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The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924–1936$
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Peter Clarke

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202196.001.0001

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Prologue to Part IV

Prologue to Part IV

(p.228) (p.229) Prologue to Part IV
The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924–1936

Peter Clarke

Oxford University Press

If tactical commitments and opportunism fuelled Keynes's progress towards the position of the Treatise, can the origins of the General Theory be explained along similar lines? Keynes's abandonment of the Treatise, so soon after publication, is remarkable, given the forceful way in which he deployed its rhetoric about a gap between savings and investment. However, this appealing rhetoric concealed difficulties in the formal logic of the theory. Keynes subsequently regarded his progress towards the theory of effective demand as the outcome of a series of ‘moments of transition’. It is an account which stands up to historical scrutiny, and it suggests that there were four chronological stages, of which the principle of effective demand constituted the second. The General Theory was thus a fundamental challenge to the theoretical basis of neo-classical economics.

Keywords:   Treatise, General Theory, Keynes, investment, effective demand

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