NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 28, No. 4 (Winter 1961)
In the great sweep of economic thinking from Smith and Ricardo to Keynes there were of course enormous doctrinal differences and a great diversity of interest, background, and experience. But despite all this there was a surprising agreement that in already developed countries economic growth would sooner or later succumb to some kind of obstacle or come up against some kind of ceiling, while in countries where development had not yet begun, conditions were propitious to its initiation. With a convenient abbreviation of growth prospects in developed and underdeveloped countries, this long line of illustrious thinkers can be described as D pessimistic and U optimistic.
Of the twenty-one territories of sub-Saharan Africa that attained independence between 1957 and 1961, fifteen are former French colonies or (Cameroun and Togo) former Trust Territories under French administration. Though differing in their history, their economic development, and their political outlook and affiliation, they all refer to themselves as "countries of French expression." And though their constitutional law presents what seems to be a confusing variety of developments, below the bewildering surface certain basic concerns and lines of thought common to all may be detected.
Australia has a federal system and a parliamentary form of government. This mixture of institutions found separately in the United States and Great Britain provides the student of politics with an opportunity to test generalizations usually made only on the basis of data in one or the other of these two countries. Does federalism prevent control of national legislative parties by national party bodies outside the legislature? What are the possibilities of national control of state party organizations? Even partial answers to such questions require comparative analysis in which the consequences of federalism for different political systems are appraised.
A vacuum was left by the failure of Latin American civilian sectors to develop a viable alternative to the military governments consequent on the wars of independence in the early nineteenth century, and this vacuum invited the constant and irresponsible political intervention of the military that has plagued Latin America throughout its independent history. Unless civilian elites in the developing areas make use of the respite from crisis that occurs when military comes to play a stabilizing or reforming role, they may indeed reap the whirlwind that is also inherent in government by the military.
International monetary problems captured more headlines and official attention in 1961 than at any time since the momentous Bretton Woods Conference of 1944. Profound and rapid changes on the world financial front drove the governments of the principal industrial countries into a veritable hustle to complete Bretton Woods' unfinished business. Their concerted actions shunned the widely publicized proposals to overhaul the international payments system, and focused instead on improving the machinery of international cooperation.
Experience shows that the happy combination of a generally expansionary environment and competitive markets can stimulate a high level of investment without special tax concessions. If accelerated depreciation discriminates against efficient producers, intensifies the burden of unemployment, and disrupts the most efficient allocation of resources, this is hardly an appropriate direction in which to point our economic policies. We must rather look toward measures that expand the general level of demand, reward the competitive spirit, and minimize the burden of unemployment. There are many weapons in the arsenal of economic progress that will achieve this more readily and more effectively than accelerated depreciation.
Review of book by Gerald Freund. New York: Harcourt, Brace. 1961. xx & 296 pp.
Review of book by Douglas E. Ashford. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1961. xi & 432 pp.
The National Culture of India. London: Asia Publishing House Review of book by S. Abid Husain. Distributed in US Through Taplinger, New York). 1961. 237 pp.
Review of book by Hugh H. Smythe and Mabel M. Smith. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press. 1960. 196 pp.
Review of book by Hans Barth. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel. 1960. vii & 209 pp.
Review of book by H. C. J. Duijker and Arvid Brodersen. New York: Humanities Press. 1960. 238 pp.
Review of book by Amitai Etzioni. New York: Hold, Rinehart and Winston. 1961. 497 pp.
Review of book by James Bryant Conant. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1961. 147 pp.