1 Survey of his life,
2 Evidence of his failures, and how he was used - just as Marx was used,
3 Summary of suspicion about his death.
1 Survey of J M Keynes' life's work
John Maynard Keynes was born in 1883 in Cambridge, England, where he spent some of his life as an academic, before moving to London. He studied probability theory, possibly under the influence of G E Moore, whose utilitarianism suggested that happiness could be measured as a sum of probabilities and outcomes. He also wrote Indian Currency and Finance, published in 1913, which looked at the rupee as silver coinage in India, and the gold standard and paper money. He was regarded as something of an authority, possibly because of his manner and connections. At any rate, when the 'Great War' 'broke out', he worked for or with the Treasury, as it is still rather inaccurately called today. He seems to have worked on deals for loans for weapons etc - Russell said he was working out how to kill Germans as cheaply as possible. He represented the Treasury at the Versailles negotiations.
Keynes became well-known on the publication in 1919 of his The Economic Consequences of the Peace. He is reported to have 'made a fortune' from foreign currency speculation between the wars. One of C P Snow's novels has a character who took seriously Keynes' comment that any intelligent man can make money from the Stock Exchange. He made money in what look at first sight a less theoretical manner, by investing in whaling - he was told by a student how much money there was in it. He was (arguably) best known for his descriptions of politicians at Versailles - Clemenceau's weariness over England's destruction of a trade rival and worries over German ascendancy, Lloyd George's sixth sense, Wilson's gullibility. In fact however Keynes gives good macro accounts of population changes and psychology of the Victorian era - the figures were being collected and being made available for the first time. His predictions for the future of Germany were not unlike the later Morgenthau plan.
He seems to have been rather unconcerned by hyperinflation in Germany and elsewhere, and Bolshevism, and, later, the 'Great Depression'. His A Treatise on Money (1930) must have been a counter to the standard work, R. G. Hawtrey's Currency and Credit, also republished in 1930 in considerably edited form. One of Hawtrey's arguments was on the nature of money; he didn't think the alternative to money was barter, but thought banks could simply tally up claims - part of the absorption of the idea of valueless money, backed by state enforcement.
In 1936 he published his General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money which was widely attacked. It gradually gained support. However, for our purposes the detail is less important than noting that it is not an easy read.
In 1940, after Britain declared war on Germany, he published How to Pay for the War; a typical account says this 'discussed methods and techniques like taxation, compulsory saving (workers loaning money to the government), rather than deficit spending'. He was a Director of the Bank of England for an astonishingly short time, a bit more than six months straddling 1941 and 1942.
Keynes was involved in designing the post-Second World War arrangements, notably Bretton Woods, and in negotiating a U.S. loan to Britain, in 1945. There's an account in Roy F Harrod's The Life of John Maynard Keynes: '... Federal Reserve Building... Twenty billion dollars of shining gold! ... He had come to ask for six of those billions... Americans were also mounting the steps. ... One or two may have had slightly different thoughts. 'Oh, look, there is that tiresome man again; we shall have to listen to him telling us in his precious voice and superior manner what we ought to do; but the war is over, and he will have to moderate his tone, if he wants the money.' ... the rarest marbles had been brought from the ends of the earth... every detail was perfect. And so into the great Board Room on the first floor. ...' and on the IMF and World Bank - '... Keynes opposed these views with the utmost vigour. He claimed that these scales [i.e. salaries of officials] would bring discredit on the international bodies from the outset. Here were these persons voting themselves into cushy jobs at large salaries free of income tax. ...'
[Note on Lindemann/ Cherwell: David Irving is his 2015 talk on Churchill's bombing of Germany stated Lindemann wasn't Jewish, or even German. His source was a biography, The Prof by Roy Harrod. Another Harrod biography was of Keynes; it's possible Harrod was a Robert Jungk type, charged with the task of producing seemingly independent books to 'sanitise' history - Rerev 4 Aug 2015]
2 Where Keynes Failed
** Note that Keynes had his own views, and wasn't afraid to air them. I suspect this led to him being kept out of some groups.
** His main work concentrated on money and credit; he has little concern with the human costs and disasters of wars, though there are dutiful descriptions of devastations he personally witnessed in France.
** All his economics work was related to finance and money. There's very little on the meat of economics - houses, food, water, mining, manufacture, health, warmth, clothing, moving stuff around. Typically, one of his footnotes on Germany criticises the way ores were valued by some naive politician - he looked at the value, not the material. He doesn't seem to have had much idea of raw materials; this helped his blind spot over force in economics.
** His explanations are ponderous, despite the general belief in his brilliance. (Russell said he seldom left a conversation with Keynes without feeling something of a fool). I think this was because of his feeling of being part of the Cambridge intelligentsia. Anyway, the net result was that his views were obscure - he had to be asked.
** Keynes' ideas of profit-making were all 19th century. This includes stock exchange activity, though less so as regards the gambling element. He regarded government as a referee or administrator. He had little concept, as far as I can see, of the idea that governments can tyrannise and become separate from their subjects/victims. If they do, they can make money, not by satisfying demands, but simply by taking percentages, taxing, imposing death and other duties, and legal expropriation. Just as lawyers can happily inflict damage if they make money from it, or corporations which make bombs make profit even if they are wasted. There's a well-known passage in Keynes about modern societies not being able to mimic the wastage of the pyramids by building two railways from London to York, or by putting money into bottles, burying them in mines, then paying people to dig them up. Despite close familiarity with wartime finance he seems to have missed these uneasy profit-making interest groups which conflict with community interests.
** Keynes is sometimes described as 'socialist' by Americans who haven't understood the distinction between socialism and Jewish-run 'communism'. In fact he was a traditional 'capitalist', supporting individual effort and enterprise, but recognised there are situations where this doesn't operate. The New Leader, newspaper of the Independent Labour Party, ran a printed debate between him and Bertrand Russell on the topic.
** I don't think Keynes distinguished clearly between possible controllers of paper money. The Fed is different from the notes which were in principle convertible to gold. Possibly his stay at the Bank of England enlightened him.
** Keynes had a 19th century naivete about propaganda and information. The Times, The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Punch in lighter moments, were regarded by most British people as more-or-less infallible. Despite criticisms, even the Archbishop of Canterbury had influence. Writers - Dickens, Arnold Bennett, R L Stevenson, Ruskin, J S Mill, Joseph Conrad, Galsworthy, Max Beerbohm as a jumbled sample - were obviously more-or-less independent voices. The Great War (later renamed First World War) ended much of this - H G Wells being appointed as head of the official 'news' outfit. In the 1920s, Belloc pointed out that the Times had used a Jewish source in Germany during the 19th century; and other such information leaked out. But Keynes in his Economic Consequences of the Peace comments on the disproportionate outrage in the US press, compared for example with the French, without realising it was editorial policy. This dangerously naive attitude was extended to the BBC by most people.
COMPARISON OF KEYNES WITH MARX - BOTH WERE WRITERS USED TO SUPPORT OFFICIAL IDEOLOGIES
I'm not concerned here with the actual beliefs where they can be established. Just the uses made of them, in justifying activities, in the USSR and the 'west'
** Both writers were not at all clear and not easy to understand. Largely in each case through a certain arrogance. This of course allows whole schools of argumentative and largely time-wasting writers to flourish.
** Both were descriptive but not deeply analytical. For example Keynes' 'multiplier' described what is seen to happen under some circumstance or other. It's virtually useless as a predictive device. Just as the 'Labour theory of value' describes what is seen under some circumstance, but has no predictive value.
** Both writers were embodied in technical-looking detail which looked impressive and could be used to silence critics. Marx had algebra about 'value', for example, which, appropriately, was of little value. Keynes' General Theory was summaried by IS-LM curves, but it's significant he did not produce these himself, despite his mathematical skill, but nodded some approval for them. And it's also significant that not much use has been found for them.
** Both these people ignored some aspects of economic life which were greatly important to many people. Housing was ignored by both, though Keynes admittedly, like Marx, disliked rentiers. In practice, there's nothing much in either to prevent people being forced into paying high rents. And of course the paper money problems, such a sprivate ownership, were largely ignored by both
** Neither writer was clear on policies. Marx of course had nothing to say on actual policies, and people using him had some problems, for example pretending the state was 'withering away'. But they could claim that nobody was being 'exploited' because the party represented the proletariat. Keynes is popularly thought of as recommending a lot of borrowing, but it seems he thought this was a mistake. The same sort of thing is true of tinkering with interest rates. But again his authority could be used selectively to help recommend actions that parts of the elite wanted.
** Neither had much to say on militarism and force. Marx with 19th century optimism assumed things would get better, and lived in generally law-abiding times - he thought ownership of property was a rather definite thing. Keynes, despite his war experiences, had no theory to cover thugs, intimidation, the sort of thing Rockefeller got up to as exposed by Ida Tarbell, and full-scale war, blockades, and starvation. Both these writers were useful to 'communists' in the USSR and to imperialists of the 'west'.
3 Summary of suspicion about his death
1913 Keynes - Indian Currency and Finance
1914-1918 'Great War' in Europe
1917 Jewish coup in Russia, named 'Russian Revolution'
1919 Keynes - The Economic Consequences of the Peace
1919, reprints inc 1930 - R. G. Hawtrey Currency and Credit
1920s onward - 'Communism' - 'fascism' - hyperinflation - vast expansion of government - vast USSR atrocities - Depression
1930 Keynes - A Treatise on Money
1936 General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
1939 Churchill declares war on Germany
1940 - Keynes - How to Pay for the War
1945 - end of 'Second World War' as it is called. Start of UN, IMF, World Bank etc.
1951 - Roy F Harrod - The Life of John Maynard Keynes (author probably Jewish)
Note: it's quite difficult to find information on Keynes' Collected Writings, even with Internet. It's quite difficult to find if the series is complete, and, if so, the total number of volumes. Macmillan, the publisher (I think) give no information. As far as I've discovered, there were only two editors, Elizabeth Johnson & Donald Moggridge. It's amusing to find online quotations by Keynes about Jews, all using the same wording, and all evidently copies; some one person must have looked at indexes of the multi-volume sets and copied out a few entries, but not, it seems, their sources, probably written in the 1920s about the USSR.
It's possible that Keynes was well aware of the issues I've sketchily outlined above. In fact it's possible that (like Forrestal, and probably Roosevelt) Keynes was murdered, in his case in 1946. His was a long-lived family - his parents, and his brother, lived into their 90s, his sister to 85 - and he must have had the best medical advice then available. He would have been a very competent critic of the post-war global financial system. He had seen the way wars can be carefully discussed and planned and calculated, with debts and credits and ownership secretly rearranged. He had, by his own account, found trying to get these people to take a humanitarian view enormously stressful. They may have feared he'd write an Economic Consequences of the IMF and World Bank and cause quite a stir.
He may even have detected something fishy in the nuclear weapons promotion industry. He'd met Einstein in Berlin, and must have talked to scientists in Cambridge.