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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7285/keynes-and-the-totalitarian-state/

Keynes and the Totalitarian State

October 9, 2007 by

More bon mots from Dr. Hulsmann’s Mises – The Last Knight of Liberalism:

“In the preface to the German edition [of his General Theory], Keynes boasted that his theory was particularly well suited for totalitarian regimes and lamented that it was less fit for the conditions prevailing in freer societies.”

On p. xxvi of his Collected Writings Keynes writes:

“Nevertheless the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.”

Mises writes in summation and as a general response in “Lord Keynes and Say’s Law,” in Hazlitt, ed., The Critics of Keynesian Economics, p. 319:

“The policies he advocated were precisely those which almost all governments, including the British, had already adopted many years before his “General Theory” was published. Keynes was not an innovator and champion of new methods of managing economic affairs. His contribution consisted rather in providing an apparent justification for the policies which were popular with those in power in spite of the fact that all economists viewed them as disastrous. His achievement was a rationalization of the policies already practiced.”

{ 7 comments }

Anthony October 12, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Keynes was a bit of a fascist. Although I loathe his economics, I do not find the man himself contemptible at all.

Mrhuh October 13, 2007 at 12:09 pm

I once pointed out Keynes’ introduction to the German version of his book to a friend of mine who is a historian and he pointed out that you need to keep an eye on who Keynes was writing for. If he had said that democratic states are better suited for his ideas, then he wouldn’t have had a hearing probably in Nazi Germany.

Ken Zahringer October 13, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Regardless of what audience Keynes may have been addressing, one simple fact remains: He was correct in his assessment. States around the globe have used his “theories” as a rationalization for increasing intervention and continually moving toward totalitarianism.

Joel T. LeFevre October 15, 2007 at 12:31 am

Probably the best work on J.M. Keynes is Keynes At Harvard: Economic deception as a political credo published by the Veritas Foundation in 1960–although the version to get is the 1969 version published by Probe Research which added three very important chapters.

Reading this work leaves no doubt what Keynes & Co. were trying to do in advancing his theories. The three later chapters also detail the perversions which Keynes and his friends were into, including homosexual pedophilia, and their determination to make push these perversions into Western society. (These chapters should not be read on a full stomach.)

The book is unfortunately out of print, though there is an effort being made to rectify this. But there are still copies circulating on used book Internet sites.

Anthony October 15, 2007 at 1:32 pm

Is the book credible?

Peary Perry May 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm

his book has been re-printed as of May 2009…go to Amazon…

Believe All Things October 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Keynes at Harvard is available online. Murray N. Rothbard’s review of the book can be found on page 208 of Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard. He presents a scathing review of the book and the logical fallacy of the theory upon which the book is based. Rothbard’s review is highly recommended.

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