Keynes is one of the most important and influential economists who ever lived. It is almost universally believed that Keynes wrote his magnum opus, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, to save capitalism from the socialist, communist, and fascist forces that were rising up during the Great Depression era. This book argues that this was not the case with respect to socialism.

Tracing the evolution of Keynes’s views on policy from WWI until his death in 1946, Crotty argues that virtually all post-WWII "Keynesian" economists misinterpreted crucial parts of Keynes’s economic theory, misunderstood many of his policy views, and failed to realize that his overarching political objective was not to save British capitalism, but rather to replace it with Liberal Socialism. This book shows how Keynes’s Liberal Socialism began to take shape in his mind in the mid-1920s, evolved into a more concrete institutional form over the next decade or so, and was laid out in detail in his work on postwar economic planning at Britain’s Treasury during WWII. Finally, it explains how The General Theory provided the rigorous economic theoretical foundation needed to support his case against capitalism in support of Liberal Socialism.

Offering an original and highly informative exposition of Keynes’s work, this book should be of great interest to teachers and students of economics. It should also appeal to a general audience interested in the role the most important economist of the 20th century played in developing the case against capitalism and in support of Liberal Socialism. Keynes Against Capitalism is especially relevant in the context of today’s global economic and political crises.

chapter 1|22 pages


Was Keynes trying to save capitalism or create “Liberal Socialism?”

part I|2 pages

From The Economic Consequences of the Peace to The General Theory

chapter 3|14 pages

Making sense of chaos: 1919–1923

chapter 4|15 pages

Public investment and state planning in 1924

The real Keynesian revolution begins

chapter 5|7 pages

The return to gold in 1925

Deflation, social justice, and class struggle

chapter 8|21 pages

Britain’s Industrial Future and the Board of National Investment

A detailed analysis of the institutions to be used by the state to regulate capital accumulation in pursuit of full employment under Liberal Socialism

chapter 9|20 pages

On the edge of the Great Depression

Keynes continues his efforts to gain political support for the radical policies in Britain’s Industrial Future

chapter 11|7 pages

National self-sufficiency: 1933

part II|2 pages

The General Theory

chapter 12|11 pages

Methodology and ideology

Keynes versus the classicists

chapter 14|8 pages

Upon further reflection

Keynes on secular stagnation in 1937

chapter 17|25 pages

Chapter 12 of The General Theory

The “insane” stock market, capital investment, and instability

chapter 18|5 pages

The theory of the business cycle in chapter 22

Integrating the profit rate and the bond and stock markets in a theory of financial and economic instability

part III|2 pages

State planning, public investment, and Liberal Socialism after The General Theory