Why I Blog

by Andrew Forrest

Leadership is about influence, and it’s primarily about the influence of ideas. I started blogging because I believe that ideas matter, and I want to be engaged in the public wrestling over which are the true and which are the false ideas. Ideas matter. In fact, as John Maynard Keynes reminds us, history is driven by ideas.


F. Verhelst [http://goo.gl/jXjUOP]

[F. Verhelst http://www.gettyimages.no/detail/photo/old-fashioned-light-bulbs-royalty-free-image/121133961]

[Ideas], both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back…. Soon or late, it is ideas… which are dangerous for good or evil.”

John Maynard Keynes from the conclusion of his General Theory?[1936]
(quoted in “Lessons in Statecraft,” by George Weigel,?First Things, May 2015)

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Drew McIntyre April 20, 2015 - 8:32 am

How ironic to hear Keynes talk about “defunct economists”…

On a serious note, thanks for this good word, Andrew.

Andrew Forrest April 20, 2015 - 9:08 am


I hear you: I know nothing about macroeconomics, but on the other hand, neither do most economists, as far as I can tell…

Paul April 20, 2015 - 3:12 pm

I agree. I have opinions about faith, religion, God, Jesus, etc. but those opinions or ideas are always evolving and I am rarely 100% sure about my opinions (even though it may appear otherwise). Other people’s opinion or ideas (even if they are significantly different than mine) really help me think through issues (or ideas). For example, I am relatively conservative in my theology (probably somewhere in between conservative and conventional), but I am reading a book now by Marcus Borg, who “I think” most would say is relatively progressive (nice word for liberal). But I like reading it so that I can better understand issues (and better understand and love those who have opinions that are different than mine) and who knows, I might actually learn something from those with different opinions and that might help me refine my own ideas. I use to say that what I seek is truth, but I am not sure I will ever know the truth, so I have given up on that and instead I just want to be informed so that I can understand issues and reach conclusions that I can at least partially defend. You blog helps me with that. Thank you.

Fr?d?ric Verhelst May 14, 2015 - 7:16 am

Dear Andrew,
Thank you for using my image on your “Why I blog” post. I appreciate that you’re using it on a non-profit website, and I am fine with your usage, on the condition that you be so kind to credit me as the owner, by-line: F. Verhelst, and a link back to Getty Images, where this image is for sale: http://www.gettyimages.no/detail/photo/old-fashioned-light-bulbs-royalty-free-image/121133961
Please send me a confirmation.
Thank you.
Best regards,

Andrew Forrest May 14, 2015 - 10:02 am

Mr. Verhelst,

It should be updated now. Thank you for your generosity.



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