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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 10, No. 3 (Fall 1943)

Plans for an international financial institution, to the layman’s eyes at least, will look very similar, from whatever source they originate. The American plan suggests an "International Fund" to stabilize currencies, the British plan an 'International Clearing Union.' By and large, public interest has been focused on the organizational features of the two schemes, especially on the representation of the various countries in the governing boards of the institutions. This concentration of interest is unfortunate; despite their superficial similarities the plans are different from a functional viewpoint. Only by throwing into relief the functions of the two proposed institutions are we able to see their organizational features in the right light. From this viewpoint the following analysis will be conducted, and only at the end will the organizational problem be briefly discussed.

Preparation of a nation’s budget involves making a series of approximations based on the economic effects of certain expected private and public actions. The steps taken in making the approximations vary from time to time, depending on national objectives and the degree of balance in the economy. By bringing together in a nation’s budget the plans of individuals and businesses, and the preliminary plans of government, those charged with policymaking are in a better position to determine whether the several programs are reconcilable, whether it will be possible for the budget as a whole to be carried out as originally cast.

According to Mr. Keynes’ theory of employment, which has been widely accepted in the last decade, protracted depression of business, leading to generally and large scale unemployment of all factors of production, is due to an insufficient monetary demand for the products of industry. This demand consists of two parts: the demand for consumption goods and services by the public out of its income; and the demand for capital goods and additions to stocks by businessmen and corporations. It is the fluctuations in the latter which are the root of fluctuations in business and employment.

Can the United States help, beyond the sending of lend-lease goods? Let us be candid. Official interference has not, so far, been particularly strong on the side of progress. It has not even been particularly expert. The Anglo-Saxons are not endowed with a great understanding of Africa, white or black. The only hope that they may be of some help is through a world federation which would not be left to diplomats, as the League of Nations unfortunately was. This federation would combine the spirit of fairness of the British with the spirit of understanding which is frequently found south of the Rhine.

Revolution comes with an attack from the flank, an attack that takes the society unawares in a moment when bewilderment and fear paralyze thought and action of the ordinary citizen. It owes its success to the unwitting cooperation of three groups that are psychological--but not yet economic or social--classes. They have existed for a considerable time athwart the old classes, slowly taking on shape and a distinct mentality. These three classes have not yet a name. For the sake of brevity I call them the outcasts, the fools, and the experts. Defined by their mentality, they have no clear-cut lines of demarcation; nor are they mutually exclusive. First I shall describe the three classes, then the genesis of their collaboration.

As far back as the early days of the Polish campaign the Nazis began a series of organizational steps to incorporate the newsreels in their system of war propaganda communications. They insisted upon authentic shots of warfare, extended the length of the newsreel, and speeded its release. In addition, every possible means was employed to force these pictorial records upon the native population, and to spread them abroad in appropriate versions. The following commentary is based on a set of eighteen Nazi newsreels issued during the years 1939 and 1940.

Political propaganda in Nazi Germany is a form of coercion; while it lacks the bluntness and irrevocability of physical violence it derives its ultimate efficacy from the power of those may, at any moment, cease talking and start killing. Political propagandists are so occupied with their craft that they have no time for executing the threats they utter. They leave the coercion of the recalcitrant who remain unimpressed by verbal threats to men with different skills and weapons. For this reason the relation between propaganda and physical violence is often obscured.

The proposals and suggestions referred to in the following discussion aim at the establishment of a world order more stable than the international system set up after the First World War proved to be. They are based on what the various authors believe to be the lessons taught us by the experience of the twenty years leading up to the Second World War. Thus these plans for the future world faithfully reflect the views held by the writers regarding the remote and immediate causes of the present war. No wonder, then, that the variety of the suggested solutions is no less great and bewildering than the variety of the current interpretations of this war, both of its origin and of its historical significance.

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