It is not unreasonable, given the nature of Keynesianism, for Niall Ferguson to point out that Keynes was gay and had no children. Any more than it would be unreasonable to point out that Le Corbusier was gay, and blithely built tall apartment blocks which were dreadfully ill-suited for families with children. It is the job of historians to draw character portraits and to speculate about possible inner motivations, prejudices and blind-spots.
If Keynes had any concern for future generations, it is clearly not reflected in his famous dismissal of the long term consequences of his policies ('in the end we're all dead') or in the debt junky habits of those who act in his name. Politicians are encouraged by Keynesians to ‘borrow’ vast amounts of money, which will take many decades to repay. This should not be called borrowing. It is not the people who 'borrow' (politicians) who must repay the money (how easy it is to spend other people's money!). It is not the people on whom the money is spent (the parasitic public sector) who will repay the money. Nor is it the people who vote for such politicians (in the public sector and among our anti-capitalist intelligentsia) who will have to repay the money. No, these extraordinary debts must be repaid by our children and their children - who have had no say whatsoever in the matter. Let us spell it out. This is NOT borrowing! This is theft!
Keynes' famous dictum reveals not only a disregard for what economists coldly call 'the long run', it also reflects something darker. Keynesianism is an act of violence against our children and their children.
There is nothing in the least wrong with being gay – far from it. (As one who is constantly looking for good TV presenters I wish there were many more). But it is utterly sinful to be Keynesian.
Two disturbing stories recently on the greens. First Spiegel magazine runs an article on the rise of extremist right-wing environmentalism in Germany. Then The Observer newspaper reveals that, in the name of preventing ‘climate change’, British aid money to India is paying for the forced sterilisation of poor people. These are shocking stories. But not so shocking to those familiar with the story of Nazi environmentalism. Let's step back in time.
Picture the scene. At the edge of a forest, German soldiers point their guns at rows of naked people who follow the Jewish religion. Among them are young mothers clutching their babies. The shots echo through the woods and the dead bodies fall into the ground. Down the road, while this is happening, their German army comrades are busy establishing nature walks and bird sanctuaries and planting trees. The Nazis conducted horrific experiments on children (I have seen footage so upsetting it can’t be shown on TV) but at the same time they banned medical experiments on animals. The same Nazi monsters who committed crimes of unimaginable barbarity also advocated vegetarianism, organic agriculture, forest preservation and homeopathic healthcare. How can we possibly explain this? What was the connection between the inhuman brutality of the Nazis and their gushing idealization of ‘Nature’?
The purpose of exploring Nazi environmentalism is not just to upset the greens. If environmentalism were a curious but peripheral aspect of National Socialism, it would be of no real historical interest. Environmentalists could be forgiven for saying, Ah well, it just goes to show, there’s a little bit of good in the worst of us. But environmentalist ideology...