출처: A Shattered Peace By David A. Andelman
of which: Chapter 9 1/2. Setting Up a Global Economy
( ... ... ) Meanwhile, Keynes had been doing his best to see if there was anything that could be salvaged from what he rightly predicted would be a truly devastating blow that the treaty’s reparation provisions would deal to the Western world’s economic system. Even before the treaty was signed on June 28, 1919, Keynes had left Paris, with one final
shot to Lloyd George:
Dear Prime Minister:
I ought to let you know that on Saturday I am slipping away from the scene of nightmare. I can do no more good here. I’ve gone on hoping even through these last dreadful weeks that you’d find some way to make of the Treaty a just and expedient document. But now it’s apparently too late. The battle is lost. I leave the [Heavenly] twins to gloat over the devastation of Europe, and to assess to taste [sic] what remains for the British taxpayer.
Sincerely yours,J. M. Keynes.
In fact, of course, the Heavenly Twins had not really had their way at all, but by now Keynes was determined to take his campaign against the reparations to the people. Friends urged him to put his concerns on paper – among them, Virginia Woolf, who on seeing him on July 18 was worried, as she confided to her diary: “He is disillusioned, he says. No more does he believe, that is, in the stability of the things he likes. Eton is doomed; the governing classes, perhaps Cambridge too. These conclusions were forced
on him by the dismal and degrading spectacle of the Peace Conference, where men played shamelessly, not for Europe, or even England, but for their own return to Parliament at the next election.”
The work Keynes finally produced – what some believe was truly his masterpiece, was certainly heavily influenced by Bloomsbury, especially Lytton Strachey’s magisterial 1918 work, Eminent Victorians. ( ... ... )
First, Keynes set up the context – chaos, madness, and confusion threatening to overwhelm the Western world’s economy and undermine its political foundations, leaving the way clear for the arrival of Bolshevism, even anarchy. The war, and the abortive attempts at a stable peace that followed, had all but destroyed the delicate balance that existed in those halcyon days before the outbreak of hostilities. Then he picked apart the economic planks of the treaty – particularly the capacity of Germany to pay and the needs claimed by each of the European powers. In each case they were vastly overrated; indeed, by many orders of magnitude. Certainly there was some considerable hyperbole at work here, but not enough to enable even Keynes’s sharpest critics on both sides of the Atlantic to discredit the work. Especially since Keynes offered a solution – an eminently reasonable one, in fact, that seemed on the surface to cut through all the rhetoric and various national self-interests. The formula that Keynes proposed was a simple one. First, cancel with one stroke all war debts. Second, cap German reparations at $10 billion, then deduct the value of various seized property like the German fleet, bringing the lump-sum total to $7.5 billion, to be repaid in thirty annual installments of $250 million beginning in 1923. This would allow the German economy to return to some semblance of stability. Finally, Britain must renounce all claims to this sum, turning her proceeds over to the “new states” of Central Europe, particularly Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, that were in far greater need. Some portions of the bonds issued by the “former enemy powers” to help satisfy the reparations must carry some financial guarantees from the Allies. “All this implies some generosity by the United States,” Keynes concluded.
The problem with this entire structure was simple. It would never work. It ignored the immediate political realities, as well as the deeply embedded passions, not only of rival political leaders, but of the peoples of most of these countries. With Wilson in the midst of a losing battle to win approval of the treaty and the League of Nations from a hostile Senate, he had no interest in forgiving U. S. debts to Britain. Recall the wartime financial loan scheme that Keynes hated at the time, but was forced to accept. Now as a result of this system, Britain had neither the interest nor the wherewithal to forgive the Continental Allies’ debts without receiving comparable concessions from Washington. Particularly galling was Europe’s new position with respect to the United States. Suddenly Europe, but especially Britain, was becoming a debtor region. For the political and financial leadership especially, it was demeaning to contemplate that for the first time, the colonies – the children, effectively – were holding the parents hostage.
Still, broad swaths of American and European readers embraced Keynes’s work. To make certain that each word appeared as he wrote it, Keynes himself financed its publication on both sides of the Atlantic. Felix Frankfurter – the young lawyer, Harvard Law professor, and a cofounder of The New Republic, who’d actually come to Paris to lobby for the Zionist cause – got the book published in America and serialized in his new magazine. Keynes, it appeared, had pointed out every flaw – of personality and structure – that bedeviled the entire peace process:
The campaign for securing out of Germany the general costs of the war was one of the most serious acts of political unwisdom for which our statesmen have ever been responsible. To what a different future Europe might have looked forward if either Mr. Lloyd George or Mr. Wilson had apprehended that the most serious of the problems which claimed their attention were not political or territorial but financial and economic and that the perils of the future lay not in frontiers or sovereignty but in food, coal and transport. Neither of them paid adequate attention to these problems at any stage of the Conference….The financial problems which were about to exercise Europe could not be solved by greed. The possibility of their cure lay in magnanimity. Europe, if she is to survive her troubles, will need so much magnanimity from America that she must herself practice it.
And this process, with the mechanisms it had created, was grinding inexorably onward. Keynes’s monumental work, despite the widespread praise it attracted, never had much concrete impact on the peace process. Germany managed to make its first payment on the war reparations before the burden of what amounted to Mafia-style vigorish came crashing down on it. Keynes had pointed out that even at 5 percent interest, the reparations burden would double every fifteen years so that by 1936, with $750 million in annual payments (triple the sum he had called for), the overall reparations debt would have exploded to $65 billion, an almost unimaginable sum to a nation that by then had suffered through more than a decade of hyperinflation, depression, and mass unemployment. There were projections that Germany would still be paying reparations until 1961 or beyond.
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