An important post at Talking Points Memo this morning observes that the “anti-Keynesians” have won the Washington argument for now; stimulus is dead and austerity rules. The evidence: a Nancy Pelosi statement that “it is clear we must now enter an age of austerity.”Fair enough, although Pelosi’s idea of austerity may not quite be up to Tea Party standards.The TPM piece cites my post on why nothing is shovel-ready as an example of anti-Keynesian thought; I wouldn’t put it that way. Keynes’ greatest contribution to economic thought wasn’t the concept of deficit spending to stimulate growth. It was to provide a framework for thinking about economic policy in the light of changing historical circumstance.Keynes was rarely doctrinaire; most of the theoretical work we now call Keynesianism was conducted after his death by economists as they turned his insights and intuitions into a systematic body of theory. If Keynes were around today, he would be immensely skeptical that equations derived from his analysis of the 1930s would provide much policy guidance for the very different world we now have.My guess is that a contemporary Keynes would argue that ‘macroeconomics’, the study of national economies that became the domain of traditional Keynesianism, is outmoded and that an entirely new discipline of ‘megaeconomics’, the study of the global economy as a whole, is what we need.Keynes was an intellectual pioneer, not a bureaucratic administrator of conventional ideas. We need more and not less of his spirit today.