NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 14, No. 4 (Winter 1947)
In America, there was and has been social discrimination against the Jews, but it was not fundamentally invidious discrimination. It did not turn on assumptions of inferiority and superiority, but on judgments of social availability. To form a clear idea of the conception of social availability we must turn our attention to the peculiar characteristics of American society. In European countries social status, all through the nineteenth century, was relatively stable. An English lord was securely a lord for life; so was a French count or a German Graf. In America we are confronted with a mass of climbers composing society, climbing side by side on the precarious ladder of American success, climbing competitively and cooperatively. What place could the Jew have on the ladder? None, but he might set up a ladder of his own. Your son didn’t want his daughter, and his daughter didn’t want your son. The whole complex of relations involving matchmaking and mating was excluded.
The fundamental insight gained during the thirties is that the portion of income people choose to save bears a definite and slowly changing relation to this income; therefore, for each level of aggregate income there must be a corresponding level of aggregate saving. Saving, as such, cannot be estimated unless we know the level of income. But since any amount of aggregate saving can be realized only if an equal amount of investment is forthcoming, each level of income also requires a corresponding level of investment. If we can estimate the relation between saving and income for every level of income, we will also know what level of investment is required to produce any given level of income.
Germany’s unsuccessful attempt during the last war to increase her power by force of arms has led to a sharpening of conflicts in international relations. The wartime allies have found it difficult to reach agreement on the redistribution of power in the postwar world. Berlin, Vienna, Lake Success, and the various capitals of the great nations in which their foreign ministers or their deputies have met, have become sites of diplomatic strife and frustration. Only small and slow progress toward the establishment of mutually satisfactory conditions of peace has been made. Broadly speaking, the diplomats have not succeeded in achieving much more than codification of changes in power which were brought about by the respective armed forces of the wartime alliance. The Western powers are relatively strong today where their armies conquered, and they are relatively weak where the Red army conquered. Germany was invaded from the east and the west; it has therefore become a contested area.
The foregoing ingenious and suggestive article by Hans Speier on German nationalism closes with certain statements about the prospects for the future and the policy to be pursued. Hence it deserves a brief comment.
The antiquarian controversy about the intention of Rousseau conceals a political controversy about the nature of democracy. Modern democracy might seem to stand or fall by the claim that 'the method of democracy' and 'the method of intelligence' are identical. To understand the implications of this claim one naturally turns to Rousseau, for Rousseau, who considered himself the first theoretician of democracy, regarded the compatibility of democracy, or of free government in general, with science not as a fact which is manifest to everyone but rather as a serious problem.
A probing and historically thrilling survey of the work of Francisco de Vitoria, the main founder of the School of Natural Law in Spain.
The life of society, according to Dr. Heimann, consists in establishing "a proper balance between freedom and order" (p. 9). Freedom, in this context, is nothing better than absence of interference with the individual’s pleasure, and order is simply an enforced pattern of social behavior. The question of balance, then, would appear to be a quantitative problem: the more freedom the less order, and vice versa, balance being a situation in where there is neither too much freedom nor too much order.
It is my contention, first, that Dr. Kuhn misrepresents those parts of [my book] which he discusses at all, and second, that he does this by omitting from his rather lengthy consideration the main ideas of the book, which are supposed to shed light on all its parts. By this dual operation he is enabled to present the book as journalistic in character and predominantly Marxist in point of view.
Review of Book by Rupert B. Vance and Gordon W. Blackwell. University, Alabama:University of Alabama Press. 1946. 245 pp.
Review of book by D. W. Brogan. New York: Alfred Knopf. 1945. 130 pp.