Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Heilbroner's statements after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union are why I call him "realistic". While I can't find the articles online, I remember them well, thinking "If Heilbroner thinks the argument between capitalism and socialism is over, then I guess it is." Heilbroner later wrote an entry about socialism for the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics that starts:
Socialism�defined as a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production�was the tragic failure of the twentieth century. Born of a commitment to remedy the economic and moral defects of capitalism, it has far surpassed capitalism in both economic malfunction and moral cruelty. Yet the idea and the ideal of socialism linger on. Whether socialism in some form will eventually return as a major organizing force in human affairs is unknown, but no one can accurately appraise its prospects who has not taken into account the dramatic story of its rise and fall.
He was never forgiven by the Left for his realism.