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Wish there was a Lord Keynes here, today?

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Introduction

Wish there was a Lord Keynes here, today? While watching the WTC/Afghanistan bombing, I felt the need for a John Maynard Keynes. Keynes was one of the most important economists of the twentieth century. He was also one of the important intellectual forces of the early twentieth century who contributed to laying the foundations of "modernism." But Keynes was more than an intellectual. He was a statesman-perhaps even a conscience of society. He spoke freely and from intellectual conviction. He was able to think beyond narrow patriotic concerns. But then we must remember he had no consulting contracts official positions, or any other kind of funding to hold him back from his intellectual convictions. At the end of World War 1, the allies, UK, France, England and Italy had got together and imposed a fairly harsh treaty on Germany. As history has shown the treaty imposed a very harsh economic burden on Germany. The economic mess-unemployment slow growth and hyperinflation-- that ensued in Germany led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. Eventually the roots of the second World War are known to lie in that poorly conceived peace treaty at the end of World War 1. ...read more.

Middle

Self-determination should not always be hijacked by big powers for their own Balance of power considerations as has been done in Afghansitan with disastrous consequences. Once again Keynes is crisp and biting. "Prudence required some measure of lip service to the 'ideals' of foolish Americans and hypocritical Englishmen; but it would be stupid to believe that there is much room in the world, as it really is, for such affairs as the League of Nations, or any sense in the principle of self-determination except as an ingenious formula for rearranging the balance of power in one's own interests." Keynes described the leaders of the victor nations in details. They were no statesmen. In fact, Keynes describes them as small time politicians who were totally unequal to the task of defining a new age. Of the French Prime Minister, he disdainfully says "One could not despise Clemenceau or dislike him, but only take a different view as to the nature of civilized man, or indulge, at least, a different hope." The British Prime Minister was more worried about an ill-timed election and "Within a brief period, therefore, after the armistice, the popular victor (England), at the height of his influence and his authority, decreed a general election. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite our technological progress, our approach to solving political problems remains the same. Politically, we appear to have wasted a century. Keynes had appropriately challenged politicians to move away from base, vindictive and vengeful policies, saying, "nations are not authorized, by religion or by natural morals, to visit on the children of their enemies the misdoings of parents or of rulers." Sadly, politicians and political processes still remain of the nineteenth century variety. In an era of globalization, sovereign egocentric agendas of a feudal era abound. Like petty feudal monarchs, they continue to connive for control of resources like oil. Expansionist and territorial policies continue to be practiced. Domestic narrow-minded lobbies determine policies while "slow-minded and bewildered" politicians appear to be unequal to the task of providing the leadership that is required in the 21st century. Lobbies and sovereign leaders continue to stand "for stubbornness and a refusal of conciliations." What a pity, that the age of internet and global media has no room for a Keynes. All journalism as well as intellectual thought appears to be paid for by the lobbies. Academics, so locked into their research funding, find it difficult to air views that are not politically correct. I wonder whether these funding arrangements and this media might even have stifled an eminent person of Lord Keynes's stature? ?? ?? (continued...) - 2 - ...read more.

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