Steve Keen: Food For Thought

I’ll only add this comment for the time being:

As I noted recently, socialism is NOT a cure for facism.  Keen has, in my opinion, always added good value to the economic debate, especially insofar as he does help to understand the debt/money elements that Austrians too often underemphasize.  As a post-Keynsian, he also helps to correct the mistakes that most Keynsians have made.

But, here’s the rub: again, socialism is NOT a cure for facism.  The neo-classicists, for all the faults that Keen lays at their feet (for which I might concur on a great deal), they still defend economic liberty, which is the ultimate basis for all other freedoms.  Still, good food for thought here.  – HT

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2 responses to “Steve Keen: Food For Thought

  1. Very interesting talk. I slightly disagree with the good professor’s take about the right demonizing minorities and this bringing about a kind of fascism. On the contrary, the socialist left, both in the United States and the UK, are ginning up and exploiting minority frustrations and redirecting them towards any semblance of the free market economy. The socialists are actually nationalizing swathes of the economy, as is consistent with the point of view that socialism is just a kind of propaganda for fascism in practice. Socialists never emancipate anyone; never have and never will.

    By the way, added you to my blogroll and thanks for stopping by and adding me to your own.

    Cheers, RO

    • RO: Nice of you to stop by again. Regarding the various economic schools, I find myself largely in the Austrian camp, although there are things of value offered by the Post-Keynesians. Steven Keen’s real value, in my humble opinion, is that he’s really been focussed on the issue of endogenous credit money creation and the patently deflationary effects that come from a credit crash and associated deleveraging. While I find myself leaning strongly in the direction of inflationary expectations, this is based on the belief that the political powers that be will find themselves unable to do anything but print/borrow ever more money to make up the gap left by the private sector. As our individual and collective incomes decline, so to will their revenue, all the while the social needs and associated unrest will continue to climb. Real austerity, for what it’s worth, would inevitably tip us wholesale into a deflationary event of rather significant proportions, as the Greeks are discovering. The answer here, I suspect, will be the extent to which the Federal Reserve is really willing to backstop the government’s obligations. We’ll see.

      Regarding facism/socialism, I see very little difference between them in practical (i.e. libertarian) terms. Two sides of the same statist coin, as it were. Unfortunately, we’ve progressed (pun intended) down a road that has evolved to include significant elements of both, and it’s getting harder all the time to tell the difference between them. What is the essential difference between a nationalized industry and one that is on the hook for taxpayer bailouts? Or the difference between resources ostensibly owned by the “collective” but operated by the political class and those that are only permitted by bought and paid for politicians? None that I can see. The only material difference, one that the OWS crowd might well point out to us, is the degree of progressive taxation and the level of social safety net provided. In my opinion, the socialist doesn’t really care who profits, so long as he get’s his allotment of pie.

      By the way, I like your phrase “socialism is just a kind of propaganda for fascism in practice”. Too true. These are totalitarian statists, either way you split it.

      Cheers, HT

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