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Chapters of especial interest, explaining the non-religious, moral-resistance movement during the recent Great War, are the ones dealing with Grounds of Contemporary Conscientious Objection and Significance of Contemporary Conscientious Objection. Here the author traces three sources from which, in the absence of a religious tradition, the conscientious objectors might have derived their inspiration: the influence of Tolstoy and other great pacifistic and anarchistic personalities, “the philosophy of international socialism and proletarian solidarity,” and “certain pacifying conditions and influences characteristic of modern industrial life apart from any philosophy of reform connected with it." With reference to the significance of conscientious objecting, Professor Case finds it difficult to formulate “a terse and confident statement” for the future, but he does point out that here is a matter that should receive attention in peace-time and not alone in war-time since it is symptomatic of a permanent disturbing condition in modern life. Peace-time manifestations of the same attitude are the industrial strike and the commercial and nationalistic boycott to the treatment of which subjects the author devotes three illuminating chapters.
The last three chapters of the book deal with the subjects: Non-Violence as Soul-Force, Non-Violent Coercion as NonCoöperation, and Social Significance of Non-Violent Conduct. In the first of these chapters, Dr. Case sketches the remarkable career in South Africa of Mahatma Gandhi, the exponent of the radical dictrine of "soul-force and soultruth” as powerful moral resistants against law and constituted authority. In Non-Violent Coercion as Non-Coöperation the reader follows easily the history of Gandhi in his startling policy of non-violent coöperation inaugurated in India as an important aspect of the Indian revolution. This movement of non-coöperation, which Dr. Case calls “the strangest revolution in human history," had several phases—religious, political, and economic and was designed to culminate in “civil disobedience.” With Gandhi and thousands of his followers in prison the future of the movement cannot be predicted. But regardless of the ultimate outcome of non-coöperation "we have here presented the most extraordinary manifestation of passive resistance and non-violent coercion in the history of the world.” In the chapter on Social Significance of Non-Violent Conduct, the socio-psychological principles involved in the form of social behavior treated in this volume are presented. The attempt here is to examine the social processes, the controlling attitudes, and impelling sentiments apart from violent methods and physical force.
The book will hardly make converts to the “turn-theother-cheek” attitude, but it certainly is refreshing to read such an able treatment on this significant subject at a time when the law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" seems to dominate largely both the behavior of individuals and the conduct of nations, though at the same time both seem to be seeking some more humanitarian means of meeting force and settling disputes. University of Texas.
W. E. GETTYS.
DOWD, JEROME. Democracy in America. (Oklahoma City:
Harlow, 1921. Pp. viii, 506.)
A comprehensive study of the problem indicated by the title of this book is no small task. In attempting to set forth the outstanding features of democracy in America, Professor Dowd approaches his subject not from one angle, but from many. Thus he takes up in successive chapters the psychological characteristics of Americans, industrial life, the American woman, domestic life, political life, social organization, and various aspects of religious and intellectual life.
Very little attempt has been made by the author to make an original contribution to the study of this subject. Rather has he gathered together a large number of selections from commentators on American life and institutions. Nearly all of these are Englishmen or Frenchmen. Consequently, this is primarily a study of American Democracy by such excellent authorities as De Tocqueville, Bourget, Dickens,
Arnold, and Wells. The selections are well chosen; they are nearly always interesting, and many of them are enlightening. However, the fact that such a large part of the book consists of quotations written during the nineteenth century (the extracts from De Tocqueville, for example, are especially numerous) means that it contains very little new material, and that certain rather recent and very important changes have taken place in our political, social, and economic life and institutions since the writings of the commentaries. University of Texas.
B. F. WRIGHT, JR.
BEARD, CHARLES A. Cross Currents in Europe Today.
(Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1922. Pp. v, 278.)
This latest product of Professor Beard's pen endeavors to analyze the salient features of the European world as seen in the middle of 1922. Scarcely any aspect of the vital problems of Europe is left untouched and the diplomatic, economic, constitutional, agrarian and social developments are analyzed and synthesized in a peculiarly able manner. Mr. Beard leads us through the intricate labyrinth of official revelations on the diplomatic background of the World War without the least evidence of partisanship, and points out the lessons to be learned from the debacle of the old diplomacy. He concludes that "formal treaties, either secret or published, are not necessary to draw nations into warlike combinations” and points out that “neither the members of parliaments nor the masses of the people knew what was going on behind their backs.” “The remedy for this state of affairs in diplomacy lies in no mere institutional changes,” he believes. "It lies in an ever growing body of enlightened citizens who do their own thinking and are not deceived by official propaganda.”
Of prime importance is his illuminating discussion on the Economic Outcome of the War. With clear cut strokes the author pictures the economic results of the Carthaginian Peace. “Commercial disorganization, indemnities, huge debts, inflated currencies, nationalistic rivalries, revolutionary fevers"—these are but a part of the legacy of the war and the peace treaties. It is indeed a gloomy picture of Europe from which the conclusion is drawn that "normalcy” such as the world knew it in 1914, will never return. The author, keenly mindful of the analogy between present-day Europe and the United States under the Confederation, believes that "a new constitution of nations, a grand European League appears to be the only alternative to new combinations, new wars more ghastly and deadly than ever.” Despite some hopeful tendencies, it appears to the author that only common bankruptcy, and the excesses of frenetic nationalism can awaken Europe to its senses and bring about a constructive reorganization.
In discussing The New Constitutions of Europe the author epitomizes the constitutional changes which half a continent has undergone. While pre-war Europe clung to the constitutional sanctification of individualism and laissezfaire, the new constitutions are distinctly of a societarian character and show the impress of the philosophy of collectivisí. In brief, “they stand to challenge the whole gospel of the French Revolution.” American ideals of government have almost uniformly been discarded while the conciliar institutions bequeathed to the world by the Russian Revolution have exercised far more influence, reaching their greatest fruition in the “anchorage of councils” found in the Weimar Constitution. “But it seems established beyond doubt that the enthusiasm for economic councils is on the wane," the general drift being “toward parliamentary government modeled on British lines” rather than towards a supersession of political by economic institutions.
The cataclysmic transformation of Russia by the Revolution forms Professor Beard's next theme. This is a magnificent sketch “built not upon essays of frenzied propagandists, but upon the soberest accounts given by Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik writers.” It is a brilliant achievement to picture in miniature so perfectly the dynamic forces of so historic an event. It is the author's belief that Russia will become a huge peasant democracy, much like the new agrarian states of Eastern Europe which have established a new, emancipated peasant class of individual proprietors as the mainstay of democratic and republican institutions. In Russia, "by one of the ironies of history, a vast free peasantry, the bulwark of conservatism, will be created by the orders of the world's extreme radicals." A return of the old regime in his opinion "would be a disaster so great that the mind of man could hardly compass it.” Its elimination he believes to have given “a new direction to the diplomacy and international politics of Europe.”
In dealing with Socialism and the Labor Movement the author analyzes the reasons for the failure of Socialism to prevent war, to consummate a social revolution throughout Europe, and to call into being the recuperative and reconstructive forces necessary for Europe's recovery. But if the socialist movement, both national and international, is bankrupt after war and revolution, the same may not be said of international trade unionism, which “emerged, from the war more numerous and more influential than ever"and much more radical. The chief gain for socialism as a result of a taste of power has been the recasting of its economics. Hitherto purely negative, critical, destructive, socialist economics have turned since the war to a frank and scientific study of the actual processes of production, distribution and management, in a rational and constructive way, not, however, without “a disintegrating influence upon the pontifical assurance of socialist dogma."
Finally, in considering America and the Balance of Power Mr. Beard weighs the comparative interest of the United States in Europe and Asia. He believes that America has farsightedly sensed her strategic position between the backward Orient and the industrial Occident and has formulated her national policies more in consonance with Pacific than European interests. In the future America will doubtless continue to feed Europe, but she must outsell all European competitors in Asiatic markets if her present industrial supremacy, is to be maintained. Whether this will lead us to “positive Imperialism, naked and unafraid” or to a continued provincialism—“Little Americanism"-or to a policy of drift, the author does not venture to predict.