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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 9, No. 3 (Fall 1942)

Arthur Feiler was by life-long conviction a liberal. He was not a liberal of the rigid type, with fixed prejudices masquerading as principle. All human institutions, he recognized, are subject to the law of change. What is not subject to change is the free spirit of man, honesty, and faith in human destiny. One must live a long life to encounter a man embodying so perfectly the ancient faith and true.

War waged by a democratic country imposes functions upon labor that are of vital importance. These functions can be properly carried out only if and as far as labor has developed and matured its own autonomous organization. But war exerts, conversely, a powerful pressure on labor to grow with its tasks. Thus adaptation to the war, and commensurate growth with the functions imposed by the war, are the main problems of labor today. The problems of adaptations to the war which American labor has had to face have to a large extent the same sources as most of the war adjustment problems of democratic countries. But there are in addition problems traceable to peculiar historic and environmental factors.

From what environment are the heads of Russian factories drawn? How is their rise to such positions effected? What is their social standing, their relations with government officials and organizations? And above all, do they form a particular social stratum? Such questions have especial significance with regard to the Soviet Union.

One important reason for the urgency of international cooperation in regard to oil is contained in the technological peculiarities of the industry, Crude oil resources are not inexhaustible. The estimates of many oil geologists that these reserves will suffice for only fifteen years are certainly too pessimistic. But even assuming that the oil reserves will be adequate for four decades or longer--a rather optimistic assumption--that span is extremely short for this vital raw material. At the end of that period demand, which promises to rise continuously, will have to be supplied by means of synthetic processes.

Germany entered this war with an all-embracing system of allocation, a system that can be traced to the currency troubles of 1834, which resulted in the licensing of imports. In fact, as early as 1931, under the strains of the depression, an indirect system of controlling imports had been established, through exchange control and devisen quotas. But with the breakdown of German exports, and the development of an unfavorable balance of trade, purely monetary control proved ineffective, and therefore, in the fall of 1934, a priority system was introduced. Its purpose was to restrict imports in accordance with the Hitler program for expanding specific sectors of domestic production, especially the armament sector.

In the course of 1941, the German Price Commissioner introduced a measure designed to do away with "excess profits." Though this measure appears in the technical form of a tax its aims are neither fiscal nor egalitarian. Its purpose is price reduction. This "profit stop" is to be understood as part of the German system of price control initiated in 1936. Therefore its meaning and practical operation can be evaluated only in the context of the general treatment of profits on the one hand, and the functioning of price control on the other hand.

By "given" behavior one may understand behavior of a certain kind, whether actual or not. The jurist, for example, may analyze an actual case as a judge or a hypothetical case as a student. In the first case the problem can be divided into two parts: the description of the factual behavior by which the potentially relevant properties are determined; and the logical analysis, which should make clear whether behavior of this kind falls under the given definition. Only the first of these two steps, which does not pertain to the norm, is concerned with real events. Our result is, then, that the logical core of the so-called normative method is the analysis of definitions. It is not confined to any particular kind of subject matter.

A continuation of a survey of Germany’s Hermann Goering works first started in the February 1941 issue of Social Research.

In fascism the anti-rationalistic spirit of the period from 1895 to 1914 has undergone a great and tragic transformation. The parent movement was essentially humanitarian, and did not contain a trace of nihilism; it was genuinely and fiercely idealistic. But since it scorned the intellect as a guide in human life, glorified the instincts, thought little of intellectual education, without which democracy cannot exist, and therefore rejected democracy itself, it loosed forces its own leaders would have abhorred and which destroyed what was left of the older movement. Sorel has given inspiration to Mussolini, but the disciple would have persecuted the master if the latter had lived in fascist Italy, and in Germany the Gestapo is hunting down the remnants of the youth movement.

In a cataclysm like that we are now experiencing, humanism proves itself a recurrent attitude toward life. Particularly in such situations of radical change a need is felt to understand the nature of man and the ultimate goals that he seeks, to test the reality of principles and standards, to reaffirm man’s striving for meaning and control. Thus a particular interest attaches to a group of recent publications that reflect and embody this preoccupation with the basic elements in human nature.

Review of book by F.A. Hermens. With an Introduction by C.J. Friedrich. Notre Dame: The Review of Politics. 1941. xxx and 447 pp.

Review of book by Carl J. Friedrich. Boston: Little, Brown. 1941. xix and 594 pp., bibliography 76 pp., index 23 pp.

Review of book by Erich Roll. New York: Prentice-Hall. 1939. 430 pp.

Review of book by Colin Clark. New York: Macmillan. 1940. 504 pp.

Review of book by Robert Triffin. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1940. 197 pp.

Review of book by Eveline M. Burns. Washington: Committee on Social Security, Social Science Research Council. 1941. 336 pp., appendices 35 pp., index 11 pp.

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