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Keynes and Capitalism

History of Political Economy, Forthcoming

38 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2009  

Roger Backhouse

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

Bradley William Bateman

Denison University

Date Written: May 2009


Keynes’s thoughts on capitalism are analysed by focusing on what he wrote on the topic, using the Collected Writings, taken as a whole, together with some unpublished material to tackle three issues: what Keynes meant by capitalism; the fragility of capitalism; and the morality of capitalism. In doing this, we are juxtaposing materials written at different stages of his career. Whilst the context and the theoretical framework within which Keynes developed his economic thinking changed substantially, our argument is that beneath these many changes in his circumstances and analytical frame lay a remarkably consistent attitude towards capitalism, in which morality was central. This view of capitalism is linked with the personal values that animated his life, especially the values that he shared with the other members of Bloomsbury.

Keywords: J. M. Keynes, capitalism, political economy

JEL Classification: B22, B31, E12, P10, P26

Suggested Citation

Backhouse, Roger mname and Bateman, Bradley mname, Keynes and Capitalism (May 2009). History of Political Economy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Roger Backhouse

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics ( email )

Economics Department
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Bradley Bateman (Contact Author)

Denison University ( email )

Granville, OH 43023
United States

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