Thus this remarkable system depended for its growth on a double bluff or deception. On the one hand the laboring classes accepted from ignorance or powerlessness, or were compelled, perusade or cajoled by custom, convention, authority, and the well-established order of Society into accepting a situation in which they could call their own very little of the cake that they and Nature and the capitalists were co-operating to produce. And on the other hand the capitalist classes were allowed to call the best part of the cake theirs and were theoretically free to consume it, on the tacit underlying condition that they consumed very little of it in practice.
He was speaking of Europe in the 50 years prior to WW I - a very different place and time. Of course, Keynes (like anyone who believes him today) was both stupid and an idiot. What possible relevance can his pronouncements have to us, here and now?
Update: Probably not his intention, but it looks as if Ed might have an answer to the relevance question.
H/T to Thoma.