – 1977).” Pp. 489-97 in The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics, edited by Jürgen Backhaus. Cheltenham: Elgar. 

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2 Responses to Are Entrepreneurs Dangerous to the Market Economy more than Marxists?

  1. Richard Swedberg says:

    Very interesting! Thank you, Oleg!
    Richard

    Sent from my iPhone

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