Republican Germany: A Political and Economic Study

Republican Germany: A Political and Economic Study

Republican Germany: A Political and Economic Study

Republican Germany: A Political and Economic Study

Excerpt

Difficulty of an historical survey--assessing factors of permanent value--a dramatic theme--the rise of the new democratic State-- an inspiring subject--democracy on trial--Ebert and Hindenburg-- industrial adjustment--the conception of the German mentality-- philosophic doctrines and personalities--three great thinkers--literary and artistic criticism--"Thomas Paine"--the art of the film--contemporary art movements and tendencies--the Expressionists-- industrial architecture--decorative principle--conclusions.

THE bare chronicle of fact may be, in itself, of sufficient interest to keep alive a modern history, but such a chronicle can have little value outside of the facts that it gives; it may be used as a source of reference and it may supply romantic story-tellers with certain hard details sufficient to rescue otherwise vague narrations from the danger of unreality. When the object of survey is an immensely complicated industrial State like Germany, the mosaic presented by a mere record of what has taken place in every branch of activity must be more bewildering even than those decorations which have been built into the baroque palaces of Vienna. There is a feeling that each detail must have its own significance, but what that significance is lies beyond comprehension; there must be some connecting link, some general plan which will give dignity and meaning to the architectural mass, and, where such a meaning can be found and placed in true perspective, the effect is one of a complex and even stimulating beauty. On the other hand, it may be possible to concentrate on ideas alone, develop a thesis, bring elaborate arguments into line, and evolve principles which appear to carry with them a satisfactory interpretation of what has occurred. In this case, one may assume a certain degree of conscious or unconscious assimilation of fact without the necessity for minute statement or close representation. There is here, however, a . . .

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