The Legacy of Nazism: The Economic and Social Consequences of Totalitarianism

The Legacy of Nazism: The Economic and Social Consequences of Totalitarianism

The Legacy of Nazism: The Economic and Social Consequences of Totalitarianism

The Legacy of Nazism: The Economic and Social Consequences of Totalitarianism

Excerpt

"A sniping expedition into a large village" -- the expression once used by Professor Pigou -- might apply to this book. It may well be that it is too early for lasting occupation of the village. But it is high time for an exploratory foray, for a few commando raids on the whole problem of totalitarian economy and its aftermath. This book is such a raid.

Totalitarian economy is more than an isolated interlude: its effects will be felt for decades. It was born out of certain social and economic conditions: the decadence of genuine liberal competition, the end of laissez-faire, the vagaries of the trade cycle, the growing awareness of insecurity, unemployment, and frustration in both the classes and the masses. On the other hand, economic and social structure has undergone, and still is undergoing, such basal changes, under the combined pressure of totalitarianism and war, that there will be no return to pre-Nazi conditions. Nazism and its evil fruit will ultimately perish, but the forces and counterforces they have generated will persist for a long time. It will not be the world -- particularly the Europe -- that we knew. Not only democracy but our entire civilization must, to use the words of William Allen White, go down to the tomb and arise.

The impact of the totalitarian earthquake is so shattering that many of us are unwilling to acknowledge it and to face the loss of so many familiar institutions. Some at least among the United Nations are unable to recognize that post-Nazi social organization will differ from older patterns. Too many people are afraid of winning. They are, indeed, apprehensive of defeat only slightly less than of victory. Fortunately, true leaders among the United Nations have a clear vision of the . . .

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