NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 13, No. 4 (Winter 1946)
Once again, as after the First World War, the 'Adriatic question' has become a source of conflict between Yugoslavia and Italy. In the current peace negotiations the great powers have assigned Fiume, the old Italian town of Zara, and the Dalmatian islands to Yugoslavia, but this time the Yugoslavs also claim Trieste, Istria, and the territory north of Trieste, the so-called Venezia Giulia. These demands, backed by Russia, pose one of the most difficult problems for the diplomats who have to frame the peace.
The most neglected of subjects in the whole domain of political science," writes Professor Merriam, "is that of the organization of military violence in relation to political power." To anyone who has had any experience, however limited, with the services during the recent war, some of the reasons for that neglect become apparent. No sooner was the American army expected to spring almost from nowhere than it took virtually complete possession of the lives of its subjects. There was practically no intermediate period where objective analysis could reap the benefits of actual experience. It is the intention of this article to discuss briefly and tentatively the relation of the political structure of the armed forces to these moral problems. But before that can be done, something must be said of the framework in which the services operate.
The religions of progress are a universal phenomenon of the post-French Revolution world. It is necessary, therefore, to describe briefly the general phenomenon before limiting the analysis to the topic at hand. The desire for a new religion is a characteristic of romanticism. Romanticism is not only a literary movement; in its fullest sense, it is a philosophical and social attitude. It is an international phenomenon with conspicuously national differentiations. It is a movement of intellectuals, of philosophers and poets who experience two antagonistic tendencies as constructive and destructive in their lives. They are enthusiastic about the tremendous progress that philosophers, scientists, and poets have made in extending the sovereignty of human thought, action, and sensibility. They are in despair because they feel the forlornness and solitude of the modern intellectual living in a world of philistines, of pedants, and of bourgeois.
The outstanding feature of a man’s life in the modern world is his conviction that his life-world as a whole is neither fully understood by himself nor fully understandable to any of his fellowmen. There is a stock of knowledge theoretically available to everyone, built up by practical experience, science, and technology as warranted insights. But this stock of knowledge is not integrated. It consists of a mere juxtaposition of more or less coherent systems of knowledge which themselves are neither coherent nor even compatible with one another. On the contrary, the abysses between the various attitudes involved in the approach to the specialized systems are themselves a condition of the success of specialized inquiry.
In the early days after World War I the use of public works to provide buffer employment for returning veterans and discharged war workers received widespread support. But lack of advance planning, faith in the 'natural forces' of supply and demand, and the inflationary upturn in the late Spring of 1919 prevented any of the proposed plans from being enacted into law. No sooner had the inflationary boom of late 1919 and the early part of the next year buried these demobilization public works proposals than the economy was engulfed by a vast and rapidly spreading depression that began in May 1920. As might have been expected, it was not long before there was renewed interest in public works on all sides.
The uselessness of the Soviet national income estimates creates a strange situation. For forty countries the existing national income estimates can serve as a measure of economic performance and structure, but for one country—the largest in size, the second in productive capacity, and the laboratory of a new economic order—we are compelled to prepare personal estimates at our own risk and peril. This has to be done on the basis of the sketchy statistical data available, which are occasionally as bizarre as the domes of Russian cathedrals and are always as uncommunicative as the austere walls of the Kremlin.
Review of book by Llewellyn White. Report from the Commission on Freedom of the Press. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1946. 122 pp.
Review of book by Shelby T. McCloy. Durham: Duke University Press. 1946. 496 pp.