The Economic Legacy of Hyman Minsky, Volume I
Edited by Riccardo Bellofiore and Piero Ferri
Chapter 6: Minsky's thesis: Keynesian or Marxian?
6. Minsky’s thesis: Keynesian or Marxian? Steve Keen I expect that most contributors to these volumes share my belief that Minsky was the most signiﬁcant economist of the last forty years – perhaps as signiﬁcant in our time as Keynes was in his. It follows that most of us hope to see economics undergo a Minskian revolution, as it once underwent a Keynesian one. However, we are all aware of the fate which befell Keynes’s contribution, as his revolutionary insights were buried beneath the weight of conventional and banal interpretations. As Minsky’s heirs, I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that his Hamlet is not similarly rewritten to remove the Prince. A key reason why Keynes could be so readily misinterpreted was that, as he himself acknowledged, the process of writing the General Theory was ‘a long process of escape from habitual modes of thought and expression’ (Keynes, 1936, p. viii), and he did not succeed in completely casting off the old way of thinking. It was then a relatively easy matter for those he termed ‘classical economists’ (and whom we these days call neoclassical) to construct a ‘neoclassical Keynes’, by marrying this incompletely discarded skin with some fragments of the vibrant phoenix to which Keynes had hoped to give birth. Sixty years later, this process has culminated in a dominant macroeconomics whose policy conclusions are indistinguishable from ‘the Treasury View’ of the 1930s, and which, in laughable sophistry, claims to have introduced the consideration of expectations into...
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