A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/21)
“What do you call two witches who live together?"/"Broommates.” (10/21)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/21)
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Entry from July 19, 2010
“Capitalism is the belief that the wickedest of men will do wicked things for the greatest good”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikiquote: John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes of Tilton (5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946) was a British economist whose ideas, known as Keynesian economics, had a major impact on modern economic and political theory and on many governments’ fiscal policies.
(...)
Attributed
Capitalism is “the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.”
. Attributed by Sir George Schuster, Christianity and human relations in industry (1951), p. 109
. Recent variant: Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
. . As quoted in Moving Forward: Programme for a Participatory Economy (2000) by Michael Albert, p. 128

Monopoly
By E. A. G. Robinson (Edward Austin Gossage Robinson)
London: Nisbet & Co.
1941
Camridge: Cambridge University Press
1948 (reprint)
Pg. 276:
The great merit of the capitalist system, it has been said, is that it succeeds in using the nastiest motives of nasty people for the ultimate benefit of society.

Google Books
Christianity and human relations in industry
By Sir George Ernest Schuster
London: Epworth Press
1951
Pg. ?:
This theory and practice were supported (to quote Canon Demant) ‘by the doctrine of the invisible hand which behind the scenes of human will and intelligence made all things work together for good whether men loved God or not’ or, as J. M. Keynes used to put it, ‘the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.’

Google Books
The social psychology of industry:
Human relations in the factory

By J. A, C, Brown
Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books
1954
Pg. 305:
J. M. Keynes once defined capitalism as ‘the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds’, and in this sense, at least, capitalism is dead.

Google Groups: alt.quotations
Newsgroups: alt.quotations
From: (William D Muscato)
Date: 26 May 1993 17:42:59 GMT
Local: Wed, May 26 1993 12:42 pm
Subject: capitalism

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone
-keynes

Google Groups: ont.politics
Newsgroups: ont.politics, can.politics
From: “Pierre Bastien” Date: 1999/05/09
Subject: Re: Enough “Common Sense”—how about “Common Decency” ?

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” - John Maynard Keynes

Google Groups: ont.politics
Newsgroups: ont.politics, can.politics
From: Chris J Delanoy
Date: 1999/05/10
Subject: Re: Enough “Common Sense”—how about “Common Decency” ?

> “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men
> will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of
> everyone.” - John Maynard Keynes

I know it’s just a tagline, but this is again a false representation of capitalism.  The moral justification for capitalism is _not_ that it does “the greatest good” (even though we know that that _is_ an unintended consequence).  The moral and economic justification of capitalism is that it is the only system consistent with man’s rationality and intelligence.

Steve Cotler’s Irrepressibly True Tales
John Maynard Keynes: Capitalism and the “Nastiest/Wickedest of Men”
Of course you know that not everything on the web is accurate, but what if you find Athousands of hits for a quotation, including citations in Webster’s Online Dictionary, the Washington Post, and the Howard Law Journal?

“Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.”

You can find this statement, attributed to economist John Maynard Keynes all over the web. It also appears, somewhat more frequently, in this form:

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.“

In no case, (even in a book about capitalism) is the quotation accompanied by a citation naming its source among Keynes’ many books and lectures.
(...)
Written by Steve Cotler on July 7, 2009 at 1:28 am and filed under Business/Economics, Politics.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, July 19, 2010 • Permalink