The Economic Consequences of the Peace

In the aftermath of the financial crisis you 've probably heard the word 'keynesian'. Keyenisian policy means that the government intervenes in the economy in order to stimulate growth and put more people into work. Keynesian comes from the British economist John Maynard Keynes. During the crisis of the 1930s he wrote a famous book in which he developped his theses.

Keynes was a bright man and economist. When he was young he belonged to the Bloomsberg group, a collection of very creative young men and women. After the First World War he was a member of the British delegation during the peace talks which led to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. He published a book on his experiences : The Economic Consequences of the Peace. I 'm reading it for the moment. One of the advantages of learning advanced English is that you gradually become able to read classical English books. In his book Keynes stated that the reparation payments demanded by the Allies from Germany for the damages of the war were far too high. In fact, Keynes proofed to be right, as the German economy would be ruined in 1923 by hyperinflation.

I 'm being particularly struck by his description of the main antigonists. In a kind of synchronicity we 're learning right now the vocabulary on personality types in English class. Keynes gives a description of President Wilson of the United States. Let me dwell on some more advanced English words and expressions he uses in the context of personality types. 

a generously intentioned man (met goede bedoelingen)

lacking intellectual equipment

dangerous spellbinders (gevaarlijke charismatische redenaars)

solitary/aloof (afstandelijk, gereserveerd)

strong-willed/obstinate (koppig)/tenacity (vasthoudendheid)

lofty imagination (hooggestemde verbeelding)

to have that culture of the world

the temperament of the student or the scholar

exquisitely cultivated gentlemen

insensitive to his surroundings/not sensitive to his surroundings/unerring, almost medium-like sensibility to everyone (een onfeilbaar, bijna mediamiek aanvoelen van iedereen)

philosopher-king/a nonconformist minister, perhaps a Presbyterian (hier betekent minister een predikant)

ill-informed as to European conditions

his mind was slow and unadaptable

the swiftness, apprehension and agility of Lloyd George

an unresourceful mind

slow-minded and bewildered (traag van geest en verward)

the aloofness (afstandelijkheid, gereserveerdheid/the abnormal reserve of his nature

dullness (saaiheid)

a persistent attitude of obstruction, criticism and negation

sheer obstinacy (loutere koppigheid)

intransigency (onbuigzaamheid)

anti-German resentment: anti-Duitse rancune, anti-Duitse gevoelens van wrok

the Parish press jeered at him: de Parijs pers jouwde hem uit

conscientious (plichtsbewust)


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