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Niall Ferguson apologises after blaming Keynes' sexuality for selfishness


FloatingVoterTralee

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The ever-controversial historian Niall Ferguson is in hot water after claiming that the economist John Maynard Keynes did not care about future generations because he was gay and childless - "Keynes was a homosexual and had no intention of having children. We are not dead in the long run … our children are our progeny. It is the economic ideals of Keynes that have gotten us into the problems of today." Of course, the historian has been labelled a neo-imperialist in the past after his Civilisation book and C4 series, so was the Scot-American merely exaggerating comments to annoy liberal-left academia?
 

mr. jings

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Wow, what a dumb comment. A classic example of big brain/narrow mind. I didn't just start caring about long term issues when the little jingles came along, and there are plenty of examples of 100% het and be-childrened politicians, industrialists, etc being more than a little cavalier with the world those after us will live in.
 

gijoe

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Wow, what a dumb comment. A classic example of big brain/narrow mind. I didn't just start caring about long term issues when the little jingles came along, and there are plenty of examples of 100% het and be-childrened politicians, industrialists, etc being more than a little cavalier with the world those after us will live in.
Nothing dumb about it. You can see the same attitude across the gay rights agenda of living in the moment personal freedoms and hang the consequences for society in the long run.
 

mr. jings

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Nothing dumb about it. You can see the same attitude across the gay rights agenda of living in the moment personal freedoms and hang the consequences for society in the long run.
Yup. Pesky gays. And smokers. And overeaters. And car drivers. And on and on and on....
 

NewGoldDream

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Nothing dumb about it. You can see the same attitude across the gay rights agenda of living in the moment personal freedoms and hang the consequences for society in the long run.
What's a "living in the moment personal freedom"?
 

Dame_Enda

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Highly offensive to suggest gay people don't care about future generations because they can't produce children. Some adopt children.

Having said that I agree with him that Keynesianism doesn't work, as the Soviet Union found.
 

Analyzer

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Has Paul Krugman, the PC advocate of Keynesian borrowing and stimulus, reacted yet ?

Nobody attacks Keynesianism without Krugman jumping into the battle.

Will he have a thundering diatribe of nonsense in defence of living in perpetual debt ?

No doubt reproduced in the propertypaper with a news supplement, as something serious ?

Can't wait for the aliens to invade.....Krugman expects that it will kickstart the economy....best stiumulus ever.
 

sic transit

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I can't see the connection myself and particularly asinine comment. Most economists and other academic analysts of life are indifferent to real life around them as they are more interested in the abstract and the model.
 

SideysGhost

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Ferguson is just another example of the crazed xenophobic jingoistic imperialist war-mongering hate-filled nasty little WingNut twerp, which sadly seem all too common these days. I don't see why anyone should take anything he says seriously.
 

White Horse

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One cannot question that sacred cow today.

Over the years, sacred may cows change but their restriction on debate remains the same.
 

Nemesiscorporation

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Has Paul Krugman, the PC advocate of Keynesian borrowing and stimulus, reacted yet ?

Nobody attacks Keynesianism without Krugman jumping into the battle.

Will he have a thundering diatribe of nonsense in defence of living in perpetual debt ?

No doubt reproduced in the propertypaper with a news supplement, as something serious ?

Can't wait for the aliens to invade.....Krugman expects that it will kickstart the economy....best stiumulus ever.

Krugmann is a popularist, nothing else.

He blows with the wind.
 

Gurdiev

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Ferguson is just another example of the crazed xenophobic jingoistic imperialist war-mongering hate-filled nasty little WingNut twerp, which sadly seem all too common these days. I don't see why anyone should take anything he says seriously.
And They don't have to.

But if you attend his lecture and ask him questions afterwards , he is IMO perfectly entitled to state his own opinion, and to draw his own inferences.

I would replace your adjective chain above with, "conceited celebrity academic "

And I'd add 'smug'
 

onlyasking

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Yup. Pesky gays. And smokers. And overeaters. And car drivers. And on and on and on....
Don't forget all those horrid foreigners, including the Irish, who only became civilised/free/prosperous when British imperialists kindly took them under their wings - according to Ferguson at any rate.

Also, Ferguson is a prime example of that breed of polemicist who is nurtured and promoted by right-wing propaganda machines like the Sindo and the Daily Telegraph. Y'know, the Ruth Dudley Edwards and the John Paul McCarthys favoured by right-wing pamphlets.

Given the kid glove treatment the British Empire receives from quite a few P.ie regulars, Ferguson's books are lying by quite a few beds in this country.

Uplifting bedtime reading for some....a right-winger's wet dream......
 

onlyasking

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Highly offensive to suggest gay people don't care about future generations because they can't produce children. Some adopt children.

Having said that I agree with him that Keynesianism doesn't work, as the Soviet Union found.
Keynes - a homo AND a commie......

I'm sure this thread will abound with subtlety.
 

Analyzer

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maybe Looper deputies like Aye-Dawn will now comment that there is latent homophobia in scottish economic historians....
 

irelandmearsedotcom

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I'm guessing Mr F has a book coming out soon .So called economists .. now media hoars along with the X factor crowd.
 
D

Dylan2010

He's not the first, whether the cause and effect is true is another issue. I'd only be upset if gay fashion designers in any way steered women's fashion in the direction of stick insects we have today :D

'Conflicting Rights' and the Hans Hoppe Affair by William L. Anderson

This brings us to the current situation involving charges against libertarian Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who teaches economics at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. In a lecture on time preference during the fall of 2003, Hoppe said that homosexuals in general would have higher time preference because some of them engage in very risky sexual practices, and that homosexuals tend not to have children. He also noted that John Maynard Keynes, who put short time preference into near-holy status, was a homosexual and that certain economists have speculated that Keynes' sexual proclivities may have influenced his thinking.

It is important to remember that Hoppe's economic concepts are thoroughly Misesian, in that they are grounded in a priori logic. If the premises are true and the logical mechanisms that use those premises are correctly put into place, then the conclusion a priori is true as well. The reason that this is important is because Hoppe was reaching an academic conclusion, not expressing a statement of belief in opposition to homosexual behavior.

Hoppe's s remarks did not sit well with one student, who filed a complaint with the university, with the current result being the "punishment" of a letter of reprimand and the docking of pay. In defending its actions, the UNLV administration declared:

UNLV is deeply committed to upholding the tenets of academic freedom, and is equally committed to investigating reports of discrimination. It is important to note that with academic freedom comes accountability, both to ensure accuracy in instruction and to avoid creating a discriminatory environment. The university has seen this process through to a fair conclusion for all parties involved.

I doubt that whoever wrote this statement had an understanding of what he or she was saying, not because the author actually believes in "the tenets of academic freedom," but because the declaration is a logical absurdity. What the statement really was pronouncing was this:

The UNLV administration permits "academic freedom" insofar as it is politically useful to us. However, if we believe that "academic freedom" conflicts with our cherished ideals promoting the Sexual Revolution, then "academic freedom" must be squashed at all costs. We take it upon ourselves to determine what is "discriminatory" behavior and what is not; furthermore, we also take it upon ourselves to define the meaning of truth when it is spoken in the classroom. Those who stand in the way will face severe consequences.

It also is interesting to compare Hoppe's situation with that of Ward Churchill, the embattled professor at the University of Colorado, who wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks that the people killed in the World Trade Towers who were employed by private firms were "little Eichmanns" because they were "cogs" in the "oppressive machinery" of capitalism. The university community has rallied behind Churchill's "right" to "academic freedom."

Hoppe has not experienced the same support at UNLV, and the reason is simple: Hoppe's views are unpopular in the socialistic academy, while Churchill's rabid anti-capitalism is the norm. The CU faculty openly supports Churchill because his views are theirs; however, faculty members at most universities are less likely to support "academic freedom" when is used to promote beliefs with which they are in disagreement. In other words, "academic freedom" is not so much an ideal as it is a political tool.

I have no doubt that other faculty members at UNLV encouraged the student to take action against Hoppe, who has committed the unpardonable sin of not only favoring private property rights and libertarian ideals, but also has strongly criticized democracy. One must keep in mind that democracy also is worshiped at the academy not as a consistent ideal, but rather as a political mechanism to promote the imposition of viewpoints and governmental policies that permit the seizing of private property for political use. (I also would contend a priori that some of the people involved in this shady deal are among the loudest to proclaim "academic freedom" when it fits their own purposes.)
 

shutuplaura

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He uses controversy to keep himself in the public eye. He's not a particularly great historian but he's good and getting noticed.
 
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