No, no … I wasn’t referring to Keynesians but to Keystone Keynesians, the difference being explained: “that bad times demand more spending and good times are an opportunity to spend more.”
Keynesians cut spending in good times.
Keystone Keynesians (think Keystone Cops for comparison) increase spending in good times.
When Nixon infamously said that we’re all Keynesians now he was wrong, not just because we were not “all” Keynesians but because the self styled Keynesians were already transitioning into the Keystone type.
At issue was that Keynes fundamentally misunderstood how his ideas would be received by actual politicians: that in the end ALL they would learn from him was an excuse to spend more and to have more power.
This represents a fundamental failure in his philosophy and should invalidate his work. I would argue that he got it wrong for precisely the reason why so many economists get it wrong: they do not start-to-finish with how people are prone to behave but instead want to describe economies as if rational entities.
This distinguishes someone like Adam Smith from men like Keynes: whatever his flaws Smith he tried to look at how people actually behave and how they might behave to make themselves and their nation more prosperous. Even his idea of free trade was relative to its benefit incurred to the nation and its people (and not to anything like globalism or world citizenship) which is entirely proper and right.