On Replacing the Keynesian Establishment


by Gary North

One of the fields of historical study is the history of ideas. In almost all cases I have ever read, an author concentrates only on the ideas; he does not describe the historical circumstances in which a particular idea faded, or triumphed, or never had any effect at all.

Robert Nisbet once had a great phrase: “Ideas do not beget ideas the way that butterflies beget butterflies.” To discuss the history of ideas, the author should in all cases discuss the historical settings of those ideas. He has to ask and then answer the basic questions: what, when, where, who, and why — in that order. To do this, he needs to do four things:

Follow the confessions.
Follow the organizations.
Follow the money.
Follow the media.

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