Baron Haussmann @200, Haussmannization and creative destruction  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
creative destruction, surplus product

From an original post[1].

Baron Haussmann (1809 - 1891) was a French urbanist who called himself an "artiste démolisseur," literally translated as artist destroyer, a concept with a political equivalent of creative destruction. I've mentioned Haussmann and Haussmannization here [2] and here[3].

Haussmann's renovation of Paris

The Haussmann Renovations, or Haussmannization, of Paris was a work commissioned by Napoléon III and led by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, spanning from 1852 to 1870.

creative destruction, surplus product

The notion of creative destruction is found in the writings of Mikhail Bakunin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and in Werner Sombart's Krieg und Kapitalismus (War and Capitalism) (1913, p. 207), where he wrote: "again out of destruction a new spirit of creativity arises". In Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized and used the term to describe the process of transformation that accompanies radical innovation. In Schumpeter's vision of capitalism, innovative entry by entrepreneurs was the force that sustained long-term economic growth, even as it destroyed the value of established companies that enjoyed some degree of monopoly power.

Interestingly, Flaubert's friend Maxime du Camp said:

"Paris, as we find it in the period following the Revolution of 1848, was about to become uninhabitable." --Paris Arcades quoting from Maxime du Camp, Paris, vol 6 (Paris, 1875), p.253.

and

"Its population had been greatly enlarged and unsettled ... and now this population was suffocating in the narrow, tangled, putrid alleyways in which it was forcibly confined."

Paris Arcades quoting from Maxime du Camp, Paris, vol 6 (Paris, 1875), p.253.]

It was Jules Ferry who wrote "Les Comptes fantastiques de Haussmann," his indictment of the bold handling of public funds for the Haussmannization. It was published in 1867, its title being a play on words between contes, stories or tales - as in Les contes d'Hoffmann or Tales of Hoffmann, and comptes, accounts.




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