top of page

NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 1937)

The recent Japanese economic policy is an attempt--in spite of the depression and against the current of world trade--to build up a huge and complete industrial structure in order to outweigh the increasing pressure of population and to provide the means for ambitious aims in foreign policy. Japan is following the example set by Great Britain and Germany during the nineteenth century; in doing so it runs counter to the economic interests as well as the political positions of great powers, thus causing unrest in the western hemisphere which is reflected there too in the alignment of states. The subject of the present analysis, however, is the change in Japan’s economic position during the recent years; its foreign policy as far as it is separable from the economic policy--will remain beyond the scope of the discussion.

What Marx means today--this question I propose to discuss in its scientific, not its political sense. After decades of untiring discussion, with libraries filled by heated controversy, with passions aroused by its bare name, it is full time to examine how far the concepts used by Marx are still tenable. In parallel, we must examine how far we may, and have to, follow his lead in order to understand social-economic development, and what his doctrines tell us in the light of later events. This brief survey will draft the main lines of the huge structure of Marxian thought and discuss some of its crucial points.

In comparing the postwar development of business conditions in the United States and Great Britain, the question arises as to how the striking differences between the course of economic events in the two nations are connected with the equally striking differences in the curves of residential building activity. A consideration of this question entails a comparative analysis of the factors which have determined residential building.

The long duration of the last depression defied all predictions based on purely statistical investigations of the business cycle and forced economists to discuss the problem of crisis again in terms of cause and effect. It is true that there are still nearly as many different theories as authors on the subject. Nevertheless, it becomes increasingly clear that, at least as far as the cause of crisis is concerned, all these different opinions can easily be divided into two groups. The first group explains the crisis as a result of scarcity of capital, whereas the second advances ideas which lead to the opposite view; that is, that superabundance of capital is its cause. Since both opinions are based on logical reasoning it should not be difficult to find a logical solution. The history of business cycle theory shows, however, that there are problems involved here which scarcely admit of a single answer.

European Catholicism went through a far-reaching process of adaptation in its attempt to keep up with the new developments that shook the occidental world after the French Revolution. This process did not relate to fundamental doctrines of the Catholic church, either in their moral and ethical implications or in their bearing on social philosophy. The problem in fact was only this: to determine the position Catholicism was to take toward the newly rising social philosophies and toward the new distribution of power in modern societies. In regard to both issues Catholicism was on the defensive. One might even say it was overrun by the turn that was taken by ideas and realities after the French Revolution.

The Senate, as it exists today in Italy, ought to be the ideal chamber for Mussolini and render an elective chamber superfluous. But the king seems to have been reluctant to scuttle the last traces of electoral institutions. Mussolini himself did not dare to destroy root and branch the system of elective representation, as long as other civilized countries remained infatuated with that ridiculous prejudice. If Italy did not from time to time give to the world the appearance of national elections, or as Mussolini scornfully calls them, 'pulp-paper revels,' no American banker could induce the American investors to underwrite an Italian loan, because the American newspapers could not affirm that Mussolini really represents the Italian people, as is demonstrated by regular national "elections."

bottom of page