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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 8, No. 1 (Spring 1941)

Modern by necessity a "war of an entire people against another entire people." Consequently every element of vigor of a people at war must be at the disposal of the warring state: not only the soldiers, but also the civilian population; not only the people, but also the material elements of strength--the stocks on hand, the soil, the productive plants, the means of transportation, the monetary and financial apparatus, everything. "The entire economy must utilize all its knowledge and organizational skill, all its stocks, machines and means of transportation, and its connections abroad as well, in order to solve the difficult task of satisfying as far as possible and without friction every need of the fighting army and of the people as a whole" (Guido Fischer). This quotation is chosen at random, and many others of the same kind could be cited. The unhappy fact is that they speak the truth.

The history of the Hermann Göring works is one of the epics of industrial empire building. But it offers a new variation on the old theme, since not a rugged individualist but a modern tyrant has been its builder. Some may ask if it is not really a form of state socialism in action. The answer depends upon one’s analysis and interpretation of the whole Nazi system. In my opinion the development of this empire bears more resemblance to the amassing of lands and fortunes by the feudal lords of the seventeenth century. It is a system in which extreme order and anarchy coexist, in which the powerful seize the fruits of the day and call it law, in which the rationalization of power and the irrationality of the powerful blend into a strange mixture.

As the armament effort depletes the ranks of the unemployed, fills the floor space of factories, threatens to clog the railroad tracks with moving materials, people become conscious of one economic danger--inflation. They say, with justification, that if--in a time when the nation’s resources are fully used--the consumers and the peacetime firms maintain or increase their spending, while the production of armaments is also maintained and increased, the prices of commodities will rise. Their rise will throw overboard all cost calculations, thus favoring the speculator at the expense of the carefully planning entrepreneur. It will expropriate the middle class insofar as it consists of savers or of people with fixed money incomes. Finally, it will penalize the workers, who are usually unable to adjust their incomes to rising prices. Injustice and political upheaval will threaten to frustrate the defense effort.

One workable method for investigating international law is that of historical and sociological approach. Taking the law as it functions in different periods and in different circumstances, it asks which of the alleged rules have become effective and to what degree under various conditions. The task of the sociologist in examining general expressions intended to ascribe legal consequences to certain facts and occurrences, is not to subsume the facts under an a priori conception but to find what practice has actually meant when using one of those expressions. This is the method I shall follow in examining the problem of expropriation in international law. In this case, I take expropriation to mean the interference by the state with private property rights, and take specific interest in those cases wherein rights belonging to foreigners are interfered with.

Lederer enjoyed analysis. He liked to follow up an assumption to its last consequences, to pick up and disentangle the threads of economic causation. For the complacent "common sense" of the lazy-minded he had a mild contempt. During the greater part of his life, and long before the Nazis’ advent to power, phraseologists and charlatans--some on the level of rarefied metaphysics and verbose methodology, others in the role of outright propagandists, some deliberately, others unconsciously--were beclouding the minds of German students by vapors of archaic sorcery, nationalist myth, class prejudice and heroic brutality.

In this article, Ernst Karl Winter engages the reader with a sweeping historical survey of Austria’s intricate history of economic and socio-political movements, schools of thought and reform initiatives.

Review of book by James T. Shotwell. Revised edition of An Introduction to the History of History. New York: Columbia University Press. 1939. 407 pp.

Review of book by Soren Kierkegaard. Translated from the Danish, with introduction and notes, by David F. Swenson. Princeton: Princeton University Press, for American Scandinavian Foundation. 1936. 105 pp.

Review of book by Emanuel Konig. Zurich: Polygraphischer Verlag. 1939. 279 pp.

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