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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 11, No. 2 (Summer 1944)

It started on July 25, 1943, the day Mussolini fell. The strangest thing about the event of that day is that nobody in the Allied camp seemed ready to cope with it. As far as it is possible to know, the Italian people in Italy were as bewildered and unprepared as the governments and peoples of the United Nations. The masses started crying for freedom, for peace, for social reforms. The mouths that had been gagged for more than twenty years started voicing the demands they had been unable to utter during all those years.The Italians started to resume the civil war that had been smothered by fascist violence a few years after the end of the first world war, while the Allies wanted the Italians to give up their position as Axis belligerents in the second world war.

After the beginning of the present war, when the youth of democratic nations were drafted into gigantic armies and thousands of assembly lines were installed for the production of tanks and airplanes, educators, too, were called upon. They were asked not only to provide the training necessary for effective warfare, but also to contemplate the question of how, after the end of the struggle, education could be used to change a world of destruction into one of productivity and cooperation. At present, they are determined to help prevent this war from ending in a truce used for the preparation of new conflicts, and are desirous of a peace in which the souls of men would become ready for cooperative thinking and acting. In order to be lasting, the new educational enthusiasm needs a realistic and critical knowledge of the conditions under which schools and educational endeavors of all kinds can help in the gigantic task of world rehabilitation, and especially in the task of influencing Germany.

The attitude of the Soviet government toward the nationalities that make up the ethnically checkered population of the Soviet Union has, from the first days of the Bolshevist revolution, attracted the attention of students of the national question. But the foreign observer can no longer indulge in a purely academic interest in this policy. The victories of Russian arms, which have assured to the USSR a leading role in European and world affairs, give this problem also a highly practical significance.

There was no economic theory before there was a specific problem for it to deal with. This economic problem must not be confused with the general economic task which every society in history has always had to solve: allocation of the supply of labor, limited in quantity and productivity, and of scarce resources, to the service of the most important among the innumerable needs of the society. This task requires, before the technical procedure of allocation, the establishment of a hierarchy of needs: which of them are most important? Since the needs of different persons are not naturally commensurable, they must be made commensurable, and arranged in some order of importance, by the historical society in every case.

Much discussion has been aroused by the question of whether or not Europe has become an economic unit under the pressure of German domination. In particular, the question can be raised as to whether the changes in European transportation have involved a movement toward a higher degree of integration. After the defeat of the Reich, will a return to the status quo ante be possible without any impairment of either economic efficiency or inter-European cooperation? Or must the recent changes be regarded as permanent because the price of reconstruction may prove too high?

Plans for the export of American capital to the European continent after the war are being widely discussed. The opposition generally argues that the loans will again lead to losses, this time to the taxpayer, since they would be granted through the government rather than by private investors. But Europe’s need for American credit is taken for granted. The question must be raised, however, as to how far Europe will really need American credit, and how far it will be able to rely on home-made capital. To clarify these issues it is useful and necessary to recall to mind the financial development in Germany between the two wars. The outstanding features of that development will be the subject of discussion in the following pages.

Review of book by John H. Hallowell. University of California Publications in Political Science, vol 1, no. 1. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1943. xi + 145 pp.

Review of book by Ernst Hamburger, Max Gottschalk, Paul Jacob, and Jacques Maritain. Bibliotheque de L'Institu de Droit Compare. New York: Editions de la Maison Francaise. 1943. 137 pp.

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