Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Neil Wilcock and Corina Scholz. Hartmut Elsenhans and a Critiqueof Capitalism. Conversations on Theory and Policy Implications. London,U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan, UK. 2016. xii+184 pages. €84.99 (HardBound).

Author: Durr-e-Nayab

After the Second World War, the world was practically dividedinto two competing economic systems, capitalism and socialism. Thisideological competition extended to the socio-political realm, andbecame the basis of the cold wars from the late 1940s to early 1990s.The events in Russia in the early to mid-20th century presentedsocialism as a real contender, if not a complete alternative tocapitalism. With its increasing influence in many countries, not just inRussia’s neighbourhood but also in the continents far across, socialismemerged as the dominant thought, leading to what became to be referredto as the socialist bloc. But then came the collapse of the USSR inearly 1990s and the whole socialist thought came to be questioned. Insocialist China, introduction of reforms with a capitalist bent furtherquestioned the practicability and success of socialism, while reforms inthe Indian economic system encouraged the proponents of capitalism todeclare victory. Adoption of capitalist ideals by purely orquasi-socialist countries stamped the superiority ofcapitalism.