Keynes on Free Trade

I found this great quote from John Maynard Keynes earlier today:

In a regime of Free Trade and free economic intercourse it would be of little consequence that iron lay on one side of a political frontier, and labor, coal, and blast furnaces on the other. But as it is, men have devised ways to impoverish themselves and one another; and prefer collective animosities to individual happiness.

I found this in a journal article (pdf) on political decentralization and economic integration. The quote is from 1920 (the article is a couple of years old).

John Maynard Keynes’s system is collapsing in front of our eyes. It is doing so slowly, but it is collapsing nonetheless. What is interesting to note is that Keynesians share much of their ideology with libertarians. We are all liberals of one stripe or another, but the Keynesians won the public policy battles of the post-war period.

I’m not entirely certain I know what these policy battles were all about. Again, it seems like there is very little that we disagree with the technocratic Left about ideologically. Yet since the Keynesian system is collapsing it seems like now would be a good idea to go over how they got to technocratic planning from what is essentially the same starting point as the libertarian one. I think we would do well to exercise a great deal of our thoughts to thinking about this divergence.

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