Liveblogging World War II: May 4, 1943
Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes

Psychohistorical Origins of Niall Ferguson's Bizarre Remarks About John Maynard Keynes


Henry Blodget writes:

Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson Reportedly Just Blamed Keynes' Economic Philosophy On Him Being Homosexual And Childless:

The source appears to be a rather remarkable screed by Gertrude Himmelfarb in a rather McCarthyite vein, that manages to get a lot about Keynes's economics and his family life substantially wrong in a very short space, which in turn appears to be based on the views of Joseph Schumpeter:

Gertrude Himmelfarb:

From Clapham to Bloomsbury: a genealogy of morals: In one sense Keynes is the most interesting of the [Bloomsbury] group, because he defied at least one of its precepts. He not only lived a "life of action"; he did so in the most bourgeois and materialistic of professions. If it was partly accident that originally drew him to economics, it was talent and ambition that kept him there. Yet even while pursuing that sordid occupation, at Cambridge and at the Treasury, he made it clear that he regarded economics as a separate and altogether inferior sphere of life and that he personally deplored any emphasis on economic motives or criteria. Bertrand Russell recalled that while Keynes "escaped into the great world," he did so with the air of a "bishop in partibus"; when he ventured forth into the mundane world of economics or politics, "he left his soul at home."

In fact, something of the "soul" of Bloomsbury penetrated even into Keynes's economic theories. There is a discernible affinity between the Bloomsbury ethos, which put a premium on immediate and present satisfactions, and Keynesian economics, which is based entirely on the short run and precludes any long-term judgments. (Keynes's famous remark. "In the long run we are all dead," also has an obvious connection with his homosexuality - what Schumpeter delicately referred to as his "childless vision.") The same ethos is reflected in the Keynesian doctrine that consumption rather than saving is the source of economic growth - indeed, that thrift is economically and socially harmful. In The Economic Consequences of the Peace, written long before The General Theory, Keynes ridiculed the "virtue" of saving. The capitalists, he said, deluded the working classes into thinking that their interests were best served by saving rather than consuming. This delusion was part of the age-old Puritan fallacy…