Capital as Will and Imagination

9780801451799: Hardback
Release Date: 9th April 2013

Dimensions: 156 x 235

Number of Pages: 312

Edition: 1st Edition

Series Cornell Studies in Money

Cornell University Press

Capital as Will and Imagination

Schumpeter's Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle

Joseph Schumpeter is not thought of as a theorist of credit-supercharged high-speed growth, but that is what he became in postwar Japan. This new view helps also to explain Japan's bubble, and the global bubbles that have followed it.
Hardback / £43.00

With this book, Mark Metzler continues his investigation into the economic history of twentieth-century Japan that he began in Lever of Empire. In Capital as Will and Imagination, he focuses on the successful stabilization of Japanese capitalism after the Second World War. How did a defeated and heavily damaged nation manage reconstruction so rapidly? What economic beliefs resulted in the "miracle" years of high-speed economic growth? Metzler argues that the inflationary creation of credit was key to Japan's postwar success—and its eventual demise due to its instability over the long term.

To prove his case, Metzler explores heterodox ideas about economic life, in particular Joseph Schumpeter's realization that inflation is intrinsic to capitalist development. Schumpeter's ideas, widely ignored within standard American neoclassical economic theory, were shaped by his experience of Austria's reconstruction after 1918. They were highly influential in Japan, and Metzler traces their impact in the period from the Allied Occupation, starting in 1945, through the Income Doubling Plan of 1960. Japan after defeat, Metzler argues, illustrates the critical importance of inflationary credit creation for increased production.

Introduction: Inflation and Its Productions

Chapter 1. The Revolution in Prices
1.1 Faustian Capital / 1.2 World War I and the Political Economy of Twentieth-Century Inflation / 1.3 Postwar Stabilization / 1.4 The Great Inflation of the 1940s / 1.5 Exporting Inflation / 1.6 The Inflation Comes Home

Chapter 2. Dramatis Personae
2.1 "The Schumpeter Vogue" / 2.2 At the Monetary Bonfire / 2.3 The Marxists / 2.4 The Capital Creator / 2.5 The Schumpeterians

Chapter 3. What Is Capital?
3.1 When New Capital Comes onto the Stage / 3.2 The Distribution of Promises / 3.3 Credit Inflation the Mechanism of Capitalist Development / 3.4 Capital as Indication / 3.5 The Capitalist Process as an Ideal–Material Circuit

Chapter 4. Flows and Stores
4.1 Energy, Capital, and Debt / 4.2 Flows of Production / 4.3 Stores of Promises / 4.4 Saving Follows from Investment / 4.5 Power and Planning

Chapter 5. Japanese Capitalism under Occupation
5.1 Imagining Postwar Development / 5.2 First Responses: Burning, Looting, and Printing / 5.3 The Amplification of Monetary Flows / 5.4 The Constriction of Material-Energetic Flows / 5.5 Liquidating Japanese Capitalism

Chapter 6. Inflation as Capital
6.1 The Ishibashi Line / 6.2 The ESB Line: "Modified Capitalism" / 6.3 Inflation and Social Leveling / 6.4 Taxation as Monetary Regulation / 6.5 The Limits of Modified Capitalism

Chapter 7. Interlude (Deflation)
7.1 Joseph Dodge and the Theory of Capital Restriction / 7.2 The Sphere of International Capital / 7.3 Ministers of Restriction / 7.4 “The So-Called Stabilization Panic” / 7.5 Inside Money and Outside Money / 7.6 The World Economic Crisis

Chapter 8. The State-Bank Complex
8.1 Banking as Economic Governance / 8.2 Superdirect Finance / 8.3 The Privatization of the Positive Policy

Chapter 9. The Turning Point
9.1 A Schumpeterian Turning Point / 9.2 Social Sources of Keynesian Stabilization / 9.3 The Second Try at Global Postwar Stabilization: Some Interim Conclusions / 9.4 Dollar Capital as Divine Providence / 9.5 “Dangerous Delusions”

Chapter 10. High-Speed Growth: The Schumpeterian Boom
10.1 The Restoration of the Business Cycle / 10.2 “The Postwar Is Over”: The Schumpeterian Boom Begins / 10.3 Ishibashi and Ikeda: The Ascent of the Positive Policy / 10.4 The International Circuit: The External Capital Constraint

Chapter 11. High-Speed Growth: Indication and Flow
11.1 The Domestic Circuit: Imagined Capital for Real Growth / 11.2 Monetary “Flows,” “Leakages,” and “Absorption” / 11.3 Credit Creation as Planning; Planning as Credit Creation / 11.4 The Investment Doubling Plan

Chapter 12. Conclusions: Credere and Debere
12.1 Norms and Exceptions / 12.2 Stocks of Debt and Debt-Destruction Crises / 12.3 Autodeflation / 12.4 Mirrors and Miracles

Table A-1. Basic indicators of money and credit, 1868–1965
Table A-2. Credit creation and industrial investment, 1940–1965
Table A-3. Prices and wages, 1936–1965
Table A-4. Indicators of manufacturing production, 1936–1965


Mark Metzler is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Capital as Will and Imagination: Schumpeter's Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle and coauthor of Central Banks and Gold: How Tokyo, London, and New York Shaped the Modern World,both from Cornell, and author of Lever of Empire: The International Gold Standard and The Crisis of Liberalism in Prewar Japan.

"While maintaining a theoretical emphasis on these Schumpeterian principles of economic growth, Metzler also gives us a rich description of how one economy, that of early post-war Japan, executed the Schumpeter. . . . In this analysis, Metzler displays a careful, thorough examination of sources. . . . It is refreshing to see a book that emphasizes the role of the Ministry of Finance (mof) and the Economic Planning units."—Tom Roehl, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (April 2014)

"Metzler has produced an incisive work full of stimulating insights into the capitalist development process as well as new and challenging ways of thinking about Japan's economic performance since World War II."—Steven J. Ericson, Journal of Japanese Studies (Summer 2014)

"This richly detailed study of the financial roots of Japan's high-growth era and meditation on the high costs of the ensuing bubble collapse is highly recommended for not only students of Japanese financial history, but anyone interested in the role of states and banks in the future of world capitalism."—John Sagers, The Journal of Asian Studies(August 2015)

"Capital as Will and Imaginationis a Schumpeterian guide to the postwar economic miracle in that the inflationarycreation of credit was theorized by Schumpeter (over a century ago!). Indeed, Metzlerpresents compelling reasons for why we should be paying attention to Schumpeter'sideas right now.Thought-provoking, intellectually curious, and at timesdownright challenging, Capital as Will and Imagination tests the reader’s knowledgeand interpretation of the events that have come to characterize and define modernJapanese history. Replete with astute references and finely drawn observations, it is awork of great wisdom and intellect, a must for all those who seek to understand the"miracle" of Japan’s postwar economic growth."— Simon James Bytheway, Momumenta Nipponica (December 2016)

"Mark Metzler has written a brilliant book on the economic intellectual underpinnings of Japan's postwar economic recovery and subsequent high-speed economic growth. His approach and conclusions are both powerful and unique. Metzler argues that the European economist who had the greatest impact on Japanese planners after World War II was Joseph Schumpeter, who argued that finance capital is a way to direct the factors of production to new uses. In Capital as Will and Imagination, Metzler uses Schumpeter’s ideas and Japan’s experience as paradigms to look at the rise and development of modern capitalism in general. Building on his earlier book on Japan and the gold standard, Metzler has made himself the primary Western historian of Japanese capitalism in an international context."—Richard Smethurst, UCIS Research Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, author of A Social Basis for Prewar Japanese Militarism: The Army and the Rural Community

"In this meticulously researched book, the author makes two provocative claims that are apt to start a debate: that Japan's quick growth after World War II was the result of inflation; and that Joseph Schumpeter advocated a mixture of entrepreneurship and inflation as the most effective way to create economic growth. The combination of solid scholarship with bold theorizing makes Capital as Will and Imagination into a very welcome addition to the current debate, not only of the economic history of Japan but also of the nature of economic growth and its causes."—Richard Swedberg, Cornell University, author of Joseph A. Schumpeter: His Life and Work