The myth of moral limits

In: Uncategorized

24 Nov 2009

Robert Skidelsky, an academic best known for his mammoth biography of John Maynard Keynes. Reiterates his support for the notion of natural and moral limits in an article on the Guardian comment is free site. Skidelsky is particular keen to rehabilitate Keynes’ argument about moral limits:

“Here I think Keynes comes closest to answering the question of why his “enough” will not, in fact, be enough. The accumulation of wealth, which should be a means to the “good life,” becomes an end in itself because it destroys many of the things that make life worth living. Beyond a certain point – which most of the world is still far from having reached – the accumulation of wealth offers only substitute pleasures for the real losses to human relations that it exacts.”

The topic is discussed in more detail in his recent book on the resurgence of Keynesianism.

It is not clear to me why the accumulation of wealth should necessarily lead to real losses in human relations. On the contrary, the end of scarcity is a pre-condition for a full flowering of such relations.

Comment Form