- Julio M. Shiling
Schumpeter and Lesson’s from Chile’s Debacle.
Joseph Schumpeter may well help us better understand the debacle that was Chile’s 2021 presidential election result of Sunday, December 19. Far-left candidate Gabriel Boric easily won with 55.87% of the vote, defeating conservative Jose Antonio Kast, a staunch defender of free markets and republican governance. How could arguably Latin America’s basket case of success in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, measured by socio-economic indicators, have gone for a Marxist sympathizer?
The Austrian economist and politician (Schumpeter) authored a classic, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (1942), where he contended that socialism would ultimately overrun capitalism and democracy. The rationale Schumpeter offered was that as political equality extended voting rights, the non-wealthy portion of the population, clearly the majority, would vote for socialism. The Moravian-born, later naturalized U.S. citizen, and former Harvard professor was most influential in the field of economics. Yet, his 1942 work may prove to be Schumpeter’s biggest legacy. In this pessimistic work, his understanding of human nature is playing out.
Chile is not an isolated case. Peru and Honduras are recent examples where socialist candidates won the presidency. Elections scheduled for 2022 in Brazil, Colombia, and Costa Rica, place these countries all within plausible reach by radical leftism. The failure of socialism is undeniable when judged by empirical evidence and moral history. Yet, despite this fact, how can socialism’s appeal at the voting booth be explained?Continue Reading …Schumpeter and Lesson’s from Chile’s Debacle