CONTROLLED economy has become familiar almost everywhere, but controlled thought is an innovation of the new dictatorships. The German dictatorship is perhaps unique in claiming nothing less than complete control over the whole intellectual and spiritual life of the nation. By comparison, thought and conscience are relatively free in Soviet Russia and in Fascist Italy; in fact, in these countries German writers can publish works which are suppressed in Germany on the grounds that they are liberal.
Controlled economy has proved to be too difficult a task for the Hitler dictatorship. It has gone back on its program of economic socialization, and its Four Year Plan remains only a promise. Despite subterfuges, there can no longer be doubt that nothing has been done for the middle classes. The only beneficiaries of the present gamble with the destinies of Germany, besides the members of the National Socialist Party, are the big industrialists, who gain by the strangling of the labor unions and who scent fresh profits in armaments. American democracy has established a greater degree of controlled economy than the boasted totalitätsstaat, which actually has reverted to a laissez-faire economy of eighty years ago.
The régime tries to make up for its impotence in economic matters by ceaseless interference in the intellectual and moral realm. It will tolerate neither opposition nor neutrality. Thought must be either National Socialist or it must not be; consequently it is the former, because it is easier to control men's minds than their interests. It is a regrettable fact that people living modestly by their talents or their brains can be brought into subjection much more easily than the monied classes. Great consideration has been shown to the latter in Germany, even when they happen to be Jews. The great department stores, which were to have been utterly destroyed, are still open and full of customers, and the Jewish owners no longer take the trouble to conceal their identities behind men of straw. Even the
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