Ferguson claims that Keynes's:
belief in "the ideas contained in The Economic Consequences of the Peace" "owed as much to his homosexuality as to his Germanophilia…" for "there is no question that the attraction Keynes felt for [Carl Melchior] strongly influenced his judgment…"What is it with Niall Ferguson? And what's this about "Germanophilia"? Throughout the whole book his point is that even though the Allies rightly detested Germany's actions it made no sense to pursue the a Carthaginian Peace. Sure he dedicates ink to the suffering of the German people. I always thought that just meant that Keynes was a deeply empathetic individual. I never got the impression Germanophilia motivated any of it.
This is all related to the "in the long run..." point I made earlier.
Pick up the book and read it people. The argument is that the long run is a poor guide to "current affairs" - that economists set themselves to too easy and too useless a task if all they can do is say that when the storm has passed the sea is calm again.
This is not a particularly revolutionary point, although it's well written in this case. Economists are always more interested in the transitional dynamics than the long run equilibrium.
Somebody needs to mail Niall Ferguson a copy of Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren too.
How did this myth of not caring about the long-run ever get started in the first place. Somebody needs to do some sleuthing to determine the first person who bitched and moaned about this. I'm guessing he probably has a "von" in his name and that it first surfaced a long time ago indeed.