NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 31, No. 2 (Summer 1964)
The ultimate security of world peace lies with the eventual establishment of world law, yet the author does not wish to engage in the fascinating game of constructing models of world governments, world courts or world constitutions. The purpose of this study is to examine the interim problem of coexistence by means of the non-utopian procedure of “starting from here.”
The question of power has existed as long as men have lived together under some form of order. It presents itself in terms of super- and subordination. One has to be master whether he be a tribal chief or leader, a king or tyrant, or a man elected to office or to a collegiate body acting in the name of the sovereign people; the laws of power do not thereby change. Somewhere, somehow decisions have to be made. Who makes them? He who has power to make them?
Observers of the fantastic tenants and fanatical devotion of the much-publicized Black Muslim movement in America may be struck by the degree to which Elijah Muhammad and his followers seems to embody the combined attributes of Cohn’s millenarian, Knox’s enthusiast, and Hoffer’s true believer. The Muslim eschatology has a familiar shape; it has been produced with different trappings in millenarian ideologies throughout history.
In his study of medieval millenarianism, Norman Cohn pointed to some characteristic features of chiliastic thinking that have a “startling resemblance” to modern totalitarian movements. With Cohn pushing this process to the medieval past, the over-all impact of these studies has been to establish that totalitarianism is not a 20th century break with Western tradition, but an outgrowth -if a perversion- of very substantial elements in that tradition.
In the classical literature of economics, the problem of an unfavorable balance of payments plays a minor role, if it plays a role at all. Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations, Book IV, Chapter III,) is downright contemptuous of the whole question; the problem of whether production exceeds or falls short of consumption appears as the only question worth attention; one sees that Hume and his quantity theory predecessors had already done a thorough job.
Modern social science traces its origin to the break-up of traditional society and the rise of the modern industrial state. Traditional society maintained a fairly stable system of social relationships over time and a fixed center of belief. In contrast, industrial society exhibits a pattern of social mobility within a changing class structure and a horizontal movement of people from one residential location to another. In the place of a fixed center of belief, modern society develops a network of central administrative agencies. It is a situation of change in which the adaptations of thought and custom give way to ever newer forms.
Philadelphia and New York: The Chilton Company, 1961. 201 pp; New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, Inc., 1961. 366 pp.
Review of Morgan, James, Martin David et al. (ibid) 531 pp.; Income Distribution and Social Change. Titmus, Richard 240 pp.; Valdemar, Carlson. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1962. 225 pp.; Morgan, James, Martin David et al. (ibid) 531 pp.; Income Distribution and Social Change. Titmus, Richard 240 pp.
Review of book by Pitirim A. Sorokin. New Haven: College and University Press, 1963. 327 pp.
Review of book by Maurice Cowling. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1963. 214 pp.
Review of book by Ralph L. Nelson. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1963. 288 pp.
Review of book by Clyde V. Kiser. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962. 662 pp.