Niall Ferguson apologises for remarks about 'gay and childless' Keynes | Books | The Guardian
“Ferguson asked the audience how many children Keynes had. Keynes had many same-sex relationships, and in fact was apparently. Yet Ferguson's comments force us to contemplate what Keynes really thought pointed out that “in the long run,” this relationship was “probably true. but it was not because of homosexuality, it was because of uncertainty. Cold: Ferguson said the British economist Keynes, pictured, had selfish ideas Married: John Maynard Keynes' wife Lydia Lopokova was a ballerina. . 90s comedy for its jokes on the 'Soup Nazi' and same-sex relationships.
When I was researching the background for Bloomsbury BallerinaI had access to thousands of notes and letters that Lopokova and Keynes exchanged when work or travel kept them apart. And from the frank, intimate detail of their correspondence, it's clear that theirs was an extraordinary relationship, and very far from a "mariage blanc".
Niall Ferguson: Keynesian Economics Flawed Because Keynes Was Gay, Childless
They first fell in love at the end ofwhen Lopokova was still a star ballerina with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. At that point, Keynes had risked only a few experimental episodes with women, and the love of his life was still the painter Duncan Grant. Like many men of his generation whose early experiences were homosexual, he didn't discount the idea of marriage and children, but even so he was disarmed, even terrified, by the power of his feelings for Lopokova.
It wasn't just that she was a woman — she was also so alien. As the daughter of a Russian peasant and an itinerant, erratically educated dancer she had little contact with Keynes's own world, whose fixed points were Eton, Cambridge and Bloomsbury. But Keynes and Lopokova were both exceptional oddities: Lank and Lydochka, as they called each other, were enchanted by each other's differences. And while Duncan Grant initially wrote to Vanessa Bell that the idea of them as a couple "beggars my imagination", they married in and that marriage turned into a long, loyal and happy one.
ONLINE ONLY: Ferguson's Fact of Nature | Standpoint
As for the sex — references in the correspondence to his "slender subtle fingers", her "foxy lips", their vivid "fluctuations" in bed, indicate that, despite early conflicts over Keynes's desire to maintain a male lover, they made each other very happy. Keynes never stopped desiring beautiful men, but he was physically beguiled by Lopokova and settled into a very uxorious husband. Certainly they wanted children, and even before their marriage Keynes had anticipated them "starting their work on population", and imagining the "poet" they would produce together.
If he was disappointed by their failure to become parents, Lopokova was temporarily very depressed by it. The reasons for their childlessness remain unclear.
Niall Ferguson Didn’t Even Get Keynes’ Sex Life Right |
Another reporter, Tom Kostigen of Financial Advisor, gave a longer account. Kostigen wrote that Ferguson had also made mention of the fact that Keynes had married a ballerina, despite his gay affairs. He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of 'poetry' rather than procreated," Kostigen wrote.
He added that the audience at the event went quiet when the remarks were uttered. The account was also backed up by a Twitter message posted by conference attendee and journalist Daniel Jamiesona senior editor at Investment News.
In his apology Ferguson explained: This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations.
Niall Ferguson should know that JM Keynes's marriage was happy – with plenty of sex
Second, I had forgotten that Keynes's wife Lydia miscarried. This takes gay-bashing to new heights," Kostigen wrote.Niall Ferguson on the Intellectual Dark Web and the Culture War (Pt. 1)
Ferguson insisted he was not anti-gay. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life. As those who know me and my work are well aware, I detest all prejudice, sexual or otherwise," he said. To them, and to everyone who heard my remarks at the conference or has read them since, I deeply and unreservedly apologise," he added.