2013년 5월 11일 토요일

[발췌: Peter Clarke's] Liberals and Social Democrats


출처: Peter Clarke, Liberals and Social Democrats (Cambridge University Press, 1981)
자료: 구글도서

of which chapter 7, "Hobson's Choice"

※ 발췌(excerpts): 

(I) Problems of a New World

It had become grimly apparent to Graham Wallas that 'the nations of the earth, confused and embittered by the events of 1914-20', might soon be compelled to witness 'another and more destructive stage in the suicide of civilisation'.[1] The world had to be looked at in a new way. ( ... ... ) 

(II) Rationalism Beaten to Its Corner

( ... ... ) Wallwas's rejection of Bolshevism was more clear-cut. The 'scientifically conscientious ruthlessness' of Lenin and Trotsky[23 or ?25] had been licenced by the combination of a determinist dogma with a 'mechanist' conception of the subservience of reason to instinct. Through this combination, he wrote in ^The Art of Thought^, they were able 'to convince themselves that such a "bourgeois" intellectual process as unbiased reflection before one acts in obedience to one's simplest animal instincts, is at the same time biologically impossible, and also biologically possible but politically and economically inadmissible'(p. 34). ( ... ... )

Hobson's thesis remained what it had always been: that underconsumption was due to over-saving which in turn arose from a maldistribution of income. He sought to be emollient in stating his case, hastening 'to explain that the over-saving of which I speak refers solely to the proportion of saving to spending, and does not imply any fixed limit to the amount that can be serviceably saved' (^Econ. of Unemp.^, p. 37). After 35 years o experience in controversy he was clearly not going to repeat the sallies against thrift of ^The Physiology of Industry^. Yet saving remained the target of his criticism and he saw any tendency to exalt its economic usefulness as an extenuation of the position of the rich, who happend to be good at it. In a notable comment on the psychology of 19th society, Keynes wrote that 'it was precisely the ^inequality^ of the distribution of wealth which made possible those vast accumulations of fixed wealth and capital improvements which distinguished that age from all others' (JMK, ii, 11: [※ 케인스의 이 말은 《평화의 경제적 귀결》에서 했던 말이다]). Hobson indignantly quoted this passage in every major work on economics which he published during the 1920s, to show how economists condoned inequitable distribution in deference to a supposed invisible hand which promoted economic progress.

On one level, of course, this was simply misrepresenting Keynes's (historical) point. 'The foreces of the 19th century have run their course and are exhausted', he had claimed. 'The economic motives and ideals of that generation no longer satisfy us: we must find a new way and must suffer again the ^malaise^, and finally the pangs, of a new industrial birth' (ibid., p. 161). Only in ^Rationalisation and Unemployment^(1930), with its perceptibley more conciliatory approach towards Keynes, did Hobson cease to use him as an Aunt Sally and, indeed, now conceded his substantive point that the expansion of British trade in the 19th century 'enabled us to apply to the increased productive plant an unrestricted share of our national income' (p. 61). At a deeper level Hobson disagreed with Keynes because he thought the economic benefits of spending were as important as those of saving.

To Hobson saving and investment were two words for the same activity. Even in 1930 he was writing that all incomes had to be 'employed either in buying consumables (spending) or in buying capital goods (saving)' (ibid., p. 34). Likewise he would write of something wanting 'to pay persons to put up more mills and machines and fill them with more raw materials, i.e. he may wish to save instead of spending' (^Incentives^, p. 50). So underconsumption implied actual over-investment. Hobson insisted that 'the vital distinction between spending and saving, so often obscured by dwelling upon the merely monetary aspect' lay in the fact that saving consisted ' in paying producers to make more non-consumable goods for use as capital, instead of paying them to make more consumable goods and consuming them' (^Econ. of Unemp.^., p. 34). It was on this point that Keynes (and D.H. Robertson) diverged, so that by the time of the ^Treatise on Money^ (1930) Keynes was able to make a clear distinction between, on the one hand, the saving of the consumerㅡ'the negative act of refraining from spending the whole of his current income on consumption'ㅡand, on the other,  the investment of the entrepreneurㅡ'the positive act of starting or maintaining some process of production or of withholding liquid goods'(JMK, v. 155).

The distinction between saving and investment was thus crucial to Keynes's analysis. ( ... ... p. 228 

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