sexta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2004

Edmund Burke e John Maynard Keynes

Em 1992, Murray N. Rothbard publica um paper chamado "Keynes, the Man" (Originally published in Dissent on Keynes: A Critical Appraisal of Keynesian Economics, Edited by Mark Skousen. New York: Praeger (1992). Pp. 171–198.). onde analisa a vida de "John Maynard Keynes, the man—his character, his writings, and his actions throughout life—".

John Maynard Keynes, recordemos, é o responsável na economia e filosofia política por credibilizar o que não devia merecer qualquer crédito. Ainda hoje, por incrivel que pareça, é aceite universalmente pelo maistream académico e igualmente à esquerda, centro e direita (e posso juntar até a extrema-esquerda e extrema direita). Se hoje vivemos no consenso do centralismo social-democrata, esmagados pelos virtuais e falsos princípios (e falsa ciência) da macro-economia, a ele se deve.

Rothbard fala da passagem de Keynes pelos The Apostles (..."were not simply a social club, in the manner of Ivy League secret fraternities. They were also a self-consciously intellectual elite, especially interested in philosophy and its applications to aesthetics and life. Apostle members were chosen almost exclusively from King’s and Trinity, and they met every Saturday evening behind locked doors to deliver and discuss papers.") e da qual diz:

"The extraordinary arrogance of the Apostles is best summed up in the Society’s Kantian half- joke: that the Society alone is “real,” whereas the rest of the world is only “phenomenal.” Maynard himself would refer to non-Apostles as “phenomena.” What all this meant was that the world outside was regarded as less substantial, less worthy of attention than the Society’s own collective life….It was a joke with a serious twist,"

e ainda

"(...) The Apostolic confrontation with bourgeois values included praise for avant garde aesthetics, holding homosexuality to be morally superior (with bisexuality a distant second 3), and hatred for such traditional family values as thrift or any emphasis on the future or long run, as compared to the present. (“In the long run,” as Keynes would later intone in his famous phrase, “we are all dead.”)"

Depois fala da fase BLOOMSBURY

"After graduation from Cambridge, Keynes and many of his Apostle colleagues took up lodgings in Bloomsbury, an unfashionable section of north London. There they formed the now- famous Bloomsbury Group, the center of aesthetic and moral avant-gardism that constituted the most influential cultural and intellectual force in England during the 1910s and 1920s.(...)

With a major emphasis on rebellion against Victorian values, it is no wonder that Maynard Keynes was a distinguished Bloomsbury member. One particular emphasis was pursuit of avantgarde and formalistic art—pushed by art critic and Cambridge Apostle Roger Fry (...) Virginia Stephen Woolf would become a prominent exponent of formalistic fiction. And all of them energetically pursued a lifestyle of promiscuous bisexuality, as was brought to light in Michael Holroyd’s (1967) biography of Strachey.

Depois temos a descoberta por Keynes da THE MOORITE PHILOSOPHER

The greatest impact on Keynes’s life and values, the great conversion experience for him, came not in economics but in philosophy. A few months after Keynes’s initiation into the Apostles, G.E. Moore, a professor of philosophy at Trinity who had become an Apostle a decade earlier than Keynes, published his magnum opus, Principia Ethica (1903). Both at the time and in reminiscence three decades later, Keynes attested to the enormous impact that the Principia had had upon him and his fellow Apostles."

O efeito foi: Keynes and his fellow Apostles enthusiastically embraced the idea of a “religion” composed of moments of “passionate contemplation and communion” of and with objects of love or friendship.

Mas já aqui surge uma nuance: They repudiated, however, all social morals or ge neral rules of conduct, totally rejecting Moore’s penultimate chapter on “Ethics in Relation to Conduct.” As Keynes states in his 1938 paper:

"In our opinion, one of the greatest advantages of his [Moore’s] religion was that it made morals unnecessary….We entirely repudiated a personal liability on us to obey general rules. We claimed the right to judge every individual case on its merits, and the wisdom to do so successfully. This was a very important part of our faith, violently and aggressively held, and for the outer world it was our most obvious and dangerous characteristic. We repudiated entirely customary morals, conventions and traditional wisdom. We were, that is to say, in the strict sense of the term, immoralists. (Keynes [1951] 1972: 142–43)

E na página 9 (de 35) Rothbard fala do que Keynes dizia admirar em Burke, onde Keynes pega em partes do seu pensamento, acrescenta as suas, e acabar a construir um edificio no qual, Burke nunca iria querer entrar (com a palavra liberal, sucedeu o mesmo).

If Moore was Keynes’s ethical hero, Burke may lay strong claim to be being his political hero,” writes Skidelsky (1983: 154).

O que diz Rothbard: "Edmund Burke? What could that conservative worshiper of tradition have in common with Keynes, the statist and rationalist central planner? Once again, as with Moore, Keynes venerated his man with a Keynesian twist, selecting the elements that fitted his own character and temperament.

What Keynes took from Burke is revealing. (Keynes presented his views in a lengthy undergraduate prize-winning English essay on “The Political Doctrines of Edmund Burke.”)

There is, first, Burke’s militant opposition to general principles in politics and, in particular, his championing of expediency against abstract natural rights.

Secondly, Keynes agreed strongly with Burke’s high time preference, his downgrading of the uncertain future versus the existing present. Keynes therefore agreed with Burke’s conservatism in the sense that he was hostile to “introducing present evils for the sake of future benefits.” There is also the right-wing expression of Keynes’s general deprecation of the long run, when “we are all dead.” As Keynes put it, “It is the paramount duty of governments and of politicians to secure the well-being of the community under the case in the present, and not to run risks overmuch for the future” (ibid.: 155– 56).

Thirdly, Keynes admired Burke’s appreciation of the “organic” ruling elite of Great Britain. There were differences over policy, of course, but Keynes joined Burke in hailing the system of aristocratic rule as sound, so long as governing personnel were chosen from the existing organic elite. Writing of Burke, Keynes noted, “the machine itself [the British state] he held to be sound enough if only the ability and integrity of those in charge of it could be assured.” (Ibid., p. 156)

In addition to his neo-Burkean disregard for principle, lack of concern for the future, and admiration for the existing British ruling class, Keynes was also sure that devotion to truth was merely a matter of taste, with little or no place in polities. He wrote: “A preference for truth or for sincerity as a method may be prejudice based on some aesthetic or personal standard, inconsistent, in politics, with practical good” (Johnson, 1978: 24)

Indeed Keynes displayed a positive taste for lying in politics. He habitually made up statistics to suit his political proposals, and he would agitate for world monetary inflation with exaggerated hyperbole while maintaining that “words ought to be a little wild—the assault of thoughts upon the unthinking.” But, revealingly enough, once he achieved power, Keynes admitted that such hyperbole would have to be dropped: “When the seats of power and authority have been attained, there should be no more poetic license” (Johnson and Johnson 1978: 19–21)."
O texto continua a análise da vida Keynes e merece ser lido na totalidade.

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