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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 13, No. 1 (Spring 1946)

Today when we think of war crimes we all see before our eyes the horrifying pictures of the appalling criminal actions we reluctantly learned of during the recent war. In view of the character and scope of those evil deeds, outright approval of any form and kind of punishment to be meted out to their instigators and perpetrators seems more appropriate than a critical analysis of the problems actually involved in what is, apparently, a gruesomely simple issue. In these circumstances it is an ungratifying undertaking to discuss the problematic aspects of punishment, rather than merely to restate our unqualified condemnation of the abominable crimes and the persons responsible for them.

It would be impossible to anticipate today the principles, the techniques and the character of the new French constitution. It is not my intention to indulge in hazardous prophecies or to draft fanciful projects. Texts do not create democracies; it is the men, the habits, the traditions and the parties which are the most important elements of a democratic constitution. This article will concern itself, therefore, with a rapid summary of various problems that confront the Constituent Assembly, and with certain possible solutions.

National Socialism came into power with a well-defined agrarian program. Its closely interrelated aims included de-urbanization, the preservation, increase and immobilization of the peasant class, and the attainment of self-sufficiency in the production of foodstuffs. Excessive concentration of the population in urban and industrial areas, and the resultant depopulation of rural districts, were considered unfavorable to physical and mental health, the breeding of future generations, and the building of a large army—the last assumption based on the theory that peasants make better soldiers than do townspeople.

The term "philosophy of history" was invented by Voltaire, who used it for the first time in its modern sense, as distinct from the theological interpretation of history. With the gradual dissolution of the eighteenth-century belief in reason and progress, the philosophy of history became more or less homeless. The word is still used, even more widely than before, but its content has been diluted in such a way that any thought on history may call itself a philosophy. In the following discussion "philosophy of history" is used to mean a systematic interpretation of universal history in accordance with a principle by which historical events and successions are unified and directed toward an ultimate meaning.

The thinking of Max Wertheimer has penetrated into nearly every region of psychological inquiry and has left a permanent impress on the minds of psychologists and on their daily work. The consequences have been far-reaching in the work of the last three decades, and are likely to expand in the future. What did Wertheimer seek? What is the character of his contribution? If we wish to answer these questions, we cannot do so by an enumeration of the various theoretical issues that Wertheimer formulated, nor simply by an account of his classical studies and of the fundamental investigations that he inspired..."

The necessity for economists to study different economic systems is being increasingly complied with, to the obvious advantage of our knowledge concerning our present economic reality. Five of the seven books to be discussed here, although they study the sociological framework in which the systems work, are primarily books by economists for economists. The two volumes on fascism are somewhat different in character, no doubt because of the ambiguous nature of fascist economics; it becomes more and more clear that it is not so much the economic technique as the political objectives that define the fascist system.

Review of book by Charles E. Merriam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1945. 349 pp.

Review of book by Henry Alonzo Myers. New York: Putnam. 1945. 188 pp.

Review of book by Leonardo Olschki. Berkeley: Gillick Press. 1945. 58 pp.

Review of book by Bronislaw Malinowski. With a Preface by Huntington Cairns. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 1944. 228 pp.

Review of book by Ismar Elbongen. Translated from the German by Moses Hadas. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. 1944. 814 pp.

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