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In the Long Run We Are All Dead

In the Long Run We Are All Dead

If, in liberal capitalism, political economy is the science of government, what is it for? Is it distributional, to realise the revolution without revolutionaries? Or is it to figure out how to forestall the revolution, to teach the masses to consent to remain poor? Keynesianism is the political economy that answers 'yes' on both counts: the solution to crisis-induced liberal anxiety since the French Revolution, an anxiety for which 'political economy' seemed a cure. If the financial crisis of 2007-2008 briefly resurrected a Keynesian sensibility long declared dead, its reluctant radicalism finds itself renewed not because 'Keynesian economics' is palatable once more, but because the risks to 'civilisation' have posed themselves so aggressively it seems no one can afford not to listen.

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