Polish economist Oskar Lange blended Marxist theory with mathematical brilliance to make a vital contribution to neoclassical economics. But his main concern was to demonstrate the inherent flaws of capitalism and the viability of a socialist alternative.
Jan Toporowski is professor of economics and finance at SOAS, University of London. His works include Michał Kalecki: An Intellectual Biography.
Polish economist Michał Kalecki argued that capitalists would always resist full employment because it increases the confidence and bargaining power of workers. He was right — so right that even the Fed has now begun citing his ideas.
Polish economist Michal Kalecki is often linked with the “Keynesian revolution,” but Kalecki’s view of capitalism was much more radical than Keynes’s. His ideas are a vital tool for understanding how the system works, and how it might be overcome.
Polish economists like Oskar Lange and Michał Kalecki produced highly creative models of how a socialist system could work, balancing equality and efficiency. But Poland’s Communist government neglected their ideas, sowing the seeds of its eventual demise.