Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Keynes Wasn't a Communist, Just a Touch Pink?

I don't mind addressing Niall Ferguson's somewhat thoroughly erroneous take on the personal life and philosophy of John Maynard Keynes even after his fairly prompt apology if only because the error wasn't an error nor was this cranky ad hom out of the blue, either as a tactic from the right (re: personal arguments against Keynes) or from Ferguson (re: ad hom in general).  (To be taken seriously, I would think it would be better not to say things that are specifically untrue because they suit one's argument but then conveniently forget one's actual meaning in saying them in the first place when either defending oneself or apologizing, but what do I know?) Just to sum it all up, what he was saying is:

[Ferguson:] Keynes was a homosexual and had no intention of having children. We are NOT dead in the long run…our children are our progeny. It is the economic ideals of Keynes that have gotten us into the problems of today. Short term fixes, with a neglect of the long run, leads to the continuous cycles of booms and busts. Economies that pursue such short term solutions have always suffered not only decline, but destruction, in the long run.
Right up until everyone understood what he was saying and properly thumped him for it.   After being reminded that Keynes very nearly became a father and was actually concerned about the future enough to have written a bit about it, he can't imagine why he said anything about it at all, at all:

My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life. As those who know me and my work are well aware, I detest all prejudice, sexual or otherwise.
I don't necessarily believe he's prejudiced. But he doubtless knows some people are, doesn't he? And doesn't that go some way to suggest why he uses this particular line of offense against Keynes? It wouldn't be a impossible thing to suppose regarding a popularizer of ideas, perhaps?

Don't ask me. I'm probably just inferring too much from the times he's had to point out that he is an imperialist, not a racist, by Jingo.

(I think I will add a label "word mean things" to my list of tags.)

2 comments:

Yastreblyansky said...

"Officer, I have no idea how those words got into my mouth,"

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

As those who know me and my work are well aware, I detest all prejudice, sexual or otherwise.

"Who you gonna believe, ad hoc me, or mea culpa me?"