Keynes on Post-Scarcity Society

Chernomas, Robert
December 1984
Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Dec84, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p1007
Academic Journal
The objective of this article is to suggest that the General Theory of economist J.M. Keynes is, from beginning to end, a tract for a post-scarcity society not, of course, an account of its institutional details, but of Keynes's belief in the economic and human possibilities of such a society. In addition to foreseeing the possibility of overcoming the trade cycle and secular stagnation, Keynes envisaged a very different kind of 1984, one in which the need for accumulation had withered away. The aim of this article has been to suggest that Keynes was not exclusively interested in the short-run, in providing a basis for a neoclassical synthesis or in merely reforming the troubled capitalist economy into a more sensible community. Unlike his neoclassical counterparts, Keynes did not believe private property to be a natural necessity; he saw it not as a means in itself but as a means to provide the economic base for overcoming itself and its debilitating effects on humankind. For Keynes, the system where capitalists controlled investment, savings, and consumption had already outlived its laissez-faire stage and was soon to outlive its practical usefulness. He saw it not as a means in itself but as a means to provide the economic base for overcoming itself and its debilitating effects on humankind.


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