May 5, 2013

John Maynard Keynes, "Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren."

Here's something worth reading in light of Niall Ferguson's remark about Keynes (something about his being gay and therefore childless and unconcerned about the future). Keynes was writing in 1930:
My purpose in this essay... is not to examine the present or the near future, but to disembarrass myself of short views and take wings into the future. What can we reasonably expect the level of our economic life to be a hundred years hence? What are the economic possibilities for our grandchildren?...


When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues…. The love of money as a possession – as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life – will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease....

But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.
Hag-ridden. The (unlinkable) OED defines "hag-ridden" to mean: "1. Ridden by a hag; esp. afflicted by nightmare... 2. Oppressed in mind; harassed." Examples:
1684   T. Otway Atheist ii. 18   He's married; plagu'd, troubled, and Hag-ridden....
1702   C. Mather Magnalia Christi iii. ii. xxviii. 159/1   He did not allow himself to be Hag-ridden with the Enchantments thereof.
1886   T. Hardy Mayor of Casterbridge I. xx. 246   When she had not slept she did not quaintly tell the servants next morning that she had been ‘hagrid’.
1891   Spectator 4 Apr. 471/1   Our minds are jaded and hag-ridden, as it were, by the physical fatalities of modern science.
A hag is "A woman supposed to have dealings with Satan and the infernal world; a witch; sometimes, an infernally wicked woman" or "An ugly, repulsive old woman: often with implication of viciousness or maliciousness."
1590   Spenser Faerie Queene i. viii. sig. H4,   A loathly, wrinckled hag, ill fauoured, old....
1712   R. Steele Spectator No. 266. ⁋2   One of those Hags of Hell whom we call Bawds.
Interesting that Keynes pictured "pseudo-moral principles" as female demons.

(Thanks to Meade for turning up that old article. )

162 comments:

Tim said...

"When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals."

Fucking utopian.

God save us from the utopians.

Please.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Tangent, I know, but here's Keynes in a rap video with Hayek. Love this one.

Never mentions homosexualtiy, childlessness or female demons. Just that circular flow..

Oso Negro said...

Immediately revealed as utopian.

edutcher said...

"When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues…."

Yeah, we've heard this before.

Got the T-shirt.

William said...

The hag ridden is an allusion to MacBeth's witches.....The remark should be considered as sexist. Such overt sexism should disqualify Keynes from consideration as a serious economist.

Tim said...

"Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight."

This exemplifies Keynes biggest sin (besides being wrong): giving intellectual heft to the cautious, go-slow Marxism of Socialists who would harness Capitalism to achieve Socialism.

Of course, it doesn't make sense.

At some point, we will have to have achieved enough to stop achieving, and rather, focus on "equitable" redistribution for the purposes of "equity."

Because, you see, all of the history of humans, and human nature, tells us people constantly settle and stop achieving.

That's true only if you look at civil servants and welfare rolls.

Hagar said...

Also remarkable for the failure to note Mr. Keynes' own notable success in gaining some quite respectable wealth accumulation by stock market speculations.

David Davenport said...

Has any body else noticed that many web sites, including drudgereport, Amazon.com, youtube.com, and lots of others are blocked right now? 1.52 PM EST 5 May 13.

Blogspot is one of the few sites that is available.

Chip S. said...

So Keynes appears to have been a sexist bisexual.

Now I don't know what to think about the advisability of continued trillion-dollar deficits.

roesch/voltaire said...

Let's see Allen Bloom, darling of the conservative movement was gay and hiding the fact that he was paying for sex.Does that mean we should reject his notion of the sublime?

Chip S. said...

From the love letters b/w Maynard and Lydia:

''I have sold all your lead. Your profit is $:106.16.4.''

FleetUSA said...

He sounds like a doddering Utopian on drugs or vodka.

Gahrie said...

Folks, the comments about Keynes, homosexuality, and the effect on his thinking is old news. People have been writing exactly the same thing for literally decades in scholarly work with no controversey.

Alex said...

It makes perfect sense. Use the fruits of capitalism - the university system to indoctrinate generations of socialists to bring the whole thing down man.

Chip Ahoy said...

I've heard about the Bloomsbury group my whole life. I formed an image of them being an actual community of artists with a few writers somewhere in, I didn't know, New Hampshire, probably. I learned more about them this last week than all that put together, with the art that all looks alike, 'the repression of the Bloomsbury group' is how the critic put it remarking on wall space devoted to artists, and now this additional information on Keynes. The pieces, they are fitting together. There is so much in the connections that was left out at school, which presented things in chunks, and if it was there, I didn't understand it.

David Davenport said...

Apparently, J. M. Keynes had strong views of his own about certain groups of people:

PowerLine Blog

POSTED ON DECEMBER 30, 2011 BY STEVEN HAYWARD IN ECONOMY, LIBERALS, MEDIA

KEYNES WAS RIGHT–ABOUT THE JEWS?

So Paul Krugman phoned in his periodic “Keynes Was Right” column today, arguing that the Obama Porkulus failed only because, like “true” Communism, it wasn’t tried vigorously or faithfully enough.

I wonder if Krugman also credits Keynes’s views on Jews, which British blogger Damian Thompson of The Telegraph brings to our attention. From Keynes’s diary:

"[Jews] have in them deep-rooted instincts that are antagonistic and therefore repulsive to the European, and their presence among us is a living example of the insurmountable difficulties that exist in merging race characteristics, in making cats love dogs …

It is not agreeable to see civilization so under the ugly thumbs of its impure Jews who have all the money and the power and brains."


Thompson adds:

If Keynes was an intellectual hero of the Right, rather than the Left, do you think those quotes would be so little known?

...

Alex said...

rv - I'm sure next we'll find out Adam Smith was a peter puffer.

garage mahal said...

Ferguson left his wife of sixteen years and three kids. How's that for thinking about your kids future?

David Davenport said...

Drudgereport and other major Web sites are still unavailable. Don't know why other people aren't experiencing this.

Oops! Google Chrome could not find www.drudgereport.com
Try reloading: www.­drudgereport.­com
Additional suggestions:
Access a cached copy of www.­drudgereport.­com
Search on Google:

Terry said...

Ignoring the "hag-ridden" remark, it seems to me that the Utopian vision of Keynes was far from unusual in the early 20th Cent.
Your economy grows by 3%/year, so wealth doubles every 25 years. A person who is working 40 hrs/week to gain the necessities of life in 1930 will only have to work 2.5 hrs/wk in 2030. People used to think this way.

edutcher said...

David Davenport said...

Drudgereport and other major Web sites are still unavailable. Don't know why other people aren't experiencing this.

Oops! Google Chrome could not find www.drudgereport.com


I just got it on Chrome.

Have you tried IE or Safari?

garage mahal said...

Ferguson left his wife of sixteen years and three kids. How's that for thinking about your kids future?

Circumstances?

Or doesn't that count?

Then again, the Left's new-found romance with homosexuality means that the arguments of anyone who denounces it, if he or she has any flaws at all, are automatically null and void.

Does the guy pay his child support?

See his kids?

You got a story or just blowing smoke?

Mitch H. said...

Professor, you have tied your moral compass to a morally compromised, Jew-hating, classist shit, Keynes. Why would you do that? Because somebody called him gay, and thus a protected class aligned with a child close to your heart? Stop thinking in protected classes and tribal fragments, and remember that everyone is himself alone, god's child unassiociated with anyone else, no family but God's family. Luke 14:26 - "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

You are letting this parallelism, that Keynes is supposedly gay, and thus a tribal associate of young... John was it? Drive your response. If you meet your parents on the road, kill your parents, if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha.

wyo sis said...

Your economy grows by 3%/year, so wealth doubles every 25 years. A person who is working 40 hrs/week to gain the necessities of life in 1930 will only have to work 2.5 hrs/wk in 2030. People used to think this way.

You probably could get 1930 necessities of life right now for 2.5 hours a week. If prices and necessities were at 1930's level.

James Pawlak said...

Had the author ever been to a "polish sky resort"?

jr565 said...

Why is Althouse posting this? What is her point? Is it about Keynes? Keynesianism?
Is she trying to say that Ferguson was wrong because Keynes IS thinking about posterity?

DADvocate said...

Keynes was gay? Who would of thought? Him being married and everything. Better he just dated someone for 15 years and then claim to be the first major economist to come out of the closet, not counting females, of course.

jr565 said...

The love of money as a possession – as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life – will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease....


Why is Keynes able to call people who want money morbid, pathological and crazy?

chuck said...

Such was his view after losing most of his speculative investments in the great crash. Keynes learned from the experience and went on to become a very successful investor, his estate was worth some $30 million at the time of his death.

If his essay sounds left wing, I think it was because Keynes was what I would call left wing as a young man, as befitted a man of his social environment. He was never a producer of goods, but rather a consumer of fine art and such. An aristocratic man.

David Davenport said...

Have you tried IE or Safari?

The same sites are also unavailable using Internut Explorer V. 10.0.4.

No Apple stuff here at opulent Maison Davenport.

This Internet stuff isn't as robust as some people think.

Alex said...

You can't blame the older economists for not foreseeing the innovation economy and automation.

Terry said...

Money is given a technical description by economists based on its purposes. Money is a means of exchange, a means of accounting, and a store of value. Keynes (and today's keynesian economists) place more emphasis on the 'means of exchange' purpose of money than its 'store of value' purpose.
So, is Krugman gay? Is he married to a ballerina? Do they sit around talking about poetry rather than pro-create?

rcocean said...

Keynes didn't like Jews, so he was wrong about everything.

But he was Gay and a victim of homophobia, so he was right about everything.

Seems like a tossup. I'll have to know his views on evolution before I can decided whether his economics were right or wrong.

edutcher said...

Maybe your ISP is having issues.

rcommal said...

David Davenport: I'm not having any issues gaining access to sites, either, so like others I suspect the problem is with your provider or something else on your end.

EDH said...

I always thought it was toothless headed hag.

Jumpin' Jack Flash

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at the maw of the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right. I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash,
It's a gas! Gas! Gas!

I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag,
I was schooled with a strap right across my back,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right, I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash,
It's a gas! Gas! Gas!

I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead.
I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled.
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread.
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I was crowned with a spike right thru my head
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right, I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash,
It's a gas! Gas! Gas!

jr565 said...

In fact, something of the “soul” of Bloomsbury penetrated even into Keynes’s economic theories. There is a discernible affinity between the Bloomsbury ethos, which put a premium on immediate and present satisfactions, and Keynesian economics, which is based entirely on the short run and precludes any long-term judgments. (Keynes’s famous remark. “In the long run we are all dead,” also has an obvious connection with his homosexuality — what Schumpeter delicately referred to as his “childless vision.”) The same ethos is reflected in the Keynesian doctrine that consumption rather than saving is the source of economic growth — indeed, that thrift is economically and socially harmful. In The Economic Consequences of the Peace, written long before The General Theory, Keynes ridiculed the “virtue” of saving. The capitalists, he said, deluded the working classes into thinking that their interests were best served by saving rather than consuming. This delusion was part of the age-old Puritan fallacy.


Sounds like Keynes was not really all that pro thinking of future generations. The capitalists, the puritans were on about saving rather than consuming and For Keynes that was backward.
So for Keynes, the idea of Posterity and thinking of future generations and making people save money was a Puritan fallacy.
Thus, whether you believe in Keynes or not determines whether it is right or wrong to believe in posterity.

He was also childless and gay and so, his personal life also reflected his economic ideas (ie.gays IN GENERAL are not siring offspring and leaving them money and creating dynasties. It sinmpy was not Keynes idea that we should concern ourselves with that future since consumption was what grows economies not savings. The immediate versus the long term austerity measures.
The same debate we are having today.

You might argue that Keynes life mirrored his economic philosophy.

jr565 said...

BUt what's wrong with someone making a point how Keynes social life, his gayness, his childness, also mirrored his economic ideas?

It doesn't mean that all gays must be Keynesian or that all people who are childless are Keynesian. I'm childless and I'm anti Keynesian.

Why though, am I as person who never had a kid not outraged by Ferguson's point? Because I'm not arguing that a childless person must be treated as a special class, like Althouse is towards gays.

Derek Brown said...

That was my first thought Laudervale. How's this re-revelation of Keynes homosexuality going to effect his second career as a rapper. Will he and Eminem perform Stan together at the Grammys.

SMGalbraith said...

It's one thing to say Ferguson's thesis about the origins (influences, et cetera) of Keyne's views on public spending is wrong but another to say that we cannot examine how Keynes' sexuality may have affected his political and economic views.

It appears that if someone concludes that his sexuality may have led to a "bad" idea that that argument must not be allowed. That it's indicting or attacking all gay people.

This is the anti-intellectualism of the left on some issues. Just as there is an anti-intellectualism on the right on other issues.

It's an attempt to close the discussion.

Astro said...

That comes across as a very feeble attempt to walk back his infamous statement:

"The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. "

tiger said...

The only truly smart thing Keynes said was that 'I didn't drink enough Champaign'.

This and "supply and demand" are the only two things I remember from my college econ 101 class.

As for Keynes theories?
Yeah they don't work and it's time people like Krugman admitted it.

And then there's this:' It's one thing to say Ferguson's thesis about the origins (influences, et cetera) of Keyne's views on public spending is wrong but another to say that we cannot examine how Keynes' sexuality may have affected his political and economic views.'

If the 'personal is political' as the Left has been screeching for the past 40 years then absolutely his personal life can be examined for how it affected his economic views.

Ferguson is a punk for not standing up for himself.

Derek Brown said...

Since when is Allam Bloom a darling of the right. Also it's a horrible gotcha argument because despite his wanton gayness he by focusing on timeless classical wisdom was able to overcome the present orientation characteristic of many gays. Keynes for whatever reason, it is possible that the miscarriage in this sense further alienated him from a future orientation out of bitterness, could not overcome that impulse. This becomes even more clear when you compare Bloom's opinion of Nietzsche to another sexual incontinent philopsher, Foucault. Bloom despised Nietzsche for unleashing the Dionysian, animalistic impulses in culture while Foucault embraced the Dionysian as liberating. Basically, Bloom is the textbook example of someone overcoming philosophically the present-orientation of gay impulse.


I honestly don't get the left throw out the innate biological differences implication of Darwinism, the fact is Darwinism ceases to function as even a semi-coherent philosophy if animals do not show increase affection and care for those sharing their DNA. After this incident it is quite clear that Darwinism is a cudgel to beat at religion, the left really doesn't believe in it one bit.

garage mahal said...

I wonder how someone being straight affects their view on economics?

Ann Althouse said...

"Professor, you have tied your moral compass to a morally compromised, Jew-hating, classist shit, Keynes."

I have never said one word about liking Keynes. Where do you get this stuff? You need to read what is said and not said. I'm critical of Ferguson (and he is self-critical) for a remark about gayness that was bad for a number of reasons. None of the reasons was that Keynes is a wonderful person. I've never endorsed Keynes.

Bryan Townsend said...

Forgive me for wondering, has everyone actually missed the point of the Keynes quote? I'm more of a Hayekian than a Keynesian, but this seems perfectly obvious to me:

"The love of money as a possession – as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life – will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease...."

Money is an instrumental good, not a good in itself. It is only as good as what you do with it. Accumulating money for its own sake is folly.

Freeman Hunt said...

You'd have thought Ferguson would have been more savvy than to make a comment that's such an incredibly attractive target for attack, attacks that take the general cultural goodwill towards gays and share it with Keynsian economics!

As to this quote, interesting. Now I want to read the text around it. What utopia did he imagine?

Michael said...

Garage". I wonder how someone being straight affects their view on economics?"

Ferguson would say that if they are childless they focus less on the future than those with children.


Freeman Hunt said...

I like the image of money hoarding as being a sort of morbid obesity.

ricpic said...

As to Keynes alleged brilliance:

A modern economy is an incredibly complex entity that involves millions of transactions every day. The notion that this vast and largely self-governing system can be controlled through tools such as government spending and/or an increase in the quantity of money is - to say the least - bizarre.

--from a post by Tyler Durden today at Zero Hedge blog.

jr565 said...

Actually, this discusssion while ostensibly about homophobia is really about economics. And apparently Althouse thinks we all must be on board the Keynesian economic bandwagon, or cannot accuse Keynesians of not thinking about the future of our grand kids.
HOW DARE FERGUSON SAY THAT KEYNES DOESN"T CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE! Otherwise, why post a supposed rebutal that shows that Keynes really does believe in posterity.

Terry said...

The relevant passage from Keynes' The Economic Consequences of the Peace:

Thus this remarkable system depended for its growth on a double bluff or deception. On the one hand the laboring classes accepted from ignorance or powerlessness, or were compelled, persuaded, or cajoled by custom, convention, authority, and the well-established order of Society into accepting, a situation in which they could call their own very little of the cake that they and Nature and the capitalists were co-operating to produce. And on the other hand the capitalist classes were allowed to call the best part of the cake theirs and were theoretically free to consume it, on the tacit underlying condition that they consumed very little of it in practice. The duty of "saving" became nine-tenths of virtue and the growth of the cake the object of true religion. There grew round the non-consumption of the cake all those instincts of puritanism which in other ages has withdrawn itself from the world and has neglected the arts of production as well as those of enjoyment. And so the cake increased; but to what end was not clearly contemplated. Individuals would be exhorted not so much to abstain as to defer, and to cultivate the pleasures of security and anticipation. Saving was for old age or for your children; but this was only in theory,—the virtue of the cake was that it was never to be consumed, neither by you nor by your children after you.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15776/15776-h/15776-h.htm

Keynes believed that thrift and saving was not natural, and that it existed as a high virtue only for a period of time in the 19th Cent., for 19th Cent. reasons.
There is little virtuous about the saving-obsession that Keynes describes.

Mitch H. said...

I'm critical of Ferguson

Except nobody gives two shits for Ferguson, who is a pundit with an uneven record no different from that of Carnac the Magnificent. No, in point of fact, you were critical of *Goldberg*, who came to Ferguson's defense, and, I suppose the exception to my rule of nobody giving a shit about Ferguson. You're shifting the goal-posts, aren't you? After all, this post is headlined with Keynes, not Ferguson, whose name hangs on no theory of macroeconomics, and on whose behalf, no nation has thrown itself on the pyre of neo-socialist pump-priming idiocy.

somefeller said...

Otherwise, why post a supposed rebutal that shows that Keynes really does believe in posterity.

Because it shows intellectual seriousness and an ability to do a little research on a given topic. Take notes, maybe you'll learn something.

EDH said...

Gayness does put a whole new spin on Keynesian "Pump Priming", doesn't it?

eddie willers said...

You might argue that Keynes life mirrored his economic philosophy.

If you did that we would get at least two masturbatory threads on Althouse.

ricpic said...

Accumulating money for its own sake is folly.

Ever been blindsided and suddenly needed thousands or scores of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands or you'd founder economically? No, of course you haven't. You're a safe superior shit.

garage mahal said...

Seems like a total implosion from Reinhart and Rogoff, Niall Ferguson, and George Osborn just in the past month.

jr565 said...

somefeller wrote:
Because it shows intellectual seriousness and an ability to do a little research on a given topic. Take notes, maybe you'll learn something.

Bullshit.

BUt ok, if we are to take your argument at face value then this statement by Althouse is bullshit right?

"I have never said one word about liking Keynes. Where do you get this stuff? You need to read what is said and not said. I'm critical of Ferguson (and he is self-critical) for a remark about gayness that was bad for a number of reasons. None of the reasons was that Keynes is a wonderful person. I've never endorsed Keynes."

somefeller said...

Seems like a total implosion from Reinhart and Rogoff, Niall Ferguson, and George Osborn just in the past month.

Coincidence or conspiracy?

jr565 said...

IN other words, Somefeller, what Althouse is arguing is not what you are arguing. You're aruging the pro Keyensian position. She isn't (ostensibly)

But because of her lock step demand that any gay "insult" must be reupudiated she MUST adopt the pro Keynesian position without even realizing it.

gadfly said...

Keynes was a Bolshevik who lost almost all of his wealth in the 1929 stock market crash because he didn't understand economics well enough to comprehend what was happening or what would follow that event. As an aside, supply-side Austrian School economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises predicted the crash well in advance because interest rates had become far too low.

ricpic said...

Oh the poor poor exploited workers. Why don't they ever get together and start their own fucking factory?!

somefeller said...

Ah, so Althouse is estopped from doing a little research on Keynes or providing information about him or his views, because if she does she's coming out in full support of Keynesianism. Got it.

Terry said...

Keynes has to be understood in the context of his times.
He wrote 'The Economic Consequences of the Peace' just after the First World War. I am certain that when he said 'Saving was for old age or for your children; but this was only in theory,—the virtue of the cake was that it was never to be consumed, neither by you nor by your children after you', it spoke directly to people who had seen millions of their own children die, and their savings evaporate in war-time inflation. Keynes was merely describing the reality in post-war Europe.

David Davenport said...

OK, Instapundit, Youtube, and, top priority, Amazon are available again.

I haven't changed any settings on my computers.

somefeller said...

And I'm not arguing for the fine points of Keynesianism so much as I'm arguing against his detractors. I'm more of a Hamiltonian/American System supporter myself.

Paeonia said...

Althouse has not wandered off the conservative economic plantation, but she is punished by her commenters for her continued wanderings off of the conservative social plantation and her attempts to right a wrong, which makes her on the wrong side of right to most of her readers.

When will she ever learn?/ Sarc

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
Keynes (something about his being gay and therefore childless and unconcerned about the future).

No, he said that he, Keynes was unconcerned about the future. He was also gay and childless which means his life mirrored his economic philosophy. He wasn't concerned about posterity in his social life since he had no offspring. It's not a cause and effect argument. i.e. Gays don't care about the future.

Rather, Keynesians don't care abou the future (as per Ferguson). Many are also childless and/or gay which means they practice what they preach on a personal level as well as on an economic level.

But see, to a Keynesian, he wouldn't view not saving money as a social ill. Rather, he would view not saving as "thinking about the future".

So again, it all comes down to whether you are a Keynesian or not as to whether what Feruson is arguing is even a moral wrong. As such how can you argue that it's homophobic and not anti or pro Keynesian?

David Davenport said...

.... it spoke directly to people who had seen millions of their own children die, and their savings evaporate in war-time inflation. Keynes was merely describing the reality in post-war Europe.

The reality in Germany, yes. But the British pound remained sound in the '20's and '30's, didn't it?

"Economic Consequences of the Peace" was primarily a critique of the unhappy effects in Germany of the Treaty of Versailles.

jr565 said...

Keynes wrote:
He wrote 'The Economic Consequences of the Peace' just after the First World War. I am certain that when he said 'Saving was for old age or for your children; but this was only in theory,—the virtue of the cake was that it was never to be consumed, neither by you nor by your children after you',

ANd you wonder why Ferguson might view that as not thinking of future generations. And considering Keynes had no kids (beucase he was childless and gay)he was living a life that didn't require him to give money to the chilren who came after him.
If he had kids do you think he would argue that the children after you (his kids) shoudln't get an inheritance.

garage mahal said...

Coincidence or conspiracy?

Hmmm, interesting. Has Niall Ferguson checked if teh gays were responsible for corrupting Reinhart and Rogoff's data? That's the first place I'd look. They're so selfish!

jr565 said...

Somefeller wrote:
And I'm not arguing for the fine points of Keynesianism so much as I'm arguing against his detractors.

That's kind of a pro Keynesian position.

Terry said...

David Davenport-
Bank of England shows British prices doubling during WWI.

jr565 said...

Ah, so Althouse is estopped from doing a little research on Keynes or providing information about him or his views, because if she does she's coming out in full support of Keynesianism. Got it.

Jonah Goldberg DID point out people who had researched Keynes and Althouse ingores all that beucase she thinks Ferguson is uttering homophobia. She furhter denies any such research and info as simple homophobia and kicking gays while they were down.
She is not in fact stopped from any such reaserach. Rather she closes her mind to it because somewhere in there somehow says a mean word (in her mind) about an interests group that must not be criticized, even obliquely.

That's the sign of a closed mind.

somefeller said...

Keynesians don't care abou the future

False. And from this bad premise / strawman many other problems follow.

Renee said...

I rarely think about about my kids future in terms larger economics.

There is no economic future. That's why.

Terry said...

jr565 wrote:
"ANd you wonder why Ferguson might view that as not thinking of future generations."

I don't think that what Keynes wrote matters. It's that what he wrote resonated that matters. This only made sense in the context of his times. Keynes thought the modern age had replaced the Victorian, and that, unlike the Victorian, the modern age would find no virtue in saving because of what people had learned in the First World War: your children will die and the value of your savings will erode.

jr565 said...

It's not that childless couples don't care about the future, it's that if you don't leave offspring you don't have to care as much about the future. THe same is true of those living for the here and now rather than saving for tomorrow.
There are many people in the world childless or otherwise who live for today and consider that a virtue and not a flaw.

AJ Lynch said...

Deferring gratification and spending is the biggest difference between libruls and conservatives. Libruls want more and more now no matter that the coffers are empty. Following that path got us in the hole and keeps us in a hole.

jr565 said...

Terry wrote;
I don't think that what Keynes wrote matters. It's that what he wrote resonated that matters. This only made sense in the context of his times. Keynes thought the modern age had replaced the Victorian, and that, unlike the Victorian, the modern age would find no virtue in saving because of what people had learned in the First World War: your children will die and the value of your savings will erode.
OF course what Keynes thinks matters. Many people today are Keynesian.
But even if we are talking about Keynes in the context of the times, so too was Fergusons comment an argument about Keynes personal life and not a comment necesarily on all gays.

jr565 said...

Althosue is literally get a bug up her ass over nothing. If Ferguson simply argued that keynes was childless and didn't care about the future, it would be from the perspective of a non Keynesian saying that Keynes didn't care about the future and his childlessness very much tied into his philosophy.

garage mahal said...

Who could have guessed that the case for austerity, used by all the conservative wonks and Republican congressmen, was not peer reviewed, and contained a basic spreadsheet error rendering it useless?

jr565 said...

And Althosue wouldn't be on an inquisition about it.
As I said before, I'm currently without chilren. YOu'd think therefore that I should be insulted to the same degree that Althouse is concerning his comments about gays.

jr565 said...

garage mahal wrote:
Who could have guessed that the case for austerity, used by all the conservative wonks and Republican congressmen, was not peer reviewed, and contained a basic spreadsheet error rendering it useless?

Says the Keynesian idiot.

Chip S. said...

Guess what, garage? R&R also provided the main defense for Obama against the charge that the recovery was unusually slow.

I don't think that research was any better than their debt stuff.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ever been blindsided and suddenly needed thousands or scores of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands or you'd founder economically? No, of course you haven't.

Note again "for its own sake." There's a difference between saving and hoarding.

ricpic said...

No save = no invest = no growth.

Get it, you horrible lefty freaks?!

somefeller said...

Althosue is literally get a bug up her ass over nothing. If Ferguson simply argued that keynes was childless and didn't care about the future, it would be from the perspective of a non Keynesian saying that Keynes didn't care about the future and his childlessness very much tied into his philosophy.

But that's not what Ferguson simply argued. He brought in the gay angle, so that's why that issue is on the table.

Terry said...

jr565 wrote:
"OF course what Keynes thinks matters. Many people today are Keynesian."
But why are they keynesian?
In the passage from The Economic Consequences of the Peace Keynes admits that the long period of economic growth experienced in Victorian times was due to relatively large savings and low consumption.
Keynes was attempting to explain why that wasn't working in the modern age. There was a reason why the people that mattered listened to Keynes.

jr565 said...

Somefeller wrote:
But that's not what Ferguson simply argued. He brought in the gay angle, so that's why that issue is on the table.


Please articulate EXACTLY what his argument even was. Beucase I don't think he's making the case that you and ALthouse are saying he's making.

And he also brough up the fact that KEynes was childless. So why should I not be offended by the argument as a childless person?
Because I'm not.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Why is Althouse posting this? What is her point?

It's the point she probably would have been better off making in the first place: providing a pretty solid reason for thinking Ferguson was wrong on the merits, instead of waxing shrill about how awful it was of him to say what he said whether it be true or false. (Quite a few of us who objected to the latter seemed not to have much use for Ferguson's argument-- but some of us bridles at dividing the world of thinkers into Them What One Is Allowed To Get Personal About, and Them What One Is Not Allowed To Get Personal About.)

garage mahal said...

Says the Keynesian idiot

You don't have the chops or the knowledge to seriously criticize Keynes work. Just like I don't have the chops or knowledge to seriously criticize Milton Friedman's work.

Although, it would be easier to call you a "Friedman Idiot!" than to admit that.

El Pollo Real said...

jr565 said...Otherwise, why post a supposed rebutal that shows that Keynes really does believe in posterity.

Especially with ample evidence that he cared a great deal for mankind's posteriority!

jr565 said...

As Goldberg wrote:
Now, I don’t know exctly what Ferguson said, and I don’t trust Kostigen’s version of events either. There are few full quotes and virtually nothing like proper context to anything (for instance, he seems to think “effete” and “gay” are synonyms).

So what did Ferguson actually say. THat all gays are effete and like poetry and that no childless person cares for the future. or was he descriging an individual gay person who was effete and childless, and in his view, didn't care for the future (a view shared by many by the way).
And was he saying this particular gay persons childlessness are emblematic of the economic principles he espoused? Does that mean that he is saying that ALL gays are exactly like Keynes?

jr565 said...

El Pollo Real wrote:
Especially with ample evidence that he cared a great deal for mankind's posteriority!


My question was asking why ALthouse was posting this since she later says that she is in no way defending Keynes?

Michael K said...

roesch/voltaire said...

"Let's see Allen Bloom, darling of the conservative movement was gay and hiding the fact that he was paying for sex.Does that mean we should reject his notion of the sublime?"

The point was about children. Do you pay for sex ? Should that influence our opinion about your comments ?

Now I guess I'll see if my comment is still here in five minutes.

William said...

You know who else was an apprciative reader of The Economic Conequences of the War--Adolf Hitler. The book was a huge best seller in Germany. It shaped their opinion of the Versailles Treaty. That book also shaped the opinions of the educated classes throughout Europe. They felt that Hitler by repudiating that treaty was acting in the interests of justice.....Keynes had, despite his privileges and credentials, an outsider's opinion. He sympathized with the losers. But I think it's fair to say that some people lose because they deserve to lose. The sentiments of the outsider are as much distorted by resentment as the opinions of the insiders are inflated with smugness....I suppose being gay gives one all kinds of insights that don't occur to straights, but it is by no means certain that those insights are any more valid or moral than those of the straights.

El Pollo Real said...

@jr565: The subtle difference between posterity and posteriority.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

You don't have the chops or the knowledge to seriously criticize Keynes work


Unlike you, some people here have actually sat through, and passed economics classes.

Unlike you, some people have graduate degrees relevant to this topic.

You can shut up now.

Jay said...

A modern economy is an incredibly complex entity that involves millions of transactions every day. The notion that this vast and largely self-governing system can be controlled through tools such as government spending and/or an increase in the quantity of money is - to say the least - bizarre.

No, no, no, you don't seem to understand. Food stamps and unemployment benefits create jobs.

jr565 said...

This is neither here nor there, but Keynes was also a pederast.
(And note this is not me saying that therefore he is representative of ALL gay men).

He was a lifelong counter and keeper of lists of things in his life. and in his own journals kept track of all of his sexual conquests which inluded many young boys.

El Pollo Real said...

Milton Friedman discusses Keynes: short clip link

jr565 said...

garag Mahal wrote:
You don't have the chops or the knowledge to seriously criticize Keynes work. Just like I don't have the chops or knowledge to seriously criticize Milton Friedman's work.

You say that but then you immediately suggest that KEynes is right and his detractors wrong.
Since you acknowledge you don't have the chops to actually make that determination I'll discount your words.

Thanks.

Lydia said...

Gotta love this, from Ferguson himself in 2011:

"I can’t stand it. I find the prurience, the prying, the sneering… I find it utterly odious. But the problem isn’t just the amorality of editors and their minions, it is that the British public also has a nauseating prurience. And what I find disgusting is that people want to judge footballers – and professors for that matter – by an entirely anachronistic yardstick. It’s as if by reading this stuff we become Victorians, and we are scandalised, I mean scandalised, to discover that a professor of history is getting divorced, which is clearly outrageous in this day and age.

“I mean, how can this be news? How can this be ------- news? To me, it’s just a collective hypocrisy that attracts people to these stories. This desire to look into the BEDROOMS” – he is practically shouting now – “and pick up the sheets and have a gander. It disgusts me.”

He was, you see, upset because folks had the temerity to judge him for leaving his wife and three children for another woman.

Tim said...

"They felt that Hitler by repudiating that treaty was acting in the interests of justice.....Keynes had, despite his privileges and credentials, an outsider's opinion. He sympathized with the losers. But I think it's fair to say that some people lose because they deserve to lose."

It's been a looong time since I've read it, but if I recall correctly, Keynes was less (much less) sympathetic with the losers (i.e., Germany) and much more concerned with the counter-productive terms of the peace for the victors, i.e., in seeking economic reparations for the war, it would cause economic problems for the victors. I think, to be fair, Keynes was correct on this.

Ironically, because he was, he gained credibility for his General Theory, which has turned out to be disastrous.

I'm agnostic on whether his homosexuality/bisexuality informed his thinking, other than to say lesser things have had greater impact on other intellectuals.



Tim said...

"You say that but then you immediately suggest that KEynes is right and his detractors wrong.
Since you acknowledge you don't have the chops to actually make that determination I'll discount your words."


Exactly.

Only, you forgot to tell him to "feel free to apologize," lol.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

jr565 wrote:
As Goldberg wrote:
Trying to add context and citations, eh?
I hope against hope that, when and if an actual transcript of Ferguson's speech is revealed, he didn't use the word 'niggardly'.

jr565 said...

Terry wrote:
As Goldberg wrote:
Trying to add context and citations, eh?
I hope against hope that, when and if an actual transcript of Ferguson's speech is revealed, he didn't use the word 'niggardly'.

It's kind of hard to denounce someones speech if we dont actually have a transcript.

But my guess is he wasnt using the fact that Hayek was gay and childless to denounce all gays and childless people as not caring. He was talking about Hayek.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Sorry, he was talking about Keynes. (Freudian slip of some sort?)


Tim said...

"I hope against hope that, when and if an actual transcript of Ferguson's speech is revealed, he didn't use the word 'niggardly'."

It's awfully niggardly of you to impose your limitations on the language, you, you, you racist you!

Renee said...

I do find it creepy that Keynes kept 'stats' on his sexual encounters.

What a male whore...

jr565 said...

Althouse, you might want to read Jonah Golberg's essay again. In it he quotes Keynes describing HIMSELF as an immoralist:

We repudiated entirely customary morals, conventions and traditional wisdom. We were, that is to say, in the strict sense of the term, immoralists. The consequences of being found out had, of course, to be considered for what they were worth. But we recognised no moral obligation on us, or inner sanction, to conform or to obey. Before heaven we claimed to be our own judge in our own case.


If you are an immoralist, why are you mad that someone would suggest that maybe you don't care for the future?
He recognizes NO moral obligation on him to conform to or obey. Sounds kind of selfish.

jr565 said...

Again from Goldberg's essay which Althouse linked to (but then subsequently ignored):

So Keynes believed that Puritan values inclined people to embrace an economic theory (capitalism), but the Ferguson episode teaches us that it is now beyond outrageous to suggest that Keynes’s rejection of Puritan values inclined him to embrace a slightly different economic theory (Keynesianism)? Got it.


Its an absurd argument. And Althouse should be smarter than this. But is blinded by her gay advocacy. She is the one screaming about how the guy who said "niggardly" is being racist. Even though there are people who know better telling her that, no in fact it's a word based on an entirely differnt etymology and there is no racism there. I think the people Althouse refutes know a lot more about Keynes, and his life and his gayness and his effeteness and his philosophies, and are far more scholarly about it. Althouse just hears a comment about gays (and doesn't even provide the commment) and dismisses it all out of hand because of her blind advocacy of gayness as an identity that must not be questioned.

John said...

Bullshit, Ann. You are out of your depth on this. Stop beating it like a dead horse.

1) So JMK did think about the future. So what? His economic ideology, what we call Keynesian economics is based on the here and now at the expense of the future. we could argue whether this is a good policy or not (there are pros and cons) but I've never heard anyone say that Keynesian economics is based anything longer than the short term. (Short term being perhaps as long as 5 or even 10 years for this discussion)

Keynes thought about a lot of things. I would be amazed if he did not think about the future. Doesn't change what Keynesian economics is.

2) Are you as pure as all that? You have been pretty supportive of gay rights here, particularly gay marriage by any means possible.

Are you views on this perhaps influenced by the fact that you have a gay son? Not necessarily determined by that but influenced?

I don't mean that in an insulting way, simply as a statement of fact. My views on MDs and Engineers are influenced by the fact that I have a daughter and son who are those. Not being influenced would be unnatural.

If you say no, I will suspect strongly that you are lying to us. Perhaps to yourself as well.

John Henry

John said...

Time said:


It's awfully niggardly of you to impose your limitations on the language, you, you, you racist you!

How long are we going to niggle over where Keyne's economic views came from?

Is Ann trying to higgle us into submission here?

John Henry

Terry said...

The account of Ferguson's speech that Goldberg links to is here: http://www.fa-mag.com/news/harvard-professor-gay-bashes-keynes-14173.html
One commenter notes that the article's author (Kostigen) only paraphrases Ferguson's remarks. Nowhere does Kostigen say that he attended the meeting or has first hand knowledge of what Ferguson said.
Is this what a 21st century lynch mob looks like? Or is witch hunt a better metaphor?

John said...

It would probably be best not to talk about economist Deirdre McCloskey

So I won't. Other than to note that "Ms" McCloskey seems to be doing OK careerwise. Perhaps even better than "Mr" McCloskey did.

John Henry

Jay said...

And Althouse should be smarter than this

Yeah, well, I don't expect much from a woman who took to the comments section here scolding those commenting that "I have many friends who wonder why I give voice to views that are increasingly viewed as bigoted" only to follow that up with a bland pronouncement that the state can limit marriage to couples.

On this topic, intellectual honesty isn't her thing.

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
Who could have guessed that the case for austerity, used by all the conservative wonks and Republican congressmen, was not peer reviewed, and contained a basic spreadsheet error rendering it useless?

No. Not useless. You see the student that found the error agreed with the conclusion of the paper. That you cannot have high debt and economic growth.
What we are seeing now.
That is a basic economic truism. You can't spend your way out of debt with public money.
The resources that are now going into paying down the public debt cannot be used to promote growth.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

I don't think Keynes envisioned an economic model where debt accrues at a rate of approximately four times that of economic development. Who in their right mind would consider enslaving the producers in service of the consumers? Perhaps we should address the cost of living and market distorting government interventions, as well as dissociation of risk through policies such as welfare, Affirmative Action, etc., which sponsor corruption.

His reference to "accumulation of wealth" must refer to left-wing regimes where a minority establishes authoritative monopolies (i.e. government) in order to consolidate capital and control, which are then selectively redistributed to the population. There's a reason why revolts against totalitarian regimes are necessarily violent and consume lives on an unprecedented scale.

Anyway, while he's right in principle, on some things, he's wrong in practice. There is no ideal or equal outcome possible in a world with finitely accessible and available resources, and where people have diverse and diverging interests. I will say, however, that the Left has distorted his prescriptions beyond repair.

I wonder if it will only be Obama, and his cronies, who will enjoy a beachfront property in Hawaii under the Left's latest effort to recycle the oft-promised Utopian fantasy.

Michael K said...

garage mahal said...
Says the Keynesian idiot

"You don't have the chops or the knowledge to seriously criticize Keynes work. Just like I don't have the chops or knowledge to seriously criticize Milton Friedman's work."

garage, I was a Democrat until I took a course in economics in college. I have advanced degrees but not in economics.

In fact, I feel a bit sorry for Keynes' reputation because he recommended running surpluses in good economic times. He did not realize that politicians would use only half of his recommendations. Maybe he should have.

The political class, of both sides, is corrupt.

n.n said...

Michael K:

As I recall, Keynes favored the market system to establish pricing for goods and services. He also, as you mentioned, favored capital formation (i.e. savings). I think his mistake was to shift responsibility from the individual, and private sector generally, to the government.

The focus to limit damage caused by the periodic booms and busts should be on constraining leverage, so that accrual of debt does not exceed sustainable economic development. The government, and its cronies in the private sector, are principal actors in creating and maintaining the market distortions which drive these periodic disruptions.

He also favored full employment, but I do not recall that he mentioned equal employment or compensation.

Other than his emphasis of government's role, I would describe his position as conservative. That is classical liberal tempered by a Judeo-Christian moral code.

It's been some time since I last read any of his works, so my characterization of his principles may not be right.

n.n said...

I wonder if Keynes was pro-abortion/choice.

phx said...

"When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues…."

So give me the sixty-second version, which pseudo-moral principles and how are they tied to the accumulation of wealth as something of social importance?

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

An interesting topic, constrained by the new Gaytriarchy rules, derived from Alinsky, deeming defenders of Ferguson and those speaking contra Keynes as indecent bigots barely tolerated among our betters.

A swell cudgel. I wish I owned such a weapon.
Identify, isolate, freeze, escalate.

As a result, I am now wondering if the quote attributed to Ferguson actually occurred.
Video or it didn't happen.

jr565 said...

The anti christian economics of Keynes


This actually buttressses the argument of Keynes as NOT looking to the future in his economics, essentially making Fergusson's point (without necessaarily saying it was due to childlessness or gayness, though it does address his views on homosexuality as similarly tied into his anti puritanism).

At the core of many of Keynes' writings was an obsession with the subject of savings (thrift). It is a prominent part of nearly all of his economic works, and it lies at the heart of The General Theory. He rightly understood that the "virtue" of saving was related to the Christian worldview. He wrote that "The morals, the politics, the literature, and the religion of the age [are] joined in a grand conspiracy for the promotion of saving."

Why the animosity towards thrift? The act of saving points to a cause and a purpose beyond oneself. It indicates a "purposiveness" - to use Keynes' own word - to life. And this puposiveness points inescapably to a source of values, a reference point outside of oneself. It ultimately points to the transcendent God as the only true source of purpose.

As Keynes realized, the action of saving reflects a "future orientation," a belief that there is something worth deferring present wants for. Deferring the present for the future represents a value being placed upon something or someone beyond one's own immediate desires. It is a statement of self-denial. Keynes wrote scornfully of the `purposive' man who is always trying to secure a spurious and delusive immortality for his acts by pushing his interest in them forward into time. He does not love his cat, but his cat's kittens; nor, in truth, the kittens, but only the kittens' kittens, and so on forward for ever to the end of catdom.



Now, Althouse, you can disagree with the assertion that Keynes really didn't believe in the future. But if you do, you'll have to, I Don't know, come up with some assertion that actually buttresses your argument.

Otherwise, you are talking out of your ass. And simply becuase you don't like what Ferguson says about gays in passing. THat should make you disprove truth?

jr565 said...

And here is Skidelsky, Keyne's biographer discussing this very point about Keynes view of the future:

As his biographer, Robert Skidelsky noted, Keynes' had a "lifelong bias against long-run thinking" and "He was not prepared to risk too much of the present for the sake of a better future...." It is no wonder that he spoke derisively of "the hoarding instinct as the foundation...for the family and for the future"; for him thrift, family and concern for the future were inextricably linked.



Skidelsky is not a critic of Keynes at all by the way. If you check youtube for Keynes vs Hayek you'll find debates where he is speaking as a Kenesian. And he is saying that Keynes did not believe in the future. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Ferguson was right with his point, and Althouse and others are piling on, not because they know anything about Keynes, but because they need to push a pro gay agenda, even if the words spoken are in fact true about Keynes.

Pogo said...

Jr565 won the Internet today.

DADvocate said...

Looking back at the previous Keynes/Ferguson post, I see what this is really about, other than Althouse's obsession with homosexuality. It's revealed in this sentence: "Maybe times change and it's hard to keep up, but let's not cry over a Harvard professor's difficulty keeping up." Petty jealousy of a Harvard professor by a Wisconsin-Madison professor. Fairly typical academia.

El Pollo Real said...

Althouse always struck me as a thrifty person, or at least not a believer in living beyond ones means. I am the same way. So if Keynes really attacked thrift and savings like that in general way, then he was making a rather personal attack against a lot of individuals. No wonder he personifies a live-for-today ethos. I don't care if Keynes was gay or had kids or not--he just sounds to me like the father of irresponsible debt.

Pogo said...

Hillary Clinton is a Keynesian:

"What difference at this point does it make?"

The tyranny of the eternal now.
Fuck the past. Fuck the future.

El Pollo Real said...

Pogo, I just had the very ugly and horrifying thought that in the not too distant past we always had a monetarist component to our economy which opposed and held in check our worst Keynesian impulses (and vice versa). They are gone now. Both parties have devolved into the Keynesian ethos. The monetarists are now the Chinese and whoever else actually underwrites our debt. We've off-shored responsibility.

wildswan said...

Keynes was gay and had no children but he had relatives, brothers with children. Did they influence his thinking about the future? That, to me, is the question. There's a whole school of behavioral studies based on the idea that altruism rules, that the society which can mobilize some to sacrifice for the rest is the society that will prevail. This whether we speak of bees ants or humans. So I don't think anyone should say that they know in advance whether a individual gay person is selfish or not. Anymore than they know whether a capitalist is selfish or not.
And here's some evidence that Keynes thought about the future. He was in the Eugenics Society joining the Cambridge Eugenics Society in 1911 and being a vice president of the English Eugenics Society group during World war II The eugenicists, vile scum though they are, do think about the future. Wipe out this group, that group and the other group and we'll have a better future - humankind will evolve. So I think that Keynes did think about the future.

harrogate said...

This is a comedic thread. Appreciated.

RecChief said...

I don't know if being gay had anything to do with it, but having read some of Keynes' writings I have to say it looks to me like he was more concerned with the short term rather than long term. Did his homosexuality cause him to think this way? I don't know. More importantly, why is it morally wrong to entertain the thought that it did lead him to be more concerned with the short term? I thought that was what academia was all about? i don't think Ferguson should have apologized at all. He should have given us the evidence he had for such a train of thought.

David Davenport said...

He was in the Eugenics Society joining the Cambridge Eugenics Society in 1911 and being a vice president of the English Eugenics Society group during World war II

Please stop smearing eugenics by association with J. M. Keynes, who, as you say, "was gay and had no children."

Achilles said...

Lets discuss Keynes gayness some more and how wrong people are to call him out on it! What a meaningful topic!

At least we don't waste peoples time by discussing how Keynesian fiscal policy leads to huge deficits and the inevitable monetization of that debt. Or how the policy of monetization impoverishes the very people all that spending was supposed to help. And somehow all that spending goes to cronies and donors who were already very rich and the lions share of anti-poverty money goes to upper middle class leftist functionaries in the government. Strange how poor people are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer under Obama.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

Vader said...

All this talk about Keynes' childlessness causing him to care less about the future is kind of missing the real point.

Childless people have no one to take care of them in their old age. This is a powerful incentive to support social insurance. And social insurance for the aged is the opening wedge for the whole welfare state.

jr565 said...

Red Chief wrote:
I don't know if being gay had anything to do with it, but having read some of Keynes' writings I have to say it looks to me like he was more concerned with the short term rather than long term.


Trying to glean motivation of someone who died years ago is a bit of pop psychology, but I think the childlessness has more relevance than the gayness, except that gayness, especially gayness prior to gay rights, was not about long term permanence and raising children as a gay couple.
But even here I wouldn't say Keynes didn't care for the future BECAUSE he was gay. He didn't care for the future because that was his philosophy.
That fact though that he was gay and childless is not a total surprise though considering he was Keynes. Who he is as an individual is often reflected in what you think philosophically.

This is not to say though that all childless people are Keynesian. Or that all gay people are Keynesian. And not all Keynesians believe in everytying that Keynes says either, so just because Keynes didn't believe in the future generations doesn't mean that all Keynesians don't believe in the future generations.

So what Ferguson said might have been reaching, but so too are those suggesting that he is implying that all childless gay people don't care for future generations.



jr565 said...

David Davenport wrote:
Please stop smearing eugenics by association with J. M. Keynes, who, as you say, "was gay and had no children."

WHy can't gay radicals also believe in eugenics?

jr565 said...

David Davenport wrote:
Please stop smearing eugenics by association with J. M. Keynes, who, as you say, "was gay and had no children."

WHy can't gay radicals also believe in eugenics?

n.n said...

Vader:

Did Keynes support the welfare state?

You made an excellent point about the correlation between deconstructing the natural family structure, the first level of social organization, and the rise of the welfare state. However, it wasn't just the welfare state that followed, but also abortion, promiscuity, and every other dysfunctional behavior which undermines humanity and individual's fitness.

We know there is a direct correlation between policy and cultural shifts, and the progress of dysfunctional behaviors. The next step is to distinguish between cause and effect. As you have observed, that exercise is trivial. I would add, however, that the predisposition of men and women to embrace dysfunctional behaviors was already their, but those tendencies were tempered by a restrictive culture. When the cultural restraints were removed, the progress of dysfunctional behaviors was unfettered by a higher morality, and the policies and cultural shifts coincided to exploit them.

El Pollo Real said...

The "childless" mightl answer: "look how Keynes lives in the future." We, mere strangers, are talking about him two or three generations after he died. But Keynes was the exception. Most of the childless will not be so remembered and will extinguish a succession of genetic continuity which goes all the way back.

It's hard for me to image how they bear that with such nonchalance and aplomb. Another commenter today, kchicker, scoffed at the notion that people change when they have kids.

Maybe he actually lives emotionally through pets. But for me, that's a bit like saying that you don't somehow change when a loving parent dies. For people who have never experienced that, it's hard to describe. For those who say it never affected them--well I think they're lying or deceiving themselves.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

I think the higher morality that Keynes was referring to was Christian morality. While a philosophy cannot guarantee an outcome, it does set the initial boundary for people's behavior.

It was Christian morality which tempered individual ambitions for material, physical, and egoistic gratification.

It was the Christian religion or philosophy which directed people's compliance with evolutionary fitness and the American tribe grew to subdue the land.

It was Christianity which provided the required guidance to establish and develop the most successful nation on Earth, ever.

It is our rejection of traditional wisdom, and the temperance it taught, which has lead to progressive corruption and normalization of dysfunctional behaviors.

Wouldn't it be funny if people rejected a successful philosophy just because they didn't believe in a religion's God. How utterly childish, unless they rejected it not for capricious reasons, but out of fear.

Fortunately, they are safe until their post-mortem. At which time they will either be judged and rejected, or entropy will overcome the order which brought them into existence, and they will simply be heard no more. Either way, this is not a good reason to reject a philosophy while they exist on Earth.

How fun. Now I wonder who among us are the more childish and juvenile in their behavior. The people who admit their faith, comply with the natural order, or the people who routinely place their beliefs outside of a limited frame, and reject the near frame when they find its order to be inconvenient to their lifestyle.

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bardseyeview said...

If you're Jewish and read "love of money" and "usury" in a passage written by a Brit, you think Jew-hatred, I don't think incorrectly.

Jewish usury practiced over centuries, lifted the commoners over the aristocracy in Europe and England. (Jewish be default of course, since the feudal church outlawed it). The effete Bloomsbury elite, inheritors of aristocractic manners, would not have liked that.




Gabriel Hanna said...

I doubt very much that Keynes was "picturing female demons"--"hag-ridden" by then was cliche and he was not picturing anything, most likely, when he used the cliche. That's what "cliche" means. See also George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language".

Might as well say that people who write "tow the lion" are actually thinking of a lion.

thebuckwheat said...

Ralph Raico is professor of history emeritus at Buffalo State College. In his 2008 article, Was Keynes a Liberal?, he wrote:

Throughout Keynes’s career, however, clear indications appear of his longing for
a much more radical social order—in his words, a “New Jerusalem” (O’Donnell
1989, 294, 378 n. 27). He confessed that he had played in his mind “with the
possibilities of greater social changes than come within the present philosophies” even
of thinkers such as Sidney Webb. “The republic of my imagination lies on the extreme
left of celestial space,” he mused (1972, 309). Numerous statements strewn over
decades shed light on this somewhat obscure avowal. Taken together, they confirm
Joseph Salerno’s (1992) [1] argument that Keynes was a millennialist—a thinker who
viewed social evolution as pursuing a preordained course to what he conceived to be
a happy ending: a utopia (O’Donnell 1989, 288–94).[2]

[1] Joseph Salerno, 1992. The Development of Keynes’s Economics: From Marshall to Millennialism.
Review of Austrian Economics 6, no. 1: 3–64, link to PDF: http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE6_1_1.pdf

[2] Ralph Raico, Was Keynes a Liberal? The Independent Review, v. 13, n. 2, Fall 2008, ISSN 1086–1653, Copyright © 2008, pp. 165–188. link to PDF: http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_13_02_1_raico.pdf

mark abrams said...

"The love of money as a possession – as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life – will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease...." sounds very much like the reproach of a dissolute son to his father upon being informed that no further loans will be forthcoming . Alternatively Rousseau migh have said much the same when informed that his host had tired of feeding and housing him and it was time for Roussseau to move on.