NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring 1951)
It is no time to sell the United States short. But the dollar—that is another matter. The dollar is shrinking in purchasing power. Why? Economists of every school have accepted, with more or less good grace, the principle that when there is no question in the public mind of the soundness of the currency as such. The movements of the price level are dominated by the relation between the volume of free purchasing power and the volume of purchasable goods. This is just another case of the ancient law of supply and demand, which has undergone two centuries of refinement but still stands.
A number of clinical cases in my own experience were extremely brilliant specialists, characterized by both a particularly great capacity for work-and-thought concentration, and at the same time a resistance to their field of specialization, which took the form of an indomitable urge to understand, master, and make wholes. It was this urge which led them originally to their orbits of interest, where they were only to find that they were not allowed by their vocation to proceed according to their subjects’ own given dimensions, contours, and intrinsic nature, but were supposed to tackle these subjects according to an arbitrarily pre-imposed division of professional viewpoints and an equally arbitrary determination of aims of knowledge.
Many social scientists have sought cause-and-effect relations between agriculture, nonagricultural enterprise, and the business cycle. Some argue that a prosperous industrial sector brings good times to the farmers. Labor spokesmen declare that high wages result in a high level of demand for farm products, and thus they claim a high correlation between labor income and agricultural income. Others say that prosperous farmers cause an upsurge of prosperity throughout the economy, and that depression in agriculture drags down the rest of the economy. A real causal relationship between farm income and national income has never been proved. Based on extensive research, it appears that because agricultural production is so remarkably stable, it is not a basic cause of cyclical fluctuations.
Unless it is recognized now and acted on, the rapidly mounting tension born of European imperialism in Africa will sooner or later (and probably sooner) explode in violent revolution as it has in Asia. This development—the emergence of colonial peoples—is a persistently recurring phenomenon of the mid-twentieth century and perhaps the most striking expression of the struggle for national self-determination. And there is little doubt that the survival of Western civilization, especially that of Western Europe, depends on the extent and rapidity of the adjustment made by the Western community of nations to this turn of events.
Music is a meaningful context which is not bound to a conceptual scheme. Yet this meaningful context can be communicated. The process of communication between composer and listener normally requires an intermediary: an individual performer or a group of co-performers. Among all these participants there prevail social relations of a highly complicated structure. To analyze certain elements of this structure is the purpose of this paper. The discussion is not aimed at problems commonly relegated to the realm of the so-called sociology of music. The chief interest of our analysis consists in the particular character of all social interactions connected with the musical process.
When a book presents the fruits of diligent and careful research at its very best, weighs all the available evidence in a balanced and conscientious manner, refuses to be dragged into programmatic generalizations where the evidence does not seem to warrant them, is full of instructive, and sometimes amusing, fully documented detail, and skillfully summarizes and theorizes its findings, one is inclined to regard it favorably. Dr. Moore's recent volume, Soviet Politics—The Dilemma of Power, does all these things. But it is not a good book.
Review of book by Adolf Berle Jr. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. 1950. 103 pp.
Review of book by Arthur M. Schlesinger. New York: Macmillan. 1949. 317 pp.
Review of book by William S. Bernard, Carolyn Zeleny and Henry Miller, eds. Published under the sponsorship of the National Committee on Immigration Policy. New York: Harper. 1950. 341 pp.
Review of book by Karl Pribram. Washington: public Affairs Press. 1949. 176 pp.
From Cave Painting to Comic Strip: A Kaleidoscope of Human Communication Review of book by H.M. Kallen. New York: Chanticleer Press. 1949. 287 pp.
Cybernetics of Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine Review of book by Norbert Weiner. New York: John Wiley. 1948. 194 pp.