quinta-feira, março 18, 2021

"man’s near- God- like quality of being able to create new things"


"Schumpeterian elements are deeply embedded in the German economics tradition. A focus on learning and progress, very clear in Leibniz and Wolff, is based on the Gottesähnlichkeit of man: man’s near- God- like quality of being able to create new things. Being born in the image of God meant that it was man’s pleasurable duty to invent. At its most fundamental level, the contrast between English and German economics lies in the view of the human mind. To John Locke, man’s mind is a blank slate — a tabula rasa — with which he is born, and which passively receives impressions throughout life. To Leibniz, man has an active mind that constantly compares experiences with established schemata, a mind both noble and creative.

Of Adam Smith’s ideas, the one most repudiated by German economists was that man is essentially an animal that has learned to barter. In the tradition that followed Smith, ideas and inventions have been produced outside the economic system. Karl Menger, the founder of the Austrian School of Economics, dedicated a whole chapter in his Grundrisse to refute Smith’s view on this point. In the German tradition, including Marx and Schumpeter, the view is that man is an animal who has learned to invent. Nietzsche later added the point that man is the only animal that can keep promises, and therefore creates laws and institutions. Putting these elements together, we have an impressionistic picture of what differentiates English from German economics — barter and ‘metaphysical speculation’, on the one hand, and production and institutions, on the other."

Trecho retirado de  "The Visionary Realism of German Economics: From the Thirty Years' War to the Cold War".

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