What follows is the second part of an ongoing conversation that I’ve been having with Jim Livingston about the left and liberalism. Part One is here.
AH: All right, let’s talk about markets and liberalism. And democracy and socialism.
JL: OK. Let me slip the yoke, just for a minute. Let me ask: was John Maynard Keynes a socialist?
I ask the question for two reasons. I still don’t understand why the Left of our time defines itself as against the intellectual legacy of liberalism, even in light of your unfolding argument about Marxism in the making of modern America (the Left had to differentiate itself from the vital center). And I still wonder why markets seem to be the divisor—as if on one side of modernity you’ll find markets, liberty, individualism, and liberalism, and on the other you’ll find statism, equality, solidarity, and socialism. As if we’ve revived the debates of the 1930s! Continue reading