NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 18, No. 2 (Summer 1951)
The written law of a national or international community, especially its constitution or constituent treaty, may be changed not only by formal amendments carried out in a procedure prescribed by the law, but also by its actual application, based on an interpretation which, though more or less consistent with the latter of the law, is not in conformity with the ascertainable intention of its authors. This is the way the law adapts itself to changing circumstances, if it is too difficult to put the amendment procedure into operation or if, for some reason or other, this procedure is blocked. The latter is the case with the amendment procedure laid down in the Charter of the United Nations. Hence it is not astonishing that some important modifications of the law of the UN have occurred without the application of the provisions concerning amendments in Chapter XVIII of the charter. In order to understand the importance of these changes it is necessary to go back to the origins of the UN.
When a Negro—or a Jew or an Oriental—is hired, will the other workers quit? Will the union "squawk," quietly obstruct, or co-operate? Can minorities "make the grade" if they get a chance? Do they "carry a chip on their shoulders"? What about the customers—will their trade be affected? Does the employer shape his policies and make his decisions with regard to the employment and placement of minorities on the basis of facts, validating experiences, the "prevailing practice" principle, local custom and tradition, or his own personal attitude? There is a definite need for accurate answers to these and related questions in the circumstances in which businessmen in the United States find themselves at this time.
The notion of the "right to privacy," which in recent years has leaped from decisions of the Supreme Court to more popular literature, means the association of what may be distinct things: the private sphere as against publicity, the private life as against the public life, and the private task as against a public task. Continued search for such an association is clearly difficult. It is the object of this paper to consider the problem in constitutional law and in the social sciences as preliminary to a more theoretical inquiry and a cursory discussion of the problem in the history of political philosophy.
“How many Jews are there in the United States? How many will there be in ten years, or twenty, or fifty?” These are questions of practical as well as demographic interest, now that this country has come to have more Jews than any other and possibly as many as all other countries together. To answer these questions is not easy, for the Jews, being a religious group and not a race or nationality, are nowhere treated separately in the official statistics of demography. No body of basic information such as is available for the general population exists for the Jews. The problem must therefore be approached by utilizing information of an indirect sort, from which the desired results may be legitimately inferred or deduced.
As radical attitudes both, skepticism and faith challenge our average scientific knowledge whereby we know more and more about less and less. And since most people today do not believe in anything except science--among which there are many artificially construed pseudosciences--it will do no harm to question with the skeptics the certainty of our knowledge, and to support with the believers, though on the philosophical basis of skepticism, the possibility of faith in undemonstrable things.
No doubt, better legal craftsmanship and less haste at the San Francisco Conference could have averted a great many uncertainties of interpretation to which the Charter in its present wording is unavoidably subject. But we shall do well to realize that the most glaring textual inconsistencies are the reflection of conflicting political conceptions and ideals among the political fathers of the United Nations constitution rather than the result of poor technique on the part of the legal draftsmen. The charter was a compromise not only between west and east, but also between divergent views on the purposes and principles of the future organization within the western world itself and within almost every one of the western delegations to the constitutional convention of San Francisco.
A survey of the life and many academic, philosophical, and historical achievements of the late Charles Beard.
Review of Book. Vol. I, 1760-1776, Lviii & 679 pp.; Vol. II, 1777 to 18 June 1779, Including the Revisal of the Laws, 1776-1786, Princeton: Princeton. 665 pp.
Review of book by Lucius D. Clay. New York: Doubleday. 1950.
Review of book by R. K. Merton. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press. 1949.
Review of book edited by T. H. Pear. New York: Philosophical Library. 1950. 262 pp.
Review of book by Amos H. Hawley. New York: Ronald Press. 1950. 456 pp.
Review of book by G. Mertens. Brussels: l'Edition Universelle. 1947. 302 pp.
Review of book by Stanley Matthew Daugert. New York: King's Crown Press. 134 pp.