In The Long Run We Are All Dead By Geoff Mann

Introduction by
Jessica Dempsey, University of British Columbia and Nik Heynan, University of Georgia

This is an extraordinary book. It is lucid, compelling, insightful, and a tremendous achievement. It is dense and scholarly but also fascinating, moving, gripping even. Geoff Mann really wants you to understand, he wants you to see what he sees, and he has a gift for involving you in the process of discovering all the threads and alleyways that animate this study.

I

n his In the Long Run We’re All Dead: Keynes, Political Economy, and Revolution (Verso, 2017), Geoff Mann takes stock of the resurrection of Keynesian theory in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and provocatively argues that Keynesianism has become a “faith for the faithless” that seeks not to save capitalism, but rather to save civilization from itself. In seeking to quash civil dissent and manage poverty, Keynesian theory is, for Mann, “modern liberalism’s most persuasive internal critique, meeting two centuries of crisis with a proposal for capital without capitalism and revolution without revolutionaries.” Following from a lively author-meets-critics exchange at the 2018 AAG, this forum collects and extends the insights of Mann’s magisterial book, highlighting the books’ immense achievements and its contributions to debates over neoliberal markets, capitalist crisis, liberal modernity, the management of poverty, and revolutionary politics. The reviews are exemplary: they are substantive, engaging, and deep appreciations of the book that nevertheless engage in generous yet sharp critiques of its key arguments. What results is a lively conversation between Mann and his reviewers, a collective refusal to accept the quiescence of Keynesian politics, and at the end, a collective effort to extend “our sense of what is possible” (Goldstein).

essays in this forum

Review By Emilie Cameron

This is an extraordinary book. It is lucid, compelling, insightful, and a tremendous achievement. It is dense and scholarly but also fascinating, moving, gripping even. Geoff Mann really wants you to understand, he wants you to see what he sees, and he has a gift for involving you in the process of discovering all the threads and alleyways that animate this study.

By

Emilie Cameron

Review By Vinay Gidwani

"In the Long Run We Are All Dead" is a stunning and audacious book that invites multiple re-visits, so impressive is its oeuvre and so numerous its insights. The book’s key premise is that Keynesianism is neither confined to the person of J.M. Keynes nor an ‘-ism’ that congeals in his wake.

By

Vinay Gidwani

Review By Jesse Goldstein

Geoff Mann’s important new book, In the Long Run We are Dead, moves beyond conventional understandings of Keynesianism as a largely one-dimensional antecedent and foil for neoliberalism. Through careful historical and exegetical analysis, beginning in the wake of the French revolution and extending through to the 2007/8 financial crisis, Mann develops a nuanced understanding of Keynesianism as a complex and cohesive, pervasive and enduring set of ontological groundings, political presuppositions and aspirational visions that infuse much of what is considered to be left political thought.

By

Jesse Goldstein

Review By Gillian Hart

I’m sure I’m not the first to say that Geoff Mann has produced an incredible tour de force, but I’ll say it anyway because it’s true. The book is an extraordinary accomplishment, compelling us to understand both Keynesianism and our bourgeois selves in an entirely new light.

By

Gillian Hart

Review By Cindi Katz

"In the Long Run We Are All Dead" by Geoff Mann is an extraordinary accomplishment—an almost Talmudic reading and exegesis of Keynes and Keynesianism, their influences in Hegel and Robespierre among others, and their effects on contemporary political economy and everyday understandings of how the world works (or should).

By

Cindi Katz

Response By Geoff Mann

I have sat on this collection of comments on In the Long Run for a few months now, periodically rereading them in the hope that I would find a way to organize my thoughts. The obvious unifying feature I have come up with is that no one should read the book without also reading these responses to it. I cannot overstate my appreciation for the endorsements and generosity with which Emilie Cameron, Vinay Gidwani, Jesse Goldstein, Gill Hart and Cindi Katz each open their contributions.

By

Geoff Mann