top of page

NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 8, No. 4 (Winter 1941)

From the point of view of home consumption, communications dealing with the military side of the war serve various ends. They arrest attention (more or less); they inform the public (more or less accurately and more or less fully) of what has happened, without revealing military secrets to the enemy they render the news intelligible (to that part of the public which cares to understand military news more fully); they enable noncombatants to participate vicariously in (selected) experiences of the soldiers; they appeal directly to the people at home and to soldiers in order to maintain more; and they refute unfavorable enemy claims.

Labor was alarmed by what it conceived to be the government’s attempt to wage total war with half-hearted methods. It is true that numerous laws were passed which showed that the government realized that present-day war is total war, and affects the entire structure of the nation. The government moved to establish a control which the Lloyd George government had hesitated to institute until the second and third years of the last war. All shipping and shipbuilding were nationalized. Transportation and food distribution were brought under government control. A Ministry of Supply was set up, with full power to determine priorities, to eliminate competitive bidding and to ration the resources of the nation.

The Palestine home market has been confined almost entirely to the Jewish sector of the country, for the majority of the Arabs consume only a negligible amount of industrial goods and the rest, at least temporarily and in part, reject Jewish products. The technical minimum of output required for profitable production has in many branches been absorbed by the mass immigration of recent years. Yet the possibilities of development have been limited, since even the small home market is by no means reserved for local production. Not only is Palestine’s customs tariff one of the lowest in the world, but the country must, according to the famous Article 18 of the mandatory treaty, admit without discrimination the products of all members of the League of Nations.

Wicksell’s concept of the natural rate of interest has been considered a most powerful tool of analysis in monetary dynamics. It was designed primarily to explain the processes of cumulative price changes, and to provide a simple guiding principle for a banking policy aimed at monetary equilibrium. The causal sequence as usually accepted is reversed. According to Wicksell’s concept it is not the changes in the stream of purchasing power which create disequilibrium and particularly affect prices and interest rates, but rather it is the discrepancy between the bank rate and the natural rate of interest which acts as the starter. In other words, the quantity of purchasing power that would ensure equilibrium is to be found from the state of the credit market.

Wischell constructs an incredibly detailed and analytically engaging survey of Wicksell’s theories of interest and money income.

Liberty is the very lifeblood of man’s dignity, but liberty to do as one pleases may destroy the cohesion and peace of society, and the liberty of the stronger is the subjugation of the weaker. What then do we mean by liberalism? The best approach to this question is historical. Even less than an individual can a historical phenomenon be circumscribed in one word and adjudged black or white. As a living phenomenon it not only has many qualities but also has the limitations inherent in its virtues. As it grows and develops, resists or yields to pressure, and adjusts itself to changing environments, it changes in character while retaining its identity. The various and opposite meanings of liberalism are correlated to different phases of its history; and it may be, as history now proceeds, that a new light will fall on liberalism, or a new light emanate from it.

In a considerable number of countries which, for about a hundred years, have enjoyed a practically complete freedom of public discussion, that freedom is now suppressed and replaced by a compulsion to coordinate speech with such views as the government believes to be expedient, or holds in all seriousness. It may be worth our while to consider briefly the effect of that compulsion, or persecution, on thoughts as well as actions.

Review of book by Harold and Margaret Sprout. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1940. 332 pp.

Review of book by James T. Shotwell. New York: Macmillan. 1940. 152 pp.

Review of book by Nils Herlitz. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1939. 127 pp.

Review of book by Gerhard Tintner. Cowles Commission for Research in Economics, monograph no. 5. Bloomington, Indiana: Principia. 1940. 175 pp.

Review of book by Karl Lowith. Zurich, New York: Europa. 1941. 538 pp.

Review of book by Maurice Mandelbaum. New York: Liveright. 1938. 340 pp.

Review of book by John E. Dalton. New York: Macmillan. 1937. 311 pp.

Review of book by Edmund DE S. Brunner. Studies of the Pacific, no. 2. New York: American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations. 1938. 70 pp.

Review of book by J. Rosen. Zurich: Oprecht. 1939. 90 pp.

Review of book by John S. Brubacher. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1939. 370 pp.

bottom of page