"Perhaps the chief task of economists at this hour is to distinguish afresh the 'agenda' of government from the 'non-agenda'. . . . Our problem is to work out a social and economic organization which shall be as efficient as possible without offending our notions of a satisfactory way of life."--John Maynard Keynes: "The End of Laissez-Faire."
THE words of the distinguished British economist are as significant today as when they were written seven years ago; for, while suggestions as to how to work out an efficient and satisfactory social and economic organization continue to be offered and experimented with on an unprecedented scale, the problem itself still remains to be solved.
During the last decade two attempts at a solution have attracted particular attention, one made by Russian Communism, the other by Italian Fascism. Apparently at opposite poles in their general creed and philosophy, they have one fundamental aim in common: the realization of a new scheme for the social and economic advancement of their people. Despite fundamental differences in underlying political philosophy, the social and economic experiment attempted in Italy presents certain interesting parallels to that now being tried in the United States under the aegis of the N. R. A. Coöperation through authority appears to be the basic formula common to both programs. Perhaps it expresses the essence of the new order toward which western capitalism seems gradually to be moving.
Born of a reaction against the doctrines of Marxian socialism and the extreme degeneration of post-war parliamentarism, Fascism gradually developed into a movement which has transformed the whole political, social and economic structure of the Italian Kingdom. The old liberal state has ceased to exist in Italy. Its place has been taken by a new state, built according to Fascist doctrines and Fascist ideals. Intense national consciousness, intense patriotism and national fervor are the basic elements of the new social and political creed: they pervaded and inspired Fascist thought and action and supplied the driving force, the
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