Extract from ‘Essays in Persuasion’
by John Maynard Keynes
(Norton and Co Edition, New York, 1963)
Pages 371-372: from the last essay ‘The Future’


“I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue – that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanour, and the love of money is detestable, that those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow. We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honour those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and the day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things, the lilies of the field who toil not, neither do they spin.

But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.”



Since Keynes died in 1946, his “. . . For at least another hundred years.” takes us to 2046-ish (assuming linear extrapolation) or much earlier (assuming compounded, exponential extrapolation: the mathematics of compound interest).

This extract is copied from part of the information pack:
‘End Violence! End Poverty!’
Available from the Campaign for Interest-Free Money
(write to 13 North Road Hertford Herts SG14 1LN (UK)