2013년 1월 12일 토요일

[Some excerpts of Austin Robinson's] “John Maynard Keynes 1883-1946”

출처: The Economic Journal, Vol. 57, No. 225 (Mar., 1947), pp. 1-68.
지은이: Austin Robinson
자료: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2225867

※ some excerpts of which:

* * *

JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
1883-1946

I

We are to-day too near to Maynard Keynes to appraise him dispassionately and to establish with complete detachment just how high he stands in the company of the great. To measure him must be the tak of our successors, with the truer perspective that time will give. It must be our task to put on record for them the qualities whih, to his own generation and to his pupils, made the mind and personality of Keynes something wholly of its own; to attempt to capture and imprison in words the evanescent elements of his make-up, so that they may picture, as nearly as they can, the man as we knew him.

But even for a task thus limited, any one person must feel conscious of his own inadequacies. For more thatn any man in our times Keynes was, not indeed in a chameleon sense all things to all men, but in a truer sense many things to many men. His tastes were catholic, and he had the gift of achieving a knowlege of many subject to a level that made him the respected confident of those that professed it. With philosophers, mathematicians, historians, bibliophiles, with the critics and exponents of modern painting and of the ballet, just as truly as with economists, financiers, civil servants and politicians, he could speak on a ground of equality of knowledge and understanding. And because of this, what one man saw in Maynard Keynes was likely to be someting different from what another might see.

II

(... ...)


VIII

(... ...)

The Treatise on Mony is in retrospect far more difficult than any of Keynes's earlier works to assess. It contains very much that has a permanent importanceㅡin particular the brilliant discussion of index numbers in Book II, which retraverses some of Keynes's earliest work in 1909. Much also that he wrote on the applications of monetary policy has been little affected by subsequent changes in detailed analytical thought. The fundamental equations of the Treatise belonged, however, to a formative stage in Keynes's thinking. The book will, I suspect, remain of permanent interest because it was here that the savings and investment nexus made its first appearance in Keynes' published work. But Keynes was still thinking primarily, as had the creators of the various velocity of circulation theories, of the factors which made prices go up and down. The fundamental equations of the Treatise belong to the theory of money. It was only later that Keynes helped to break down the division which goes far back in the history of economic thought, at any rate in Cambridge, between the theory of employment and the theory of money. Before the appearance of the Treatise, there were individuals, it is true, who had seen, particularly in relation to the trade cycle, the limitations of this dichotomy. Both Robertson, in some of his earlest work, and Knut Wicksell had stressed this. But becaue of its existence it was understandable that Keynes should at that date have visualised too simple and direct a mechanism whereby changes of investment were supposed to react on prices, and that in a strictly formal sense some of his conclusions required the assumption that output was fixed and not variable.

It so happened that the publication of the Treatise coincided in time with a remarkable younger generation in Cambridge. R.F. Kahn had just been made a Fellow of King's; J.F. Meade was spending a year in Trinity before returning to Oxford; they with P. Sraffa, C.H.P. Gofford, A.F.W. Plumptre, L. Tarshis, Joan Robinson and several others of us formed a "circus" which met weekly for the discussion of the Treatise, and R.F. Kahn retailed to Keynes the results of our deliberations. We managed quickly to seize on the formal importance of some of the implied assumptions regarding employment and output levels and within a few weeks Keynes had not only seen the force of our criticisms, as well as those of a number of others both inside and outside Cambridge, but was dashing ahead of us in re-deploying his ideas in terms of a variable level of employment.

At the same time there was the problem, already hinted at in Professor Pigou's review in the ^Nation^, of how, if saving exceeded investment, equilibrium was re-establishedㅡthe problem, so to speak, of where the saving went to, which was only ultimately resolved when the necessary equality of savings and investment was recognised.

KHNW p126-2 {{

At no moment in his life, I think, did Keynes's greatness of character appear more strongly than at this time. He had just completed what he might reasonably have regarded as his magnum opus. There are few authors who would not have been sorely tempted to take up a position and to use their authority and reputation to maintain it until dislodged by sheer weight of opposition. Keynes never even appeared to hesitate. He was off with the rest of us in pursuit of truth with an enthusiastic a zest as if he were demolishing the work of his worst enemy.

}}

In the years following the publication of the Treatise Keynes continued his practice of giving eight lectures annually, usually in the Michaelmas Term. Each year he gave us the development of his ideas to date. And these lectures became something wholly unlike anything else that I have ever known in Cambridge lectures. (... ...)

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