Capital as Will and Imagination: Schumpeter's Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle. By Mark Metzler. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2013. xvii, 295 pages. $49.95. Reviewed by Steven J. Ericson Dartmouth College Mark Metzler has written a highly original and thought-provoking book, "more of an extended essay" (p. 7) than a standard monograph, including general lessons and philosophical reflections on capitalist finance. From the start, Metzler makes clear that he is not presenting a conventional economic history, as he opens with references to Johann von Goethe's Faust and to Goethe's younger contemporary Arthur Schopenhauer, whose work Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung inspired the book's title. In this book, Japan in the first decade and a half after World War II serves as an empirical case study for a process of inflationary credit creation--of state authorities and private bankers "willing and imagining" money into existence--which the author suggests applies to capitalist industrial development worldwide. In the case-study chapters, Metzler offers a novel take on a cluster of Japanese economists and economic planners who shaped the key institutional mechanisms of Japan's high-speed economic growth after World War II. The main figures he investigates are the "mediating Schumpeterians" Nakayama Ichiro, Tohata
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jul 19, 2014
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