Will the real Keynes please stand up?


Michael Roberts Blog

An argument has broken out among top Keynesian economists about what is the Keynesian theory on economic fluctuations in capitalist economies (i.e, crises and slumps).  The debate has taken the usual form of arguing about what Keynes ‘really meant’, whether he was really a radical that dispensed with neoclassical equilibrium theory or whether followers and supporters of Keynesian economic theory have distorted the master’s ideas so much as to reduce their insights to nothing.

This argument reminds me of the unending one within Marxian economics that some of us have been engaging in yet again recently. Did Marx have a clear theory of crises under capitalism in his works that he stuck to consistently; or were his ideas so sketchy that followers like Friedrich Engels distorted them (see my posts on the debate with Michael Heinrich, http://gesd.free.fr/mrhtprof.pdf)? And is the theory of value as the basis of Marxian economics…

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