The Economics Forum 21 on Schumpeter's essential aspect of economics
There comes a time when even the bourgeoisie must contemplate its own surcease. In this revealing passage, Schumpeter canvasses with Heideggerian Entschlossenheit (or, as the Freiburg philosopher would put it, with “resoluteness” in confronting “being-toward-death”) the eventual demise of capitalism. The very reality of social change and of economic evolution contains the certainty of capitalist extinction: “The facts indeed impose it on us.” This is a reality that equilibrium analysis by its very formal character quite simply cannot countenance. There is no “being-toward-death” in equilibrium, no Da-sein – and no “extinction”. But the important realization in Schumpeter’s reflection above is not so much this “existential” dread, the fact that formal theory can never encompass existence (cf. Kierkegaard’s vehement critique of Hegel’s dialectic); it is rather the fact that equilibrium theory completely neglects the most essential aspect of economics – the “pro-duction” of goods and services and therefore the “metabolism” of the economic system with the physical environment of which human beings are part.