G.L.S. Shackle by Peter E. Earl, Bruce Littleboy (auth.)

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By Peter E. Earl, Bruce Littleboy (auth.)

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Instead we have to strive for an insight which fuses informally and, if you like, non-logically, a number of strands which, in their formal aspects, mutually repel each other. (1965, p. 2) If we cannot unify by synthesis, let us arrange systems decorously in a scheme and appreciate rival theories as we would works of art. He delighted in the rivalry of ideas, but personal conflict repelled him. In his first publication, Shackle (1933) attempted (unpersuasively) to reconcile the theories of Keynes and Hayek.

Indeed nihilism was a virtue of the kaleidic outgrowths from Keynes’s mechanical model (Shackle, 1967, p. 247; 1968, p. xxx; 1972, p. 160). The meaning and connotation of ‘nihilism’ may help decide the matter. For further discussion of what the charge of nihilism signified, refer to Parsons (1993) and Samuels (1993). However humble Shackle’s claims to knowledge may be, we are not left completely in the dark. An ontological conception of indeterminacy invites an epistemic position of uncertainty from which suitable methods of enquiry emerge.

People are not certain to spend their incomes. Anxiety may be expressed in an unwillingness to spend and by a heightened propensity to hoard. Money permits the deferral of spending on output. We may also avoid lending and defer the purchase of financial assets. Being liquid gives us time to think and lets us act quickly when we do decide. Money is dope, a tranquilizer against the effects of not knowing what to do. Money is what saves you from having to make up your mind what to buy. (Shackle, 1966, p.

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