The more I read the more I thought: Keynes was surely joking. No one in his position could really be that confused, contradictory, and ignorant of economic logic. It had to be a gag on the economics profession, an emperor-with-no-clothes experiment.
Thus I smiled when I got to Hazlitt's statement in chapter XXV, "Did Keynes Recant?" (p. 398):
Keynes was a brilliant man. Much of what he wrote he wrote in tongue-in-cheek, for the pleasure of paradox, to épater le bourgois [shock the middle class], in the spirit of Wilde, Shaw, and the Bloomsbury circle. Perhaps the whole of the General Theory was intended as a huge (400-page) joke, and Keynes was appalled to find disciples who took it all literally.If it was a joke, Keynes helped inflict much misery and oppression on innocent people just for a laugh. I guess for the elitist Keynes, the well-being of the masses can't be allowed to impede his bold and daring lifestyle. It is for people like him that secularists like me wish there was a place of fire and brimstone.
At any rate, I highly recommend Hazlitt's book. Don Boudreaux says that Richard Dawkins's The Blind Watchmaker proves that any subject, no matter how complex, can be written about clearly and accessibly. I say the same about The Failure of the "New Economics."
Cross-posted at Anything Peaceful and Liberty and Power.