Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The Times - Karl Marx:did he get it right

Keynes, for three decades virtually the economic anti-christ, has now become so fashionable that it is almost embarrassing - the Financial Times decided last week to issue a primer on his views.
Don't forget as recently as 1971 Richard Nixon declared 'we are all Keynesians now' before all Right-thinking economists declared Friedman and Hayek had 'disproved' Keynes.
But The Times is concerned more radical conclusions may be drawn. It has decided to poll its readers on the following question:
'Did Karl Marx get it right? That's the poser in today's paper. The Prussian has recently been ignored by the mainstream - consigned to obscure curricula as the business world steamed ahead. But as markets plummeted last week, dog-eared copies of Das Kapital started to fly off the shelves.
'Comment Central wants to know your thoughts. Can you hear an 'I told you so' reverberating from Highgate Cemetery? Or are you still using the work of its most famous resident to prop up your television?
'Cast your vote here.'
Doubtless Keynes and Marx are having an interesting discussion in the afterlife about the finer points of economic theory. Here and now socialists should be looking with renewed interest at the views of the two most important left wing economists.

3 comments:

VBN said...

I admit to cringing a bit every time I heard the American tax-rebate plan earlier this year derided as "Keynsian." As far as I'm aware, nowhere in "General Theory" does it say "Give people money and they will spend it." My understanding of Keynes is that the important relationship is between employment and demand, not liquidity and demand. But is this a distinction without a difference?

Alun Griffiths said...

Yes I suppose investigating social relations between economic actors has some merit when all else fails, and that Dialectical stuff can help predict...

Kevin J. Brehony said...

He wasn't Prussian. He was born in the Rhineland-Palatinate.