Is Keynesianism a philosophy of the short run? Brad DeLong reprints a piece of his from a few years ago in which he excoriates Niall Ferguson, and before him Hayek and Schumpeter, for pushing the calumny that Keynes didn't care about the future, perhaps (as Schumpeter wrote) because he didn't have any children. (Wink, wink.) You know, "In the long run we are all dead." Etc. DeLong cites chapter and verse to show there is nothing to this, and that Keynes was looking as far ahead as any free market obsessive. Good job.
Now I'll quote myself in the comments:
You are right to call out this trail of dishonesty, but I think there are two other factors. First, Keynes does (esp in his later writings) advocate the promotion of spending in various forms to counteract shortfalls in income. From an economic viewpoint this should be self-evident, but it challenges the the cultural biases that many conservatives harbor. Keynes was perfectly clear in including investment in that spending imperative, but he also saw moral as well as intellectual worth in pure consumption. From a political standpoint, the flashpoint is savings, which loses its intrinsic virtue in a world where I (largely) determines S rather than the other way around.
The second issue is that the theory wars of the 1970s led to a partition in the 1980s: Keynesians were given the short run (when prices were sticky and money illusion ruled) and classicals the long run. From this arrangement, which has little to do with the thought of Keynes himself (representing him as if he were a proponent of the Treasury View), many people read backward and assumed it stemmed from JMK's short run fixation.
In fact, the problem of time horizons is perhaps greater than ever before. Climate change is all about this, and at the same time our flexibilized economy is in a permanent short run. Right issue, wrong theory.