Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

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Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

#1  Postby GT2211 » May 06, 2013 5:36 am

Harvard professor and prominent Daily Beast columnist Niall Ferguson is now apologizing for saying economist John Maynard Keynes' theories about surplus and deficit spending were somehow shaped by that fact that he was gay and childless. Which is great, except that it may not be that sincere. He's made the argument before.

Speaking in front of about 500 financial advisers at a conference in Carlsbad, California, Financial Adviser's Tom Kostigen reported Ferguson said Keynes was "effete" and liked reading "poetry" to his ballerina wife. He also didn't care about future members of society because he didn't have any children. And these facts, therefore, discredited his economic theories. Keynes once famously said "in the long run we are all dead," and his detractors usually point to that as evidence that he didn't care about what happens to future generations......


http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business ... ess/64885/

His reputation has really been tanking the last couple years. Wonder at what point Harvard cuts their losses?

You Brits can have him back now, k? thx!
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Re: Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

#2  Postby Loren Michael » May 06, 2013 5:39 am

To be a tiny bit fair to that massive toolbag, at least he made a legit-sounding apology instead of one of those "I'm sorry that people were offended" stinkers.
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Re: Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

#3  Postby Beatrice » May 06, 2013 7:05 am

Yeah.. Niall is a douche. Fortunately he's got the massive intellectual powerhouse of both Glenn Beck and Anne Coulter on his side. :awesome:
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Re: Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

#4  Postby Panderos » May 06, 2013 11:51 am

GT2211 wrote:You Brits can have him back now, k? thx!

No thanks.

I lost any respect for him I might have had when he described himself as a 'right-wing historian'. What the hell does that mean? If you are a historian that happens to be right-wing, then fine. If you are a historian who has become right-wing as a result of you studies of history, then fine. But someone who starts as right-wing and then only looks at history through that lens? What a load of shit. How can I learn from anyone when I know they are seeing everything through a filter? As far as I'm concerned he became pretty much useless to me as a possible source of knowledge at that point.

And yes I know there are people who only look at history through the lens of Marxism too and yes that's also a load of shit.
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Re: Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

#5  Postby Nicko » May 06, 2013 12:34 pm

Panderos wrote:
GT2211 wrote:You Brits can have him back now, k? thx!

No thanks.

I lost any respect for him I might have had when he described himself as a 'right-wing historian'. What the hell does that mean? If you are a historian that happens to be right-wing, then fine. If you are a historian who has become right-wing as a result of you studies of history, then fine. But someone who starts as right-wing and then only looks at history through that lens? What a load of shit. How can I learn from anyone when I know they are seeing everything through a filter? As far as I'm concerned he became pretty much useless to me as a possible source of knowledge at that point.

And yes I know there are people who only look at history through the lens of Marxism too and yes that's also a load of shit.


It's fine to look at history through a lens as long as you are aware the lens is there. Ferguson seems oblivious to the impact his personal ideology has on his scholarship.

The point where Ferguson jumped the shark for me was a scene in a documentary where he was addressing a class of schoolchildren. He asked them to list the things that made European countries successful. One kid - appropriately of a darker skin tone than Ferguson - cited the activity of going to other people's countries and taking their stuff. The correct term for this activity is "colonialism". It refers to setting up a collection infrastructure in a foreign country in order to extract resources from that country and transfer them to one's home country (though I think the kid's description had a certain pithiness to it). Whilst it does have negative political and moral overtones these days, in the study of history it is merely a descriptive term.

Ferguson's response to the kid pointing out - rather perceptively for his age I thought - that the wealth of Europe was extracted from countries they colonised?

"Right! Exploration!"

What. A. Prick.
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Re: Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

#6  Postby Panderos » May 06, 2013 12:56 pm

Nicko wrote:It's fine to look at history through a lens as long as you are aware the lens is there. Ferguson seems oblivious to the impact his personal ideology has on his scholarship.

Well its his lens not my lens. So I don't know what he's leaving out. I'd rather not have to go research the programme I just watched to see what it was missing.
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Re: Niall Ferguson: 'Keynesianism is for the gays!'

#7  Postby Nicko » May 06, 2013 1:25 pm

Panderos wrote:
Nicko wrote:It's fine to look at history through a lens as long as you are aware the lens is there. Ferguson seems oblivious to the impact his personal ideology has on his scholarship.

Well its his lens not my lens. So I don't know what he's leaving out. I'd rather not have to go research the programme I just watched to see what it was missing.


Absolutely.

Ferguson's work is useful as an example of what history looks like through a Eurocentric lens - I've used it as such in essays, contrasted with someone more left wing - but it is too biased to be suitable as an objective account by itself.
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