Wabash economics professor Ben Rogge’s best lecture focused on a question made famous by Schumpeter: “Can Capitalism Survive?” In some ways, Ben’s message was a pessimistic one.
But near the end of his lecture, Rogge included the following quote from Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy:
(p. xi) This leads to the charge of “defeatism.” I deny entirely that this term is applicable to a piece of analysis. Defeatism denotes a certain psychic state that has meaning only in relation to action. Facts in themselves and inference from them can never be defeatist or the opposite whatever that might be. The report that a given ship is sinking is not defeatist. Only the spirit in which this report is received can be defeatist: The crew can sit down and drink. But it can also rush to the pumps.
Source of quote:
Schumpeter, Joseph A. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. 3rd ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1950.
Reference to Rogge’s collection of essays that includes the title essay mentioned above:
Rogge, Benjamin A. Can Capitalism Survive? Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1979.