top of page

NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 12, No. 3 (Fall 1945)

The longest "colonial" record of the modern world is that of the various governments toward their Red Indians. And in the Western hemisphere, not only in the United States, Indian affairs have served as a laboratory of ethnic relations. The dark phases as well as the bright phases are of laboratory significance. In the following pages I am going to concentrate on a bright phase, the present phase, and on United States rather than hemispheric experience. Even so, I am going to have to load quite a freight of history into your minds. The past in each of us, and in all peoples, is more -- profoundly more -- than we men of the industrial age often realize.

At a time when Soviet Russia has won complete mastery of the Baltic, of the Danube basin and of the Balkans, with the one possible exception of Greece; when she has served notice on Turkey with the clear intention of altering the status at the Straits of Constantinople, a status which for centuries has barred Russia’s entry into the eastern Mediterranean; when Russian soldiers are encamped in the wasteland that was once the heart of Berlin--at such a time there is no need to understand the present scope of Russia’s relations with that part of Europe. Rather may it be questioned whether the historian can offer any comment at all in matters of revolutionary dimensions.

It is not the intention of this study to discuss Japan’s imperialism in all its aspects. The purpose is rather to analyze its economic roots and implications, and to show the specific conditions which distinguish it so fundamentally from that of the European powers. As will be shown, there is a very close relationship between the economic development of Japan and that of her outlying possessions, much closer than the relationship between the European imperialistic powers and their empires. Therefore certain salient characteristics of Japan’s own social and economic structure should be mentioned before turning to her colonial policy. In this discussion only those factors will be stressed which are directly related to Japan’s imperialistic expansion.

Certain drastic changes in economic conditions that are now taking place will assure estimates of national income a central place among the respectable branches of economic statistics. First of all, modern economic theory is more conducive to an understanding of the concept of national income than was the classical value theory approach. The argument that national income is a theoretical misconcept is no longer heard. Secondly, broadening of the income tax bases and social security legislation have resulted in improvements in the statistics of various component parts of income. These and other advances in statistical sources have reduced the "speculative" element in national income estimation. The most important change resulted from the fact that estimates of national income were and are increasingly needed for recognized policy purposes.

It is most heartening to read not merely a critique of what the Economist (January 29, 1944) regards as the inevitable temporary "less-than-universal, less-than-fully-multilateral, less-than-completely-orthodox alternatives" to the long-term multilateral solution, but also the positive conclusion that such temporary expedients are unnecessary.

Professor Morgan argues that under exchange control Great Britain could increase her imports, say from Belgium, without thereby reducing trade with other countries. He does not take account of the possibility that the expansive effect of such single transactions might be overbalanced by the restrictive effects of the control system on the total sum of British and world trade. That this would happen cannot be proved mathematically, but, as I have tried to show, it is highly probable.

Review of book by Ferdinand A. Hermens. With an Introduction by Robert M. MacIver.] Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1944. 250 pp.

Review of book by Georges Gurvitch. New York Éditions de la Maison Française. 1944. 182 pp.

Review of book by Kenneth Colegrove. New York: Vanguard Press 1944. 209 pp.

Review of book by John Maurice Clark. New York and London: McGraw-Hill. 1944. 219 pp.

Review of book by Karl Brandt. New York: W. W. Norton. 1945. 416 pp.

Review of book by Merle Curti. New York: Harper. 1943. 848 pp.

Review of book by Rose Pesotta. Ed. By John Nicholas Beffel. New York: Dodd, Mead. 1944. 435 pp.

bottom of page