John Maynard Keynes

The Economic Consequences of Peace

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Generally regarded as the most influential social science treatise of the 20th century, this work by legendary economist John Maynard Keynes is relevant reading even today for anyone who wants to understand international economics and foreign affairs. First published in 1919, The Economic Consequences of Peace created an intense and immediate controversy for its brazen criticism of world leaders and the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. Keynes argued that as a blueprint for peace, it was destined to create tension and conflict ahead…and history proved him right when world war broke out again within a generation. The popularity of this key work, and its place in history, helped cement Keynes’s status as one of the 20th century’s principal economists.
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270 printed pages

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Quotes

    m170has quoted4 years ago
    Thus this remarkable system depended for its growth on a double bluff or deception. On the one hand the laboring classes accepted from ignorance or powerlessness, or were compelled, persuaded, or cajoled by custom, convention, authority, and the well-established order of Society into accepting, a situation in which they could call their own very little of the cake that they and Nature and the capitalists were co-operating to produce. And on the other hand the capitalist classes were allowed to call the best part of the cake theirs and were theoretically free to consume it, on the tacit underlying condition that they consumed very little of it in practice. The duty of “saving” became nine-tenths of virtue and the growth of the cake the object of true religion.
    m170has quoted4 years ago
    In 1870 Germany had a population of about 40,000,000. By 1892 this figure had risen to 50,000,000, and by June 30, 1914, to about 68,000,000. In the years immediately preceding the war the annual increase was about 850,000, of whom an insignificant proportion emigrated.1 This great increase was only rendered possible by a far-reaching transformation of the economic structure of the country. From being agricultural and mainly self-supporting, Germany transformed herself into a vast and complicated industrial machine, dependent for its working on the equipoise of many factors outside Germany as well as within. Only by operating this machine, continuously and at full blast, could she find occupation at home for her increasing population and the means of purchasing their subsistence from abroad. The German machine was like a top which to maintain its equilibrium must spin ever faster and faster.
    m170has quoted4 years ago
    In our own case we sent more exports to Germany than to any other country in the world except India, and we bought more from her than from any other country in the world except the United States.

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