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Steiner & Keynes - Brothers in World Economy. Associate! June 2012
In this issue we undertake an ambitious theme: the idea that Rudolf Steiner and John Maynard Keynes are brothers in the building of a world economy. Since they never met, this may be a bit of a stretch. But they were surely known to one another.
Admittedly, Rudolf Steiner’s ideas have scarcely found the kind of fame, let alone favour, enjoyed by Keynes, largely consequent on the refusal of Steiner’s ideas at the end of WW1. (Not that Keynes’s were any more welcome at that moment!) It may be fanciful, therefore, to habilitate Steiner via Keynes. And yet maybe not. Keynes was guided by some sense for world economy that he could not perhaps define and might even refuse. Nevertheless, we propose the ‘story’ makes sense and warrants rehearsing, which we do in these pages.
In the first piece we look not at the practical aspect of Steiner’s image of world economy – that being the regular content of this journal ever since its beginning in May 1980 (Happy Birthday!). We look instead at Steiner’s understanding of how economic life came into being.
A Sign of Our Time reprises a theme covered several times in these pages over the years: Keynes, the Intuitive Hero. ‘Hero’ in the sense of an individual of significant stature, whose originality of thought also informed many practical aspects of modern economic life.
The piece on Keynes, Newton and Joan of Arc aims to show that western finance is not all about negative materialism, and that English economists are not all caught in the ‘ultimate abstractions’ of which Steiner is so critical.
Arthur Edwards’s essay shows that Keynes’ approach – an approach we are all capable of – spans from insight to serious financial practice.
This month’s AEX Pages provide a Keynes-Schumacher update and raise questions concerning the term ‘threefolding’.
Aptly, Accounting Corner completes the issue with a piece on Global Limits.
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