I read a quote today by the British economist John Maynard Keynes whose ideas known as Keynesian economics, had a major impact on modern economic and political theory and on many governments’ fiscal policies.
I’ve decided to post it here more to record it for myself and to remind me to reflect upon it further than anything else. I particularly like the part about practical men who believe that they are exempt from intellectual influence. I find it interesting sometimes speaking to friends and colleagues that take strong positions about particular topics but when probed, can’t actually say why!
“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.”