Keynes: Economics as a Magical System

THE INFLUENCE AND reputation of John Maynard Keynes are not explained by his having been a great economist, nor did his importance lie primarily in his economic theories. He was, indeed, a very great economist, in all likelihood the last of the “pure” economists of the classical school, at once the legitimate heir and the liquidator of Adam Smith. But he was, above all, the representative political thinker of the interwar period; he expressed perfectly its attempt to master what it knew to be a new world by pretending that it was the old one. Keynes’s work was built on the realization that the ...

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