The Review of Keynesian Studies
Online ISSN : 2435-6581
Articles
Keynes’s “New Liberalism” Re-examined: From Versailles towards The General Theory
Toshiaki Hirai
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS

2021 Volume 3 Pages 157-206

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Abstract

Keynes advocates his own social philosophy, “New Liberalism”, which is based on “social justice”, “economic efficiency”, and “individual liberty”. From the early 1920s to the mid-30s, he persisted in his critical stance on the “Versailles System”, which had plunged Europe into a devastating situation, first putting forward his reconstruction plan for Europe, and then engaging in activities of persuasion and criticism against many confusing pronouncements on reparations and war debt. It should be noted that these activities were based on this social philosophy and “Keynes as an economist” proceeded in tandem with them.

  The true value of Keynes’s “New Liberalism” lies in aiming at constructing a social organization that could achieve the best “economic efficiency” subject to “[social] justice”. Although Hobson and Hobhouse’s “New Liberalism”, which had had great influence on British society in the period 1880s-1910s, took the same side in its critical stance on Classical Liberalism, it is rather different from Keynes’s version.

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