« AnteriorContinuar »
stimulating, modern and valuable, even though not at all times convincing.
CHARLES NOBLE GREGORY.
Commercial Policy in War Time and After: A Study of the Applica
tion of Democratic Ideas to International Commercial Relations. By William Smith Culbertson, with an introduction by Henry C. Emery. New York: Appleton & Co., 1919. pp. 479. $2.50 net.
This work is an impressive discussion of the new economic world in which the war has left us. There has been a terrific shattering of old systems, national and international Economic tendencies that had long existed have been freed from restraints and left to do their natural work and, chief among these, has been the tendency to enlarge the economic functions of governments.
In addition, however, to liberating old forces, the war introduced new and far-reaching ones which caused the tendency toward the public control of industries to proceed with a rush and produced startling transformations, as it were, over night. The expression "industrial army” became no longer a figure of speech. There was such an army in literal fact furnishing guns, missiles, food, clothing, ships, airplanes, etc., for the men fighting in the trenches. The men in the shops were part and parcel of the fighting force. Direct production of some things by the state and, on a larger scale, the production by contractors acting under authority of the state, became striking facts and these enlarged economic activities in every country engaged in the world conflict remain as a permanent aftermath.
This has created a novel international situation. Before the war individuals traded across boundary lines with the permission of their own governments and with some little fostering care by them. Now governments assert a direct control in this sphere and a nation imports and exports goods by grace of its own government and foreign governments. Importing and exporting are permitted, fostered, restricted or, by embargo, prohibited according to the policy of states, each of which acts for itself. Greater powers than ever before engaged in a scramble for commercial advantage are now active in the arena. It means that the world is an organism in a true sense. Economic activities have always treated political boundaries in a cavalier manner and trade has never confined itself to the region guarded by a particular flag. On the other hand, commercial in. vasions of foreign lands never before had a tithe of the political backing that they are beginning to get and are likely to get, to a still greater extent, in the future. In a thousand ways governments are participants in international trade and have their hands on transactions not merely for relieving famine by exporting foodstuffs, or for furnishing employment to idle workmen by exporting products of any sort, but for a score of economic ends.
Much of this is, briefly but clearly, presented in this volume, and it suggests the fact that, as trade unions have united men in societies and as these societies become the basis of states themselves, it may conceivably unite nations in a world society and, ultimately, in a world state. It appears, however, that trade between individuals furnishes many occasions of quarreling and that trade between nations may have the same effect. If it does so, however, another inference is clear—that, as the quarrels of individuals are settled by ordinary courts, those of nations will have to be settled in a similar way and that, as quarrels between individuals are very largely forestalled and prevented by law, so international quarrels will have to be prevented in the same way. We are in an economic society that is world-wide-one in which single nations are trying actively each to promote its own interest. They are doing it on an unprecedented scale and there is connected with the process both an inspiring hope and a grave peril, and it would require either blindness or willful ignorance to fail to see how pressing is the need of international institutions of some kind to prevent the world organism of the future from becoming a worse arena of conflict than has as yet existed.
The book sketches a goodly number of measures taken by governments for guarding their own citizens, as they are drawn into international dealings, and describes the new positions in which the problem of protective tariffs is placed. The conclusion is as interesting as any part of the work, chiefly because it presents a view which, in one way, strongly favors a League of Nations and, in another way, somewhat obscures the natural method of attaining it. In an interesting introductory note Professor Henry C. Emery expresses some dissent from the author's conclusions, on the ground that no League of Nations is likely to have much permanence which is not a League “against something." The author, on the other hand, expresses the conviction that the Entente is not a model League because it is a combination against Germany. He condemns the union of Mittel-Europa because it is imperialistic and, if it had conquered in the war, would have gone on to other fields conquering and subjugating. It would have had no liking for democracy within its component nations and none for the principle of democracy in the relation of these nations to each other. It would have been a world empire with Mittel-Europa as its central area, Prussia as its ruler and the Hohenzollern system over all. The opposing union—that is, the Entente-certainly will not be criticized on that ground, and facts which prove this are contained both in the book itself, and in Professor Emery's criticism. The Entente derived its vigor from the fact that it was against something" and world-wide imperialism was that “something." Germany was the embodiment of it, while within the Entente the democratic principle prevailed in both a national and an international way, except in Russia which has ceased to be an element. There was democracy within the states and between them and it will be hard to find in discriminations against Germany which were put into the Treaty of Peace for no other purpose than to make the world secure against German imperialism, an evidence that the Entente, itself, is not already the proper nucleus for a much broader union, ultimately including a renovated Germany, and capable of accomplishing the ends which, in this work, are so well defined as the most pressing need of the world of to-day. The great value of the work is the revelation it makes of the new conditions which make some such effective union of nations a sine qua non of future prosperity and peace.
JOHN BATES CLARK.
Authority in the Modern State. By Harold J. Laski. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1919.
“This volume,” the author tells us in his preface, “is in some sort the sequel to a book on the problem of sovereignty-published in March, 1917. It covers rather broader ground, since its main object is to insist that the problem of sovereignty is only a special case of the problem of authority.” Conceiving the state as an aggregation of certain group-units rather than as an organized citizencommunity whose final cause is the welfare of a united although complex body, our author is inclined to deny (page 81) the claim of the state to represent in any dominant and exclusive fashion the will of society as a whole. It is true that it does in fact absorb the vital part of social power; but it is yet in no way obvious that it ought to do so. It is in no way obvious immediately it is admitted that each individual himself is in fact a center of diverse and possibly conflicting loyalties, and that in any sane political ethic, the real direction of his allegiance ought to point to where, as he thinks, the social end is most likely to be achieved. Clearly there are many forms of association competing for his allegiance.
Our author doubts the possibility of continuity in the present political order in the United States, and thinks the dawn of a “new time” to be already brightening the sky. Nor will this coming regeneration find its pattern in existing democratic institutions.
What, in a sense, is being born is a realization of the state; but it is a realization that is fundamentally different from anything that Europe has thus far known. For it starts out from an unqualified acceptance of political democracy and the basic European struggle of the last hundred years is thus omitted (p. 116). . . . It is towards a new orientation of ideals that America is moving.
It is upon this fact that ours is an age of vital transition that the evidence seems clearly to concentrate. . . . Violence, as with the militant suffragists in England, may well come to be regarded as a normal weapon of political controversy; nor have those who suffered imprisonment for their acts regarded the penalty as other than a privilege. In such an aspect, the sovereignty of the state, in the only sense in which that sovereignty can be regarded as a working hypothesis, no longer commands anything more than a partial and spasmodic acceptance (pp. 117-119). . . . The one thing in which we can have confidence as a means of progress is the logic of reason. We thus insist, on the contrary, that the mind of each man, in all the aspects conferred upon him by his character as a social and a solitary being, pass judgment upon the state; and we ask for his condemnation of its policy where he feels it in conflict with the right.
That, surely, is the only environment in which the plant of liberty can flourish. It implies, from the very nature of things, insistence that the allegiance of man to the state is secondary to his allegiance to what he may conceive his duty to society as a whole. It is, as a secondary allegiance, competing in the sense that the need for safeguards demands the erection of alternative loyalties which may, in any given synthesis, oppose their wills to that of the state (pp. 121-122).
Mr. Laski clearly discerns no single final authority in the state, and hence individual loyalty may well find its objective in various directions. But any such view excludes the conception of the state as a citizen-body whose diverse elements must be regarded as fused in a higher synthesis of the whole. Assuredly it is in vain that we posit any coherent system of political administration unless this be supported by enforceable law derived from a single ultimate source. Here alone can we hope to find the order indispensable to every practicable government. Although our differences be adjusted through judicial or arbitral decision, there is none the less need of an enforcing power. In other words, order springing from law clothed with a definite sanction must be clearly visible in every state-plan. Nor do the highly disturbed conditions now in evidence on so wide a field call for the emergence of new principles of action, but rather for an evenly balanced application of very ancient and familiar principles to the special needs of the moment. Political authority-one and indivisible-must be recognized and obeyed by every section or group in the state; these groups cannot claim to be themselves the springs of a power which must be securely posited before they may even claim to exist.
Three chapters of Mr. Laski's book are devoted to carefully executed studies of Bonald, Lamennais, and Royer-Collard, while the fifth and concluding chapter reviews at some length present-day aspects of “Administrative Syndicalism in France." The Vicomte de Bonald, the most celebrated protagonist of theocratic conceptions during the reign of Louis XVIII, preceded in his theories by some twenty years the Swiss von Haller, whose work on the restoration of political science saw the light in 1816, he being thus a contemporary of Joseph de Maistre and the famous group of constitutional royalists known as “Doctrinaires.” The members of this group, whose aims are ably sketched in the Histoire Générale (Vol. 10, Ch. III.) and in the Cambridge Modern History (Vol. X, Ch. II), were: Royer-Collard, Camille Jordan, de Serre, de Barante, Guizot, Laîné, Maine de Biran, Beugnot, Mounier, Rémusat, de Broglie, Decazes. To the present writer Mr. Laski's painstaking industry tends at times to somewhat obscure a clear view of the notable subjects of his essays, though the student will gain much information from these pages. The author, however, is by no means exact at all points as, for example, in his appended “Note on the Bibliography of Lamennais” (pp. 388-389), which is neither as complete nor as accurate as the bibliography appended to the valuable article on Lamennais in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Mr. Laski's book will be read with