Schumpeter argued that capitalism exists in the state of ferment he dubbed “creative destruction,” with spurts of innovation destroying established enterprises and yielding new ones. This view seems far more current than Smith’s Newtonian notion of an “invisible hand” generating stability in the marketplace.
Smith was a conceptual breakthrough for Europe, but he didn’t say much about bone-jarring technological shifts or the crucial role of entrepreneurship. “It’s not difficult to be for Adam Smith and Joseph Schumpeter at the same time,” maintains House majority leader Dick Armey. “The market must clean itself out by taking resources away from the losers, so it creatively destroys the losing companies and reallocates resources to the winning companies. That’s really what’s going on.”