Whether they honor his ideas or are just using his name to support a big government command and control agenda; progressive liberals are either openly radical, or blissfully ignorant regarding their allegiance to their economic spiritual leader, John Maynard Keynes.
Who is this man that defines the intellectual base of the progressive economic philosophy? In this first of a two part series we will spotlight Keynes the radical. In part two, we will document Keynes’s classical economic beliefs and point out how his philosophies do not align with today’s liberal economic agenda.
John Maynard Keynes was an intellectually inconsistent man who played fast and loose with economic principles. He had no problem of articulating and supporting a set of steadfast core economic doctrines on one hand, and then offering up their antitheses with equal conviction on the other. Some might regard him as being more interested in elevating himself as a visionary than actually having a visionary philosophy. Eloquent, and at times aligned with the progressive movement, his stature has been exploited by those who want to solidify economic power in the central government.
Keynes believed at times that capitalism was an ill and that society could do better. He railed against fundamental market precepts and despised the use of a negative human nature to propel man forward. Keynes wanted to end the free market system and replace it with a totalitarian system packaged as a utopian dream.
“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. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. 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 recognised 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 everyone 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.” -The Future, Essays in Persuasion, 1931.
In short, capitalism is an evil mental health disorder that must be cured; yet to destroy it we must be covert and act as if we believe in free markets.
Read More at Real Clear Markets . By Dean Kalahar.