Monday 19 February 2024

Keynesian Wisdom.

When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?
John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road.


David George said...

Yes Chris, God knows the temptation, the arrogance and deception of ideas that have gone bad has lead to some of the worst disasters for humanity.

Here's a great wee essay on that and Churchill:

Churchill notes that “It fell to Neville Chamberlain in one of the supreme crises of the world to be contradicted by events, to be disappointed in his hopes, and to be deceived and cheated by a wicked man.”

That, in itself, is something. The sin was Hitler’s, not Chamberlain’s.

But, for me, it is this passage that stands out. It is not merely praise but advice—a reminder to be tolerant of the paths of others, a recommendation that we be humble as well as strong.

"It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events. In one phase men seem to have been right, in another they seem to have been wrong. Then again, a few years later, when the perspective of time has lengthened, all stands in a different setting. There is a new proportion. There is another scale of values. History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. What is the worth of all this? The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour."

David George said...

Some Peterson quotes on this theme:

“Ideologies are substitutes for true knowledge, and ideologues are always dangerous when they come to power, because a simple-minded I-know-it-all approach is no match for the complexity of existence.”

“Every bit of learning is a little death. Every bit of new information challenges a previous conception, forcing it to dissolve into chaos before it can be reborn as something better. Sometimes such deaths virtually destroy us.”

“You are by no means only what you already know. You are also all that which you could know, if you only would. Thus, you should never sacrifice what you could be for what you are. You should never give up the better that resides within for the security you already have—and certainly not when you have already caught a glimpse, an undeniable glimpse, of something beyond.”

“Rejection of the unknown is tantamount to “identification with the devil,” the mythological counterpart and eternal adversary of the world-creating exploratory hero. Such rejection and identification is a consequence of Luciferian pride, which states: all that I know is all that is necessary to know. This pride is totalitarian assumption of omniscience – is adoption of “God’s place” by “reason” – is something that inevitably generates a state of personal and social being indistinguishable from hell. This hell develops because creative exploration – impossible, without (humble) acknowledgment of the unknown – constitutes the process that constructs and maintains the protective adaptive structure that gives life much of its acceptable meaning”

The Barron said...

Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
Bernard M. Baruch

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
John Adams

Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.
Jawaharlal Nehru

Ignoring facts does not make them go away.
Fran Tarkenton

Closer to Keyesian quote -

Everyone is entitled to change their mind when the facts do.
Owen Jones

Of course, the last one and John Maynard Keynes is highly dependent upon the facts changing. In reference to my view and that of Kenneth Clarke's respective views of he principles of the Treaty and deportations to Rwanda, there are no change in fact. If so, the courts would accept such change, a Parliamentary vote does not change the fact that Rwanda is unsafe and does not change the fact that consultation and good faith are processes drawn from legal understanding of te Tiriti.

Alwyn said...

I believe that this is one of those quotes where everyone is sure that the person it is attributed to said it but nobody has ever found a place where they actually did say it.
If you can tell us where he said it I, at least, would love to know because I have never found it.

M Hughes said...

Indeed. In response, perhaps Chris, to Martyn's scathing attack on you in a recent column. You were "good enough" to regularly post on his blog until a few months ago, but now... Don't you know that reassessing situations is bad, bad, bad. Suggesting that NZ First might just have a few useful answers turns you into the source of all evil. So now, I guess, you are a "bad guy."
Ignore the attacks and keep up your reflections into what ails us.

Anonymous said...


greywarbler said...

So many men just wanting to have a little dig. What a pity that the serious minded man when he stops thinking of sport or making money can't do some critiquing of his own thoughts and the bumf that he is fed masquerading as informatio and news. Then widen the reading further, to outside the mainstream commenters or the OTT deniers and impractical and get a farther horizon.

David George said...

Live not by lies.

Excerpt from Alexei Navalny's speech to the court after his "trial". Translated by Konstantin Kisin:

"You can’t just go home tonight and say to your family: “What did I do at work today? I put an innocent man in prison. I am suffering for it and will continue to suffer”.

People don’t work like this. That’s why you say “Alexei, you understand the situation” or “There’s no smoke without fire”. Or they’ll say “He knew what he was doing when he came after Putin” as someone from the Investigative Committee was quoted as saying recently. “Why did Navalny have to draw attention to himself? Why did he get in the way? If he had kept his head down, he’d be fine.”

But, in spite of all of this, it’s important to me to address you, the people who will watch or read my last words. It’s more or less pointless but the people who look the other way are also a battlefield. On one side of it are the crooks who have seized power in our country and on the other are people who want to change this. We are fighting over the people who look the other way, the people who shrug their shoulders, the people who are in a situation where all they have to do is not do something cowardly who do it anyway.

There’s the famous quote from Dragon: “Yes, everyone was taught to be evil but why did you have to be top of the class?”. I’m not just talking about this court. A huge number of people are either forced to act like cowards or act like cowards without being forced or even asked to. They just look the other way and try to ignore what is happening. We are fighting for these people. We are trying to get them, you, to admit that everything that is happening in our society is based on endless lies.

I am standing here and am prepared to stand here as many times as I have to prove to all of you that I don’t want to tolerate these lies. I refuse."

Gary Peters said...

Often facts are like a prism, whichever side you view it from it is different and yet it is the same.

How we perceive facts is also dependent on our own outlook. Hipkins, ardern and bloomfield will have a different view of our recent history than I and many others but it is the same history.

Recently we have seen a politicisation of "facts" whereby a slant is introduced to best reflect ideology as supported by "facts". Independence of thought is now a crime as demonstrated by our media and even many "scientists".

The Great Barrington declaration supported internationally and here by hundreds of doctors and scientists was one such article that tried to introduce independant and alternative science but was deemed not factual as it didn't follow the "approved" facts.

So in my opinion these days "facts" need to be approved by those that see themselves as the guardians of the left and if not approved then must be labelled as disinformation and any that believe need to be rooted out and "sorted".

Shane McDowall said...

"The facts don't give a fuck about your feelings".

Shane McDowall.

chris prudence said...

I've been sleeping not i've been thinking in between butts and cigarettes.I've also been dreaming alot and realising that my brain is not getting enough exercise anymore.I heard charlotte grimshaw say that she had read silvia plaths auto biography of some 1400 pages and we were all suitably impressed.I read lotr twice some 2000 pgs.But the hardest books I ever read were only brief some 100 too 200 pages long.The uni in ruins by bill readins or the postmodern condition by lyotard.

what is a wellingtonian?

well u don't actually have too live in welly too be a member of the educated middle class trotsky!