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Political Philosophy II

  • R. M. O’Donnell

Abstract

A crucial question for liberalism is the respective roles of the private and public spheres. This chapter reviews Keynes’s attitude to laissez-faire and individualism, and adumbrates in some detail the various functions and duties of the state that arise within his framework. To Keynes, the state’s role extended not only beyond the macroeconomic but beyond the economic as well. The nature of Keynes’s liberalism is then explored, it being contended that the neglect of Keynes’s philosophy has engendered a certain one-sidedness in recent debate. Given his Utopian goals, Keynes’s relationship to socialism is equally intriguing. While state socialism was flatly rejected, an alternative conception of liberal socialism was proposed. Several underlying themes will become apparent — a basic continuity over time in his general political stances, the background influence of his philosophy, and an encouragement of adaptability to historical change.

Keywords

Private Sector Social Justice Political Philosophy Economic Efficiency State Ownership 
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Notes

  1. 21.
    Keynes also had no difficulty in accepting Kingsley Martin as the socialist editor of the New Statesman and Nation, on which see Martin (1966 p. 198).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. M. O’Donnell 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. O’Donnell
    • 1
  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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