I’m an admitted Anglophobe, as you know, and I especially hate the bloated-yet-reasonably-photogenic, faux swashbuckling types like Hitchens and Ferguson. I’d rather watch W in a flight-suit declare “Mission Accomplished” than listen to some limey in a just-disheveled-enough suit wank about Islamofascism and Chimerica (while quoting Auden and Churchill). At least, W wasn’t heralded as an intellectual giant…outside of the occasional Powerline post.
But Brad DeLong makes the case that swishboating Keynes is a long conservative tradition, though, so I guess I should just chalk Ferguson’s latest up to Niall being a typical right-wing douchebag.
As to the sexual politics: for 67 years–since Joseph Schumpeter in his obituary for John Maynard Keynes took what had been a within-Harvard whispering campaign into print, it has been a thing on the right to say, or at least hint, or to tiptoe up to: “Keynes was a perv and Keynesianism is pervy and Keynesians are perhaps perverts themselves.” Niall Ferguson’s been doing this for decades. But lots of other people have been doing it too.
It’s certainly not Ferguson’s first such attack on Keynes:
“Though his work at the Treasury gratified his sense of self-importance, the war itself made Keynes deeply unhappy. Even his sex life went into a decline, perhaps because the boys in London he liked to pick up all joined up…”
But this quote DeLong found was probably my favorite, from Joseph Schumpeter:
So (Keynes) he turned resolutely to the only ‘parameter of action’ that seemed left… monetary management….
I thought it was Joos that did that, not the gheys.
Update. h/t RaflW