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Keynes and Capitalism

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  • Roger E. Backhouse
  • Bradley W. Bateman

Abstract

We analyze Keynes's thoughts on capitalism by focusing on what he wrote on the topic, using the Collected Writings, taken as a whole, together with some unpublished material to tackle three issues: what Keynes meant by capitalism; the fragility of capitalism; and the morality of capitalism. In doing this, we juxtapose materials written at different stages of his career. While the context and the theoretical framework within which Keynes developed his economic thinking changed substantially, our argument is that beneath these many changes in his circumstances and analytical frame lay a remarkably consistent attitude toward capitalism, an attitude in which morality was central. This view of capitalism is linked with the personal values that animated his life, especially the values that he shared with the other members of Bloomsbury.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger E. Backhouse & Bradley W. Bateman, 2009. "Keynes and Capitalism," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 645-671, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:41:y:2009:i:4:p:645-671
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laidler,David, 1999. "Fabricating the Keynesian Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521641739, December.
    2. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-157, Jan.-Feb..
    4. Robert Dimand, 1988. "The Origins of the Keynesian Revolution," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 139, September.
    5. Rod O'Donnell, 1992. "The Unwritten Books and Papers of J. M. Keynes," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, pages 767-817.
    6. Fitzgibbons, Athol, 1988. "Keynes's Vision: A New Political Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286417.
    7. Goodwin, Craufurd D., 2000. "Economic Man in the Garden of Eden," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, pages 405-432.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carabelli, Anna & Cedrini, mario, 2014. "Not Beautiful, not Just, not Virtuous; 'And It Doesn't Deliver the Goods'. Capitalism and “Fear of Goods” in Keynes's Thought," CESMEP Working Papers 201405, University of Turin.
    2. Anna M. Carabelli & Mario A. Cedrini, 2010. "“Veiling The Controversies with Dubious Moral Attitudes”? Creditors and Debtors in Keynes’s Ethics of International Economic Relations," Working Papers 127, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    3. Philip E. Mirowski, 2012. "The Cowles Commission as an Anti-Keynesian Stronghold 1943–54," Chapters,in: Microfoundations Reconsidered, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Roger E. Backhouse, 2014. "Hayek and Keynes," Chapters,in: Elgar Companion to Hayekian Economics, chapter 5, pages 94-115 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    Keywords

    keynesian economics;

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