I haven’t checked, but I assume that “tuberculosis” could not have been used prior to developments which followed Pasteur’s discovery of the ‘existence of germs,’ sine the label refers to the bacillus which carries the illness.



P.S. About 20 years plus/minus ago Richard Lewontiin wrote some fine articles in the New York Review of Books demolishing the idea that germs cause illness; germs are a causal factor if and only if a mass of social conditions make them effective. To say germs cause X is like saying electricity causes freezing: your freezer won’t work without electricity, but it is obviously false to say electricity causes freezing. It is similarly ridiculous to say that the tuberculin bacillus causes tuberculosis.


From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nancy Gish
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2012 11:10 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: FW: [Pen-l] The Krugman-Layard "Manifesto for Economic Sense"


I assume this q uestion is rhetorical, but, if not, the answer is yes. It was a major cause of death in the 19th C.



>>> P <[log in to unmask]> 6/27/2012 10:36 PM >>>
Isn't consumption another name for tuberculosis?

Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

The following post contains a letter written by Keynes to Eliot in 1945.




From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Walker
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:01 PM
To: PEN-L list
Subject: Re: [Pen-l] The Krugman-Layard "Manifesto for Economic Sense"


Posted at ecological headstand: http://ecologicalheadstand.blogspot.ca/2012/06/krugman-layard-manifesto-for-economic.html

Mr. Keynes always knew this day would come:

"When the rate of interest has fallen to a very low figure and has remained there sufficiently long to show that there is no further capital construction worth doing even at that low rate, then I should agree that the facts point to the necessity of drastic social changes directed towards increasing consumption. For it would be clear that we already had as great a stock of capital as we could usefully employ." -- 1934, "Is the Economic System Self-Adjusting?"

And he had a prescription for it:

"when investment demand is so far saturated that it cannot be brought up to the indicated level of savings without embarking upon wasteful and unnecessary enterprises... [i]t becomes necessary to encourage wise consumption and discourage saving,-and to absorb some part of the unwanted surplus by increased leisure, more holidays (which are a wonderfully good way of getting rid of money) and shorter hours." -- 1943 "The Long-Term Problem of Full Employment."

He explained his rationale in a 1945 letter to T.S. Eliot:

"The full employment policy by means of investment is only one particular application of an intellectual theorem. You can produce the result just as well by consuming more or working less. Personally I regard the investment policy as first aid. In US it almost certainly will not do the trick. Less work is the ultimate solution. How you mix up the three ingredients of a cure is a matter of taste and experience, i.e. of morals and knowledge."

Ironically, both Professor Krugman and Professor Layard implicitly rejected Keynes's intellectual theorem with their unwitting embrace of the bogus "lump-of-labor (or output) fallacy" claim, which descended from a archaic prototype of Jean-Baptiste [log in to unmask]">Say's "Law of Markets" (aggregate supply creates its own aggregate demand) that Keynes directly opposed.

(See also 'Kick-starting the Recovery': An Open Letter to Jonathan Portes.)


Tom Walker (Sandwichman)