Hayek vs Keynes: who won?

January 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Misc. | 8 Comments

The cause of Keynesianism suffered a damaging blow today. The reason: John Maynard Keynes.

Yeah, I know this rap battle between ‘Keynes’ and ‘Hayek’ is just a bit of fun & an entertaining way of introducing economics to the masses.

But c’mon people, battles are serious! In real rap battles, reputations get made or torn apart. People spend hours analysing a rapper’s technique; his one-liners; the viciousness of his disses; whether his opponent was able to hit back. More importantly, each battle has a winner and a loser, so I’ll let the serious folks debate over who has the better economic theory. For me, it’s all about who won the battle.

As in most things, context is everything. Going into this, Keynes was the Undisputed King of econorap. His theories saved the world from the biggest financial crisis of our time, and now that economies are making paper again, he’s earned his right to a victory lap. What’s more, he’s battling a man seen as responsible for fucking the whole game up in the first place. This should be a formality.



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He certainly wastes no time pointing out why he’s ‘the shit’. He’s a VIP in every club, the ladies hang on his every word and there are cocktails aplenty. By contrast, Hayek is yesterday’s man – ignored by all except for use as a punchline. Sensing that his counterpart is an irrelevance, Keynes doesn’t even give him the courtesy of a diss. He’s the only game in town.

Except this isn’t the same Keynes we knew & loved back in the day. He’s lost the hunger; the fire he used to breathe at the start of the crisis; the urgent hectoring for change. He treats the listener as if Keynesianism is a self-evident truth, and forgets that whilst he might be stackin’ that paper, many of his listeners will still be enduring gruelling times.

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This may have been the final straw. Dismayed by what he feels is economic gibberish and fed-up at being patronised by leftist hangers-on (this one’s probably even a feminist! And how many schools has she influenced?!), you can see Hayek plotting his response. Sure, his theories might not be the best looking and he no longer gets invites to Federal Reserve club nights, but he’s still got pride, dammit! With that humiliation, Freddie leafs through the rap bible and turns to its most devastating trick: turning an enemy’s strength into a liability.

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Is it possible, Hayek wonders, that Keynes’ playa lifestyle ain’t all what it seems? Doesn’t he enjoy his cocktails a little too much? Aren’t his hangers-on the same ones who were stroking Freddie’s ‘tache just a few years ago? By showing the listeners the darker side of his hedonistic lifestyle, he suggests that Johnny-boy might be an addict, and there’s nothing dope about a fiend. Now, economists rappers might be known for their ruthlessness, but even by their standards, this is some cold shit.

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Beyond that, Hayek just wants it more. He still has scores to settle and points to prove. He cares about the game too much to let it be left to some smooth-talking showman who’s getting drunk off his own hubris. This shows in the way Freddie attacks the beat, the vigour he puts into the performance, and the brutal way he attacks his opponent:

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Stood smart and stoic against a backdrop of a wretching Keynes, Hayek pulls off an against all odds triumph, proving perhaps that rappers are naturally libertarian. Perhaps Keynes should take up indie rock?


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  1. I have no words for the sheer awesomeness of this post. As they say: props, man.

    • Heh, cheers! or..

      Word to b.gerens for the parlaying news of this shit.

  2. very clever and so true! thanks!

  3. Glorious. This made my day.

    Thanks, Man.

    • You’re very welcome. Thanks for making it! :-)

  4. […] Hayek vs Keynes: who won? crossposted from The Bleeding Heart Show […]

  5. […] at 4:24 pm | Posted in British Politics, New Labour | Leave a Comment Being such a well-versed connoisseur of hip hop, I do have a love for the way words sound. When spoken, ‘fetish’ has this […]

  6. […] Who won the battle? […]

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