Sunday, April 30, 2006

J.K. Galbraith R.I.P.

As a tribute to J.K. Galbraith, the greatest economic thinker of the 20th Century, here's his essay 'A Cloud Over Civilisation' from the Guardian in 2004. Galbraith consistently warned of the effects ever-powerful corporations would have over our lives- and the threat they pose to democracy and human progress.
The gullible idiots who believe that the Western intervention in Iraq- and indeed the earlier one in Yugoslavia- were motivated by 'humanitarian'' concerns and the desire to 'spread democracy', fail to understand where the real centre of power lies today. J.K. Galbraith suffered from no such delusions.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1261593,00.html

4 comments:

grapesofplenty said...

The great tragedy of the last thirty years or so, is that Milton Friedman and not Galbraith has had the most influence in shaping government policy. The fact that this is so ironically strengthens Galbraith's thesis as Friedmanite neo-liberalism gives to global capital and transnational corporations everything it desires.

Delworth said...

Greatest economic thinker of the 20th century, eh? May we please have a full explanation of Galbraith's superiority to Keynes, along with an account of how you're qualified to judge.

Neil Clark said...

I think Tom Stevenson's excellent piece (posted yesterday) goes some way to answering your question.
I'd certainly put Galbraith ahead of Keynes, not least because of his theories of the modern corporation and the way they shape the market and his exposure of the way ever-powerful corporations corrupt our politics and determine our foreign policy (have a look at 'The Cloud over Civilisation piece I posted earlier)- but of course, that's only my opinion- which you're at perfect liberty to disagree with. How am I qualified to judge? I'm not a professor of economics, but I suppose my opinions are no more, or less valid than anyone else who has read both Keynes and Galbraith, and who has taught Economics and Business courses for most of the last fifteen years.

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