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Keynes Society Japan (KSJ)


― With Keynes Spirit ―


                             Basic Principles


Article 1. 

To pursue the truth through researches and discussions, in keeping with what we call the "Keynes Spirit", in order to contribute to understanding, analyzing and addressing the realities of the world.

Article 2. 

To aim at promoting researches from a wide range of fields such as economic theory,  economic policy, social philosophy, history, culture and so forth. Thus the participation of economists, historians, cultural interpreters, philosophers, art critics, journalists, and the various other authoritative figures is most welcome.

Article 3. 

To provide a venue for interdisciplinary and comprehensive points of view by means of  give-and-take amongst conterminous areas.

Article 4. 

To direct attention to the present as well as the future and the past.

Article 5. 

To be active on the international dimension.


                                     Presidential Address


It was in January 2009 when steps toward founding an academic society for Keynesian studies were taken in response to the repeated requests I received from Professor Masahiko Hara, Meiji University. A preparatory committee was soon set up, calling on Keynesian scholars to participate in this project. At first, the committee thus constituted discussed how we should address the basic principles for this society, resulting in the "Basic Principles" set out above. The society is named the Keynes Society Japan (the KSJ).

Let us take a closer look at the principles.

Article 1. 

It encapsulates the "Keynes Spirit". Just as concepts such as "freedom" and "justice" should differ among researchers in terms of implications, the "Keynes Spirit" could differ as well. In other words, any researcher with his/her own "Keynes Spirit" is welcome.

Article 2. 

The KSJ expects to embrace wide fields. Economics and economic policy are important, and yet the KSJ should not confine itself to them, for Keynes himself explored and researched amazingly wide fields.

Article 3.

The KSJ should, in essence, be an academic society, but not stop there. The KSJ is interested, for example, in collaboration with professionals in divergent fields such as "Politics", "Philosophy", "Art Criticism", and "the Bloomsbury Group", as well as the media and journalism. for they are the fields in which Keynes played an active and leading role.

Article 4.

It implies that it would be insufficient for a researcher to focus either on the present or on the past to get a grasp on the realities of the world. The KSJ takes the position that to get a grasp on the present, the researcher should at the same time look back to the past and forward to the future. This we understand to have been the position which Keynes himself took.

Article 5.

This implies a recognition that if research does not cross borders it is likely to result in a narrow viewpoint. It should be indispensable for a researcher to seek knowledge/information through global interchange. This was the scale of Keynes's thinking.

(To avoid possible misunderstanding, we will add one more point. The KSJ is perfectly prepared for researchers to be critical of Keynes or Keynesian production, which would certainly not imply exclusion from the KSJ.)

In spite of Keynes's huge influence over economics and social philosophy in the broadest sense, there are few "Keynes societies". One of the main reasons might be found in the history of studies on Keynes, which have seen a succession of groups emerging and struggling in various ways over many years. The idea behind the "Basic Principles" is an intellectual venue filled with the "Keynes Spirit".

Last but not least, it has been thanks to an earnest and positive support and participation not only by scholars of all ages but also by citizens in all walks of life that the KSJ has acted along the "Basic Principles" for over ten years. It will be an honor for the KSJ to continue further contributions, with new scholars and citizens participating in the KSJ's activities. There is no satisfaction greater than this.

Toshiaki Hirai

November 2019