Joseph Schumpeter’s conceptions of entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative destruction have been hugely influential. He pioneered the study of economic development and of technological paradigm shifts and was a forerunner of the emerging field of evolutionary economics. He is not thought of as a theorist of credit-supercharged high-speed growth, but this is what he became in postwar Japan. As Mark Metzler shows in Capital as Will and Imagination, economists and planners in postwar Japan seized upon Schumpeter’s ideas and put them directly to work.
The inflationary creation of credit, as theorized by Schumpeter, was a vital but mostly unrecognized aspect of the successful stabilization of Japanese capitalism after World War II and was integral to Japan’s postwar success. It also helps to explain Japan’s bubble, and the global bubbles that have followed it. The heterodox analysis presented in Capital as Will and Imagination goes beyond the economic history of postwar Japan; it opens up a new view of the core circuits of modern capital in general.
Introduction: Inflation and Its ProductionsChapter 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 HomeChapter 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 SchumpeteriansChapter 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 CircuitChapter 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 PlanningChapter 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 CapitalismChapter 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 CapitalismChapter 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 CrisisChapter 8. The State-Bank Complex
8.1 Banking as Economic Governance / 8.2 Superdirect Finance / 8.3 The Privatization of the Positive PolicyChapter 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 ConstraintChapter 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 PlanChapter 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 MiraclesAppendix
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, 1936–1965Notes
"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
"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
"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."
The Journal of Asian Studies
"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 themiracle of Japan’s postwar economic growth."
Simon James Bytheway
"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."
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"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