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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 7, No. 2 (Summer 1940)

The accumulation of gold in the United States--at the time this article goes to print it has passed the 18 billion dollar mark--is being watched with increasing concern. On the one hand it is feared that gold may cease to function as money and lose its value; on the other hand the huge excess reserves which have been created in the Federal Reserve System by the influx of gold are being anxiously observed as a potential source of uncontrollable inflation. Numerous suggestions have been made both for coping with the international problems of overproduction, oversupply and maldistribution of gold and for remedying the domestic dangers inherent in the presence of vast excess reserves. In the following pages it is intended to summarize the facts, to appraise the results of the gold policy of recent years, to investigate the probability and the consequences of a demonetization, and to review various proposals that have been suggested for dealing with the puzzling problem of gold.

For many years after the close of the First World War neutrality was considered to be doomed forever because by its very nature it was incompatible with an international order based upon the League of Nations Covenant. Now, with the breakdown of the system of collective security, it has come to new life. As a matter of fact, when the Second World War broke out last September the League of Nations could manage to stay at Geneva, in its haughty palace representing a graveyard of wishful resolutions, only by adopting for itself an attitude of strict neutrality on the part of both the organization and its staff. Neutrality seems, so far at least, to have outlived collective security.

There is probably disagreement in fundamental matters between Dr. Kahler and myself regarding the problem he has discussed in 'Forms and Features of Anti-Judaism,' yet I think it neither necessary nor useful to discuss these fundamental questions in the abstract. What I wish to do here is to take certain points presented in Kahler’s article and develop them a little further, by means of a critical commentary following in the main the lines of the article itself. I shall be completely satisfied inf in this rather negative process of critical analysis it is possible to shed some new light on a problem which is of such vast importance as anti-Judaism.

In order for the materialist really to prove his theories of relationship he must show that the major figures (major in terms of historical recognition) of one era and nation are closer to the main stream of thought in their generation, and understand more of the social issues, than do the minor figures. It must be demonstrated that Keats knew more about economic and political life than Leigh Hunt, that Donne knew more than Cowley and Suckling, that Milton in turn was closer to the pulse and throb of ordinary men than Donne and Marvell, that Baudelaire was closer than, for example, Rostand. Such a demonstration is difficult.

I cannot here adequately analyze and appraise all the important contributions made by the various schools of thought that advocate the objective validity of values. Suffice it to say that phenomenologists and gestalt theorists have, as a rule, conscientiously refrained from forwarding absolute aims and standards regarding politics and justice. A few exceptions will be mentioned below. Even in the present century, numerous writers of other provenience have held out absolute standards, either of a substantial or of a merely formal character. Most of them have made no reference to the doctrine of separation of Is and Ought--i.e. the doctrine that elements of what-ought-to-be may be found embedded in human nature in such a way that human thinking and feelings are inescapably tied up with them--nor have they made any attempt to offer proof other than alleged immediate evidence. The following pages will review these proposals.

Will the present European war become another great modern war with its own revolutionary effects--or will it be abruptly ended by another alleged peace, rather by an armistice followed by another period of inaudible and invisible war? So far, nobody can tell. But neither can anyone doubt that, at all events, it will have incisive effects, economic and social as well as political. Some may be only transitory. Others may remain and lead to further deep repercussions. Many may be concealed by secrecy during the war. But it may be worthwhile to attempt to clarify various of the incipient new developments. This we shall undertake under the above heading in the present and forthcoming issues of Social Research.

The goal set in Dewey’s "Logic--The Theory of Inquiry" is to make explicit the rules which actually govern scientific inquiry--a goal which can be accepted as his own by any logician or methodologist regardless of his philosophical position. The term 'logic' is given the broad meaning of general methodology, but a great part of the book is devoted to an analysis of the significance of the rules of formal logic in empirical science, or--in Professor Dewey’s terminology--of their function in the continuum of inquiry.

Review of book by Charles E. Merriam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1939. 118 pp.

Review of book by Nathaniel Micklem. Issued under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.] New York: Oxford University Press. 1939. 243 pp.

Review of book by Milton L. Stokes. With a Forward by F. Cyril James. Toronto: Macmillan. 1939. 382 pp.

Review of book by Jesse H. Newlon. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1939. 242 pp.

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