top of page

NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 1948)

In the early months of 1948, a struggle again rages in a not-so-cold war for the mastery of Europe and for the shattered body of China. Whether we like it or not, the precipitating cause of the European struggle happens to have been the so-called 'Marshall Plan.' This was certainly by no American choice. But the historical fact is that the Soviet Union opened her general European offensive as a direct answer to the Marshall Plan, and has elected to make the United States its chief target. The issue of this struggle is still in doubt. Should it be lost by the western nations, we could draw a picture of the world as it might stand some time in 1948. The United States would again look out on a dangerous world.

The issue of nationalization of the basic areas of economic activity loomed so large on the postwar political scene in Europe that it looked as though the political and economic fate of the continent hung on its solution. By many it was believed to be the most vital of the structural reforms to be carried out if true democracy was to be restored. But after two years, the matter has lost some of its early urgency. It somehow appears unrelated to the really important questions of the day, and there are some persons who now agree with the statement made by Edouard Herriot a good many years ago that nationalization is like a drum; it makes a lot of noise, but there is nothing inside. The issues, however, are more complicated than that, and they are sufficiently important to deserve careful consideration.

The extensive literature on the spread of industrialism contains numerous direct investigations into the cultural and psychological factors involved in the process of economic modernization; it contains also many incidental comments on this subject by students primarily concerned with other aspects of economic development. Further field work will assuredly be necessary for a thorough analysis of primitives’ and peasants’ responses to industrialization, but the fact remains that it would be uselessly wasteful to ignore the knowledge already gained. The following pages, therefore, present a brief survey of the information to be derived from existing works.

The current trend of public opinion against the aspirations of labor, which found resounding expression in the Taft-Hartley Act, is a reaction not only to a number of avoidable abuses, which a wiser labor movement would long ago have suppressed, but also to methods of labor strategy which, though long established, are assuming an entirely new significance in the changing structure of society. To reexamine these fundamental issues of labor strategy against the background of social change is a long-range job for intelligent discussion. But the longer the range of the job, the more urgent it is to start the discussion at once, lest labor be caught in those disastrous effects of inertia of which the recent legislation gives a foretaste. It is in this context that we propose to deal with the problems of strikes and wages.

[I]t is precisely in the matter of logic that Veblen felt himself at variance with Marx. He rejected Hegelian rationalism and contrasted Marx’s dependence upon it with his own Darwinian position. Veblen’s work stands for a complete break with classical economics. This is ostensibly true of Marx as well, and yet, according to Veblen, Marx took an uncritical attitude toward the principles of natural liberty and natural rights, notions that Veblen repudiated again and again.

Review of book by Hans J. Morgenthau. Chicago: Chicago University Press. 1946. 245 pp.

Review of book by John C. Calhoun. With an Introduction by Naphtaly Levy. New York: Political Science Classics. 1947. 107 pp.

Review of book by James D. Hogan. Oxford: Cork University Press. 1945. 239 pp.

Review of book by Fritz Sternberg. New York: John Day. 1947. 280 pp.

Review of book by Graham Hutton. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1946. 351 pp.

bottom of page