NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 33, No. 1 (Spring 1966)
Frida Wunderlich died on December 29th of last year. She was the only woman among the ten distinguished scholars whom Alvin Johnson brought from Hitler Germany to form here a University in Exile.
Otto Kirchheimer, who died suddenly on November 22, 1965, was a member of the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research for only five years (1955-1960). But his loss is no less deeply felt and mourned by us than by his colleagues of Columbia University, among who he spent the last years of his life.
Some great literary works enjoy immortal fame for reasons that have little to do with the deepest concern of their authors. Don Quixote, Gulliver’s Travels, Moby Dick are books of this kind, and so perhaps are Till Eulenspiegel and Alice in Wonderland. These writings capture the imagination of young readers because great adventures never fail to enchant them. Grimmelshausen’s main work, The Adventures of Simplicissimus belong in this class of writing. Anyone who has read it in his youth will not forget Simplicius Simplicissimus and his adventures. But what lies beyond the adventures?
Public discussion indicates that the most urgent political problem today is the spread of communism. Bitter, partisan debate goes on over how that spread is to be opposed and how internal affairs are to be ordered in the face of it... Each side, in its way, believes that the thing to be preserved is freedom. But, while the threat of communism is costly, it has at least the merit of driving us to a fundamental re-examination of freedom. Because of the particular character of the threat, such a re-examination is specially concerned with the question of property. Patiently and properly read, the Utopia can help us in this task.
Every philosophical system is subject to the obligation of accounting for its own possibility; it must at least be able to give such an account in its own terms. Less radically expressed, there must be no incompatibility between the doctrinal content of a philosophical theory, that which is maintained and asserted in it, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the mere fact of the formulation of the theory in question. An incompatibility of such a kind would provide the basis for a decisive argument against the theory beset by that incompatibility.
One of the seminal insights of German social theory, from the Romantics to Max Weber, has been the notion that the industrial revolution has had its indispensable agent a sweeping rationalization of human activity, and that this rationalization, apart from all utilitarian benefits, has produced terrible spiritual strains. In this paper, the author argues two points with regard to the perception of “unhappiness progress” syndrome in this history of ideas.
There is widespread concern over population growth in underdeveloped countries. The reason given for the concern is usually that it impedes economic development through its heavy demand on a country’s resources for consumption… The road to economic development appears fraught with potentials for social unrest, a problem that has received little or no systematic attention.
Central banks are instruments of central governments and their independence is a delicate matter of degree. In Indonesia, the degree is small. The Bank Indonesia provides the financial means for large government expenditures which have in turn produced an inflationary excess of demand. At the same time the Bank has not succeeded in offsetting this monetary expansion in the government sector with corresponding monetary contraction in the private sector… by other standards too the performance of the Bank has been poor. Yet the author believes that even if greater independence were possible it would be difficult to improve the results.
If, as a German poet of the last century claimed, Holland is a country where everything happens a hundred years later, the following outline of the present situation and historical background of Dutch sociological thought would certainly not be very fascinating for the American reader. However, this country, of a size comparable to that of Connecticut, and with a population of twelve million people, is composed of all sorts of contrasts and paradoxes that are reflected in its people, its history and culture.
Review of book by Andreas Dorpalen Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964. 506 pp.
Review of book by Hand-Joachim LieberBerlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1965. 248 pp.
Review of Jurgen Habermas. Theorie und Praxis. Neuwied: Luchterhand Verlag,1963 (Politica, No. 11. 378 pp
Review of book by Julius Gould Harmondsworth. Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd., 1965. 183 pp.