"Are we confounding heroism and individualism? Entrepreneurs may not be lone rangers, but they are heroic nonetheless."
I have some information below on how to access this article.
McMullen cites a paper I wrote in the 1990s and mentions my name in the same sentence as Joseph Schumpeter, an important economist from the 20th century.
Click here to read a short bio of him
A few years ago I wrote a post called "My Favorite Economist Is Joseph Schumpeter." Here it is
""Why is this blog called The Dangerous Economist? Back in the early 1990s, I wrote a paper called "The Creative-Destroyers: Are Entrepreneurs Mythological Heroes?" It compares the entrepreneur in capitalism to the hero in mythology. I was never able to get it published in an academic journal. One referee even said the idea was dangerous. I doubt much harm would have befallen the U.S. economy had this paper been published. It is now online at
A shorter version is at
If you clicked on the link about why I chose this name for my blog and then these articles and read them you would have discovered some of the things that I list below and they would have pointed you to Schumpeter.
The process whereby innovations occur was called "Creative Destruction" by Schumpeter in his book Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. "Creative Destruction" was
"The opening of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop and factory to such concerns as U. S. Steel illustrate the same process of industrial mutation if I may use that biological term-that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from with in, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating the new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in" (p. 83).
In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell described the action of the hero with
"The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula represented in the rites of passage: separation-initiation-return: which might be named the nuclear unit of the monomyth. A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. "(p. 30)
Campbell (1968) also has a section called "The Cosmogonic Cycle" which "unrolls the great vision of the creation and destruction of the world which is vouchsafed as revelation to the successful hero" (p. 38). The connection to Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction is clear. A successful entrepreneur simultaneously destroys and creates a new world, or at least a new way of life. Henry Ford, for example, destroyed the horse and buggy age while creating the age of the automobile. But even more to the point is the fact that the hero finds that the world "suffers from a symbolical deficiency" (p. 37) and that "the hero appears on the scene in various forms according to the changing needs of the race" (p. 38). The changing needs and the deficiency may directly correspond to the changing market conditions or the changing desires for products. The entrepreneur IS the first person to perceive the need or opportunity for market profits.
Joseph Campbell's book inspired George Lucas to make the Star Wars movies."
Now here is the info on how to access the McMullen article.
The first link below is just some general info about the article. But the article itself is not readable online (unless you want to pay $35). If you go to the second link at ResearchGate, you can see his article listed. If you sign up for the service (it is free) you can request that the author send you a copy (that is how I got mine).
General info about the McMullen article
The second link at ResearchGate to request the article