John Maynard Keynes

5 Jun 1883 // 21 Apr 1946


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Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
Capitalism, wisely managed, can probably be made more efficient for attaining economic ends than any alternative system yet in sight.

The End of Laissez-Faire (1926)
Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older.
The moral problem of our age is concerned with the love of money.

Essays in Persuasion (1925)
The ideas of economists and political philosophers...are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.

The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money (1936)
There is no harm in being sometimes wrong, especially if one is promptly found out.

Essays in Biography (1963)
It is a good thing to make mistakes so long as you're found out quickly.
Regarded as a means, the businessman is tolerable. Regarded as an end, he is not so satisfactory.

Essays in Persuasion (1978)
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."