John Kenneth Galbraith: Top Ten Conflict Tips

My second favorite economist (after John Maynard Keynes) John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) had some great insights into the world with implications for conflict. So I did another of our Top Ten Conflict Tips dedicated to him. Thanks John! We miss you and would have loved to hear your laceration of the 2008 financial crisis and even better, the apologists for free market fundamentalism still whining….

  1. The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent
  2. It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense that to put out on the troubled sea of thought
  3. Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable
  4. There’s no question that this is a time when corporations have taken over the basic process of governing.
  5. The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness
  6. The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable
  7. Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it just the opposite
  8. You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly too.
  9. In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong
  10. Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

 This is John, farmer’s son, Canadian, life time swimmer too:  See also


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Humor, Conflict Processes, Economic Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, US Political Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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