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View Diary: The Most Important Economic Theorem You've Never Heard Of (174 comments)

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  •  Keynes Was a Strong Advocate of Capitalism (2+ / 0-)
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    bobdevo, fumie

    He believed that free markets and free enterprise ("individualism" as he referred to it) was the best guarantee against totalitarianism:

    But, above all, individualism, if it can be purged of its defects and its abuses, is the best safeguard of personal liberty in the sense that, compared with any other system, it greatly widens the field for the exercise of personal choice. It is also the best safeguard of the variety of life, which emerges precisely from this extended field of personal choice, and the loss of which is the greatest of all the losses of the homogeneous or totalitarian state. For this variety preserves the traditions which embody the most secure and successful choices of former generations; it colours the present with the diversification of its fancy; and, being the handmaid of experiment as well as of tradition and of fancy, it is the most powerful instrument to better the future.

    The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, p. 380.

    So all capitalists and conservatives should embrace Keynesian principles as the only war to preserve free markets.

    •  Mighty big IF . . . . (4+ / 0-)
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      Stroszek, CupofTea, fumie, drewfromct
      individualism, if it can be purged of its defects and its abuses

      as we have come to see in the wreckage of the global economy thanks to unmitigated greed and corruption . . .

      I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by bobdevo on Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 01:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's not really an argument for capitalism (2+ / 0-)
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      CupofTea, drewfromct

      It's a completely trivial, tautological statement.

      If you purge anything of "its defects and its abuses," you will end up with an awesome system.

      It's basically the equivalent of saying, "If capitalism didn't have flaws, it would be a flawless economic system."

      Well, duh.

      •  Keynes dedicated The General Theory (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stroszek, fumie

        to explaining just how capitalism could be purged of its defects and abuses.  He condemned the Wall Street casino as well as government's tolerance for high unemployment that we see today, just as he saw 75 years ago.

        Keynes dedicated his life to reforming capitalism because he obviously believed it was the best alternative to socialism and all other "isms".  But he had no patience for those who believed capitalism could function on its own without government regulation.

        He would be at OWS leading the charge against corruption and indifference to the unemployed, but he also knew that capitalism was a powerful force for freedom of choice.

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