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Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Victorian moralism
Alison Hulme

this dispensation found new sanction in a rich and dynamic amalgamation of civic republican, Protestant, Stoic, and democratic sensibilities, but it did so primarily as a private affair’ (2011:13). Liberated from providentialism, and the sense that one’s place in heaven (or not) was determined from birth, the practice of thrift, if in any sense religious, became a way to secure a place in heaven one had not yet been given, as opposed to merely keeping the place one already had. In the nineteenth century one worked (and thrifted) one’s way into heaven. However, on the

in A brief history of thrift
Abstract only
Author: Bill Dunn

This book sees Keynes as neither villain nor hero and develops a sympathetic ‘left’ critique. Keynes was an avowedly elitist and pro-capitalist economist, whom the left should appropriate with caution. But his analysis provides insights at a level of concreteness which Marx’s analysis largely ignored and which were concerned with issues of the modern world which Marx could not have foreseen. A critical Marxist engagement can simultaneously increase the power of Keynes’s insight and enrich Marxism. To understand Keynes, whose work is liberally invoked but seldom read, the book first puts Keynes in context, explaining his biography and the extraordinary times in which he lived, his philosophy and his politics. The book describes Keynes’s developing critique of ‘the classics’, of mainstream economics as he found it, and summarises the General Theory. It shows how Keynes provides an enduringly valuable critique of orthodoxy but vital insights rather than a genuinely general theory. The book then develops a Marxist appropriation of Keynes’s insights. It argues that Marxist analysis of unemployment, of money and interest, and of the role of the state can be enriched through such a critical engagement. The book addresses Keynesianism after Keynes, critically reviewing the practices that came to be known as ‘Keynesianism’ and different theoretical traditions that have claimed his legacy. It considers the crisis of the 1970s, the subsequent anti-Keynesian turn, the economic and ecological crises of the twenty-first century, and the prospects of returning to Keynes and Keynesianism.

Why anger and confusion reign in an economy paralysed by myth
Author: Jack Mosse

For a number of decades our economy has failed to work for ordinary citizens. Stagnant wages have been combined with underemployment and rising costs of basic goods like healthcare, education and housing. At the same time, a small minority of the population make obscene profits, while in the background we continue to hurtle headlong into an environmental emergency. However, despite there being no shortage of anger and anti-elite sentiment expressed in what is often referred to as the ‘culture wars’, no significant challenge to the dominant economic model has broken into the mainstream. The pound and the fury argues that behind this failure of imagination are a set of taken-for-granted myths about how the economy works – myths that stifle debate and block change. The book analyses these myths, explores their origin, how they circulate and how they might be dispelled at a time when, away from the public gaze, economic theory is opening up new possibilities of economic action. Possibilities that, as we emerge from the chaos of Covid-19, could lead to the radical structural changes we desperately need.

The well-being of Europe’s citizens depends less on individual consumption and more on their social consumption of essential goods and services – from water and retail banking to schools and care homes – in what we call the foundational economy. Individual consumption depends on market income, while foundational consumption depends on social infrastructure and delivery systems of networks and branches, which are neither created nor renewed automatically, even as incomes increase. This historically created foundational economy has been wrecked in the last generation by privatisation, outsourcing, franchising and the widespread penetration of opportunistic and predatory business models. The distinctive, primary role of public policy should therefore be to secure the supply of basic services for all citizens (not a quantum of economic growth and jobs). Reconstructing the foundational has to start with a vision of citizenship that identifies foundational entitlements as the conditions for dignified human development, and likewise has to depend on treating the business enterprises central to the foundational economy as juridical persons with claims to entitlements but also with responsibilities and duties. If the aim is citizen well-being and flourishing for the many not the few, then European politics at regional, national and EU level needs to be refocused on foundational consumption and securing universal minimum access and quality. If/when government is unresponsive, the impetus for change has to come from engaging citizens locally and regionally in actions which break with the top down politics of ‘vote for us and we will do this for you’.

Bill Dunn

Introduction This chapter introduces economics as Keynes encountered it and then how his own work before the General Theory begins to break from orthodoxy. Keynes depicts almost all his predecessors, at least those he considered worth discussing, as ‘classical’ economists. He acknowledges that this stretches the concept, but it allows him to include not just ‘Ricardo and James Mill and their predecessors …[but also] the followers of Ricardo’ ( 1973 : footnote 3). His understanding therefore includes the later marginalist or ‘neo-classical’ writers

in Keynes and Marx
Jack Mosse

doors to all these foreign people, they're given houses, they're given furniture, they're given this that and the other. And then you've got someone that was born and bred here, I worked until I became ill, and now I have to basically beg for my little bit of money. They know exactly what they're doing! My mum's one of them pensioners that's looking at cuts. My mum is 77, she started working from the age of 10. I think she's entitled to her money, and I think if they took some of their own pay cuts they wouldn't have to tax us so much. Because, trust me, they could

in The pound and the fury
Abstract only
Bill Dunn

intellectually as well as personally to several leading philosophers of the age. He was particularly strongly influenced by Moore, and wrote one major work, the Treatise on Probability , which operates at the intersection of mathematics, logic and philosophy. There is controversy about the influence of this early work, and of Keynes’s philosophical thought in general, but there are clearly connections between his philosophy, his politics and his mature economics (Fitzgibbons 1988 , O’Donnell 1991 , Tabb 1999 ). It will be argued that Keynes never develops an entirely

in Keynes and Marx
Abstract only
Foundational matters
The Foundation Economy Collective

the late 1970s there has also been a presupposition in favour of competition and markets through structural reform which aims to make labour markets more flexible and introduces large-scale privatisation and outsourcing. In all of this, foundational services and the infrastructures that enable them to be provided are subordinate. It is assumed that income support must not interfere with work incentives, education should create workforce skills and health services are to be funded from taxes on incomes, even as tax rates are being cut and growth is increasingly hard

in Foundational economy
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Towards a critical but constructive appraisal of Keynes’s thought
Bill Dunn

, psychological characteristics, the power of the nation-state, are at best partial and one-sided but become potentially useful once understood within the context of exploitation, accumulation and dynamic change: once put in their proper analytical place. Much of Keynes’s work can be reconceived in this light. One important implication, which will be emphasised in what follows, is that Keynes’s general theory is rather less general than he claims (Hodgson 2004 ). He bases this claim for generality primarily on the grounds that his theory incorporates the ‘special case’ of

in Keynes and Marx
Abstract only
Bill Dunn

of his political views. He wants to develop a more realistic theory, but even his most abstract work is oriented to providing a better guide to policy. Keynes can be seen as writing in the ‘advice to princes’ tradition, offering a better guide for rulers of the existing system. As usual with Keynes, there are ambiguities and his political stance is contested. Ostensibly this is odd because, although Keynes says some different things, he fairly consistently occupies a space bounded on the one hand by British liberalism, broadly understood to involve support for

in Keynes and Marx