2013년 3월 11일 월요일

[Keynes's] Letter to Hayek on June 28, 1944

자료(source): 


The letter of Keynes to Hayek dated June 28, 1944 can be found in the texts of the links above. The source referred to therein is
  • J.M. Keynes, The Collected Writings, vol. 27: Activities, 1940-1946, ed. Donald Moggridge (London: Macmillian, 1980), pp. 385-8. 
  • not Collected Writings, vol. 17: Activities: 1920─2 : Treaty Revision and Reconstruction (Macmillan for the Royal Economic Society, London, 1977), pp. 385-387.

[1] Some excerpt of which introducing the letter:
(...) The novels Animal Farm (1945) and 1984 (1948) by the British writer George Orwell, appearing soon after Hayek's book, vividly depicted the dangers of oppression under total state control, in many ways complementing Hayek's thesis. Orwell was balanced in his own review of The Road to Serfdom. He agreed that "in the negative part of Professor Hayek's thesis there is a great deal of truth. It cannot be said too oftenㅡat any rate, it is not being said nearly often enoughㅡthat collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of." But Orwell, himself a believer in democratic socialism, did't buy Hayek's case for free market: "a return to 'free' competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the state."[54]
[54] George Orwell, "Review of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek, etc." (1944), reprinted in Orwell, The Collected Essays: Journalism and Letters, vol. 3, As I Please 1943-1946, ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (Boston: Nonpariel Books, 2000), p. 118.
Keynes also offered a mixed reaction. In an often-quoted letter to Hayek, he began declaring (...) In what followed, however, Keynes thoroughly rejected Hayek's central argument[.]

[2] Another text about the letter:

Keynes wrote Hayek two letters on The Road to Serfdom, one before and the other after reading it. In the first letter dated April 4, 1944, Keynes thanked Hayek for giving him a copy of the Road to Serfdom. The book "looks fascinating. It looks to me in the nature of medicine with which I shall disagree, but which may agree with me in the sense of doing me good. ... Something to be kept at the back of one's head rather than at the front of it."  Keynes wrote to Hayek again on the The Road to Serfdom on June 28, 1944 (...)

* * * * *

Letter from Keynes to Hayek on June 28, 1944:

My dear Hayek, The voyage has given me the chance to read your book properly. In my opinion it is a grand book. We all have the greatest reason to be grateful to you for saying so well what needs so much to be said. You will not  expect me to accept quite all the economic dicta in it. But morally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it; and not only in agreement with it, but in a deeply moved agreement [...] 
I come to what is really my only serious criticism of the book. You admit here and there that it is a question of knowing where to draw the line. You agree that the line has to be drawn somewhere; and that the logical extreme is not possible. But you give us no guidance whatever as to where to draw it. It is true that you and I would probably draw it in different places. 
I should guess that according to my ideas you greatly under-estimate the practicability of the middle course. But as soon as you admit that the extreme is not possible, and that a line has to be drawn, you are, on your own argument, done for, since you are trying to persuade us that so soon as one moves an inch in the planned direction you are necessarily launched on the slippery path which will lead you in due course over the precipice.
I should therefore conclude your theme rather differently. I should say what we want is not no planning, or even less planning, indeed I should say that we almost certainly want more. But the planning should take place in community in which as many people as possible, both leaders and followers wholly share your own moral position. Moderate planning will be safe if those carrying it out are rightly oriented in their own minds and hearts to the moral issue. [ This is in fact already true of some of them. But the curse is that there is also an important section who could almost be said to want planning not in order to enjoy its fruits but because morally they hold ideas exactly the opposite of yours, and wish to serve not God but the devil. ]*
What we need therefore, in my opinion, is not a change in our economic programmes, which would only lead in practice to disillusion with the results of your philosophy; but perhaps even the contrary, namely, an enlargement of them. [ Your greatest danger ahead is the probable practical failure of the application of your philosophy in the United States in a fairly extreme form. No, what we need is the restoration of right moral thinkingㅡa return to proper moral values in our social philosophy. If only you could turn your crusade in that direction you would not look or feel quite so much like Don Quixote. I accuse you of perhaps confusing a little bit the moral and the material issues. ]** Dangerous acts can be done safely in a community which thinks and feels rightly, which would be the way to hell if they were executed by those who think and feel wrongly.
[*] This part is extracted from some other quotes, but I'm not sure that these sentences are the full part before the beginning of the next paragraph of the letter.
[**] Also extracted from other quotes, but I'm not sure that is correctly placed. 구글도서1, 구글도서2 

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