Eucken, Walter

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eucken, Walter


Born Jan. 17,1891, in Jena; died Mar. 20, 1950, in London. German economist.

Eucken received his doctorate from the University of Berlin in 1921. He became a professor at the University of Tübingen in 1925 and was a professor at the University of Freiburg from 1927 to 1950. Eucken was a theorist of West German neoliberalism, a doctrine of large-scale monopoly capital that advocates government intervention in the economy but disguises it as a defense of free enterprise.

According to Eucken, all economic systems in the history of mankind can be divided into two ideal types: free-market economies and centrally managed economies. In this classification, which is based on forms of economic management, the socialist economy is treated as a centrally managed economy, a category that includes, along with the economic systems of the pharaohs and feudalism, the economy of fascist Germany. The socialist economy is regarded as a “supermonopoly,” allegedly lacking effective management, as opposed to a “rational and harmonious social market economy,” such as that of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Eucken’s theory, which distorts the nature of socialism and socialist planning, is demagogic in character and attempts to conceal the growing strength of large-scale monopoly capital.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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