Tuesday, 30 March 2021

"The power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas."

 

"The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas. Not, indeed, immediately, but after a certain interval; for in the field of economic and political philosophy there are not many who are influenced by new theories after they are twenty-five or thirty years of age, so that the ideas which civil servants and politicians and even agitators apply to current events are not likely to be the newest. But, soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.

~ John Maynard Keynes, from the 'Concluding Notes' to his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

 

2 comments:

  1. So true. Witness the damage being done today by the post-modernist ideas that were introduced to most philosophy and economics departments of Western universities thirty or forty years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just goes to show that a broken clock can be bang-on accurate twice a day.

    ReplyDelete

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