The View From 1776

Keynesian Philosophical Assumptions

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Keynesian macroeconomics is inconceivable without Darwinian evolution and secular socialism.


Keynesian macroeconomics is, at heart, a rationalization for collectivized state planning .  Its progenitor was the 18th century quest to discover social science laws of behavior paralleling Newton’s mathematics and laws of motion that explained movements of the planets and of the earth around the sun.  By the early 1800s French socialist intellectuals were confident that they had identified sociological laws that would enable them to create a secular paradise here on earth.  A hundred years later, economist John Maynard Keynes propounded his ideas in the same tradition.

Along with Darwinism and socialism, Keynesianism sees humans as subject to manipulation by material factors such as government regulation.  All three discount free will and what Austrian economists view as the basic fact in economic activity: purposeful, individual human action.

In the Darwinian world-view, humans are the same as all other living creatures.  We just happened, by random chance, to have evolved into existence, with no greater claim on earthly resources than any other living organism.  Economic determinism, not free will, governs human conduct.  Changing material conditions in nature and the process of natural selection will, over the eons, channel our evolution into unforeseeable future life forms.

The human soul and its universal aspiration to comprehend and to obey the Will of God is viewed as a vestigial instinct acquired by humans in the evolutionary process of natural selection.  Spiritual religion in the Brave New World is therefore ignorant superstition to be banished from society by teaching Darwinian evolutionary doctrine.

Socialism and Darwinism agree in denying God’s existence, in rejecting spiritual religion, and in believing that material conditions and forces are the only factors at work in the universe.  But they contradict each other in a fundamental way.

Socialism is quintessentially a secular religion of state planning in a command economy led by intellectuals and implemented by bureaucratic apparatchiks.  Darwinians, in contrast, acknowledge no higher purpose to the existence of human beings and no higher purpose to human action.  Perfection of human nature and of human society is not on Darwinian radar screens.  Appearances of order, apart from Darwin’s law of natural selection, are deceptive.  All is unplanned and essentially purposeless.  Professor Richard Dawkins, the loudest present-day exponent of Darwinism, describes it thus:

“Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind.  It has no mind and no mind