How to Get a Breakthrough in Ukraine
The Case Against Incrementalism
FOR six years the Third Reich has been an economist's laboratory. The experiments were neither decided by economists nor conducted under their control; but it was possible for economists all over the world to observe their unfolding at a breakneck pace. Now these experiments have ended in an economic reverse, from which the only way out apparently leads straight into a Bolshevik economic system.
In their essence, none of the economic measures initiated by the Nazi Party-State was exactly original or epoch-making. Most of them were adopted or advocated by the first Napoleon, Fichte, List, Louis Blanc, and the economic architects of the Russian Soviet system -- that is, fairly continuously throughout the last century and a half. Indeed, in many remarkable particulars they resemble the economic expedients accompanying every social and political upheaval, from revolution to war itself. For example, the Reich's shortage of liquid capital since Munich has led to an expropriation of Jews' property, and to the scheduling of corporate Catholic property for disposal; and there has been talk of new bond issues to good Nazis to enable them to buy up former Jewish or Catholic property -- to buy it up or to ransom it. This is almost an exact parallel to the origin of the notorious assignats of the French Revolution, issued to enable citoyens to buy up clerical property. And just as the assignats heralded and eventually stimulated an inflation of the currency, so we today may justifiably link the removal of Dr. Hjalmar Schacht from the Reichsbank, within four months of Munich, to a long list of expropriations, successive new public loans, violent increases in the note circulation of the Reichsbank, and arbitrary impressment or intensification of human labor, and ask: Is inflation on the way? Is the Nazis' economic system breaking down?
As soon as these questions are posed we ought to become very cold-blooded and analytical. Many eminent economists in non-totalitarian states predicted six years ago that the Nazi economy would collapse in a few months, two years at the most. It did not do so, not because these economists' analysis was wrong, but because their timing was. And their timing was wrong because they accepted as ceteris paribus a number of factors which were quite peculiar to the Reich and quite incomparable to factors, going by the same names, in other lands. Among such factors were, and still are: labor-cost, wages, standards of living, savings, formation of capital, profits, risk-bearing, etc.
The Nazis inherited over 6,000,000 unemployed (though the number was decreasing before February 1933); they had no visible sources of liquid capital; their industrial plant was running at one-third capacity; and foreign trade was at a low ebb. The Reich was not creditworthy, so foreign loans were impossible. But Herr Hitler and Dr. Schacht have shown us that as long as a proposition is economically possible, a purely financial way can be found to carry it out. The Reich of 1933 had all the slack in the world to take up: plant and labor in superabundance. Only liquid capital and (because of the slump in world trade) raw materials were lacking. Nazi Germany secured enough resources of liquid capital by mortgaging the future yield of taxes (the von Papen tax certificates of 1932 preceded the Nazi régime and foreshadowed the Nazis' work-creation bills), by new taxation, by levelling down all real incomes, by "blocking" transfers of foreign debt services, and by the agreed suspension of all reparations. This the banking system and the Reichsbank together could turn into purchasing power for the state -- though not for consumers. The raw materials were obtained by arbitrary governmental control over imports and by a redistribution of Germany's foreign trade, especially with smaller countries, which created new debts. The state -- that is, the formidable bureaucracy of boards, controls, commissars, inspectors and authorities -- could simultaneously hold down wages, lengthen hours, control retail prices, control and ration the production or import of consumers' goods, while giving out orders for a vast production of "producers'" or "investment" or "capital" goods, e.g. new factories, new equipment, armaments, new construction, new roads, and (a "capital" luxury, if a social and political necessity) a vast conscript army, navy, air force, plus all the civil and para-military armies of police, SS, SA, and officials. New and increased taxes brought the extra purchasing-power back to the state. This rapidly-produced array of non-consumable goods represents nothing but a vast turnover from a national income in which, before the advent of the Nazis, consumers accounted for the overwhelming bulk of all activity, to a national income in 1938 in which the production of consumers' goods had fallen per head of population, while that of "investment goods" had doubled.
It is essential that we should not misunderstand the nature of this change-over within Germany's national output during the last six years. The normal end of all investment is to produce "investment goods" -- railroads, ships, factories, plant, houses, tools -- which are then used merely to increase our output of enjoyable "consumers' goods," e.g. transport, clothing, amusement, etc. Private saving serves private investment for private enterprise to meet private consumers' desires. But in the Nazi Reich, despite the doubling of the index for the output of "investment goods" since 1929 (and its quintupling since the low-point of 1932), the goods so designated are not the same as before. They are not for private enterprise; nor do they help to swell production of consumable goods; nor do they represent any increase in the national welfare. To a very large extent they have never been intended to increase the output of consumers' goods -- unless we strain common sense by defining instruments of death and destruction as consumers' goods, waiting to be consumed on the outbreak of war. Indeed, they constitute a new inroad upon the national income.
We might call such goods -- in democracies as well as in dictatorships -- either consumers' goods that yield no welfare, or capital (investment, producers') goods which are unproductive of consumers' goods, but are just hoards of capital, labor and materials waiting to be blown up for non-economic purposes -- extremely costly fireworks. But, unlike fireworks, they go on costing a great deal for maintenance every year after they have been turned out; and eventually they have to be replaced because, unlike fireworks, they become out of date. Consequently, parallel with current output of new armaments, the modern state has also to replace the rapidly obsolescing armaments and arms-producing equipment turned out barely four or five years before; which means that the more armaments you pile up, the greater in geometric progression grows your budgetary and production problem. The longer you go on, the more do maintenance and replacement threaten current expansion of the arms program. Finally, if to get arms quickly, as the Reich and (to a less extent) France and Britain have done, you order the armaments out of borrowing from your own citizens, you have not only to maintain and expand the program, but you have also to amortize the loans, to pay back something sometime, and make due provision for it -- unless you really intend to make a capital levy without telling your capitalists. Only in the Reich has this levy been made at the expense of one or two less-favored groups of citizens.
The essence of the Nazis' economic program since 1933 can be stated simply. It has been to take up not only the pre-1933 slack in Germany's productive system, but in addition a good deal of what was still "taut" in 1933 for consumers' needs; and to switch this increased sector of productive resources, now under state control, over to production of nothing but armaments, arms factories and equipment, strategic and para-military public works, buildings, new communications, etc. The real cost (as economists say) of this gigantic endeavor is the amount of consumers' goods and services foregone by the German people. They were called on to give up for strategic purposes not only all the pre-1933 slack in their national productive machine, but also a wide segment of the post-1933 economy as well, plus entirely new "discoveries" of national resources, like increases of hours of work from daily averages of 6.91 hours in 1932 (or 7.67 in 1929) to 7.68 in 1937 and 8.04 last year, without any commensurable increase in earnings. On the other hand, as fast and as far as the Nazi party-state superseded private businessmen as the initiative-takers in new enterprise (i.e. investment or creation of capital goods out of available resources), so Germany's former slack was taken up. Unemployment disappeared, partly because of the state's military "boost" to the national economy, partly because of the equally rapid building of new and vast armies of soldiers, the increase of various kinds of police, of prisoners in camps, of Storm Troops, of officials for new state boards, etc. Not only had the new war equipment to be produced, but men had to be employed and paid to produce it. It contributed nothing to the consumable percentage of the national income; indeed, compared even with the bad year of 1932, it further reduced that consumable portion. Thus, by mid-1937, when it became obvious that the Reich was nearing the point where it was employing existing domestic resources to the full, two things also became apparent. They were both economic dangers for the Reich. They were both emphasized by Dr. Schacht as such.
The first was this. If the party-state's armament program was to expand and accelerate at a constant rate, then either substantial further cuts in production of consumable goods and services would have to be made, or else a real inflation would arise. In other words, conversion of new purchasing-power for state contracts into new equipment, arms, etc., would be impossible, since there would not be resources and labor available; so that after that peak-point the new funds for new contracts would simply be used by contractors and even government agencies to bid against each other for existing, limited resources. The expression of this would be a cumulative rise in all prices. Since the word "inflation" has a worse connotation to German ears than the word "war," this first danger might have been expected to be taken seriously by the party-state's leaders.
The second danger was as follows. From 1933 to 1937 the party-state had confined its proletarian, collectivist, Socialist measures to all foreign trade and transactions, to industrial relations, and to that percentage of the Reich's national income created and controlled by the state. But after 1937, with the state's share of the national income approaching 50 percent, and with the use of national resources approaching the limit, Germany faced the real dangers of an increasingly rigid Socialist state. And it was a state whose resources of men and materials could not compare with Russia's, whose dependence on industry had been enlarged and not lessened by the Nazi régime, and whose burden of totally unproductive labor and output was already reaching 25 percent of the whole -- a figure higher than that in any other capitalistic nation in peacetime, present or past. Accordingly, if the party-state was to continue its program at its constantly accelerated rate of progress, it must eliminate the remaining vestiges of private property and enterprise, e.g. by capital levies, expropriations, forced labor (increased hours without commensurate recompense), and state control of all production, both of producers' and consumers' goods. It was against this spectre that Dr. Schacht took his stand.
It is always faintly amusing to observe the intellectual antics of wishful-thinkers. When they found, by 1936 or 1937, that the Reich was not actually foundering in an economic whirlwind, they preserved their own equipoise by transferring (to use Burke's phrase) the small weight of their reasons to the opposite side. They did it so abruptly that they caused an equally violent list in the opposite direction. They said, in effect, that the Nazi party-state had discovered a new and miraculous economic system; that we should all have to "copy what was best in it"; that it could never break down. Because the Nazi system had not obliged them by fulfilling their wishes within three or four years, it was good for all time.
Now what these wishful-thinkers failed to see was that, even as they spoke, the economic writing was beginning to go up on the walls of the Third Reich. It began to go up on the domestic side of those walls as well as on that facing the outside world. Dr. Schacht saw it, but neither the Nazi leaders nor the wishful-thinkers abroad were prepared to admit what he saw as evidence. Today, only eighteen months later, it is crushing; and the adventures into Austria and Czecho-Slovakia, taken by the extremist Nazi leaders against the advice, so it is reported, of the President of the Reichsbank whom they have now removed, have only heightened and verified the moral of that evidence.
Let us examine the evidence in two parts: that concerned with domestic economy, and that concerned with foreign trade.
Domestically, all the German indices show what in normal times and a normal national economy would be called "full capacity." Since the end of 1937, despite the acquisition of some 425,000 unemployed in Austria and the Sudetenland, unemployment has virtually disappeared within the enlarged Reich, while women are being drafted back to factories and hours for male workers are steadily being lengthened. The output of consumption goods has not even kept pace with the increase in population during 1938 (10,000,000 souls) so that, even if wage-rates and overtime-rates were raised -- and officially that has not taken place, though unofficially there is reason to believe that some bonuses have been granted -- the purchasing-power of the extra consumers could only express itself as more money for the same amount of goods. Result: higher retail prices. In fact, retail prices have tended to jump rather rapidly during 1938; and this may be the reason. But they have only tended to do so; for on the other hand the rigid price-controls have come into play, rationing has been clamped down harder, more consumers' purchasing-power has thus been unable to buy more of the needed commodities (meat, butter, milk, eggs, fruit, textiles); and as a result the extra consumers' purchasing-power has gone to swell the deposits in the savings or other banks.
Like the compulsory contributions from both employers and employed to the unemployment insurance fund, the savings banks and other repositories of voluntary or forced savings have been compelled to take up Government paper, either directly or indirectly; and as there is no unemployment, and the Labor Front organization permits no arbitrary discharge of employees by employers, the unemployment fund has become a vast, continuous tax on employment and enterprise. The proceeds, like the proceeds of most private and corporate savings or profits in the Reich, are at once whipped back into the State's coffers, to issue thence in payment once again for contracts falling due. Only the state's paper (its varied bills and long-term bonds) shows any increase comparable with the rise in national income, which was from Rm. 45.2 billions in 1932 to the 1928 level of 76 billions last year. But the interesting feature for our purposes is that, in 1938 alone, primarily as a result of Dr. Schacht's insistence last March on the cessation of issues of new work-creation bills, the Reich's issues of long-term debt increased by Rm. 8 billions. This is three times the amount so raised (or consolidated from the floating, short-term debt) in 1937, and more than half of the total of Rm. 15¼ billions consolidated from short-term debt since such consolidation began in 1936. The last of these issues, that for Rm. 1½ billions last December, took over five weeks to subscribe, and the last 400 millions had to be forced down the throats of the already gorged savings banks, insurance institutions, and the like. This, within nine months of Dr. Schacht's warning, is proof enough that after five years of compulsory levies, rising taxes, confiscated reserves, etc., the once free German capital market has been denuded of its resources. True, they might be built up again; but only if the process which denuded the market of them were itself to be halted. And that, after the removal of Dr. Schacht, may be very difficult.
Financial considerations, however, never stopped a country from going to war. The national debt of the Reich (including municipalities, provinces and Austria) at the end of 1938 was roughly Rm. 55 billions, compared with less than 25 billions in 1932; but in the meantime the Reich had sloughed off and "consumed" on armaments over 16 billions of foreign indebtedness, shed all its reparations liabilities, gained more population and resources, increased its activity to full capacity, and multiplied state revenue threefold. Though the portfolios of every bank, financial institution, insurance company, big industrial concern, and public undertaking are now chock-a-block with the Reich's IOU's, this in itself need not cause a financial crash. That contingency can only arise as a result of a combination of causes, of which the continuous expansion of the party-state's capital-construction (i.e. military) program is chief. "A crash" means a crash within a system; but there are two parallel systems in the Reich -- a small one for consumers, and a big one for armaments. The small one need not crash for a long time; so it can be still further pared down to give the big one more leeway.
As we have shown, the magnitude of the arms program's achievements within five years is best shown in terms of consumption foregone -- not only consumption that might have been, but a good part of the consumption that actually existed among all strata of the Reich's population above the 6,000,000 unemployed in 1932. Continuous limitation and rationing of supplies, continuous narrowing-down of all consumers' choice, continuous paring-down of the qualities of consumable goods -- these phenomena may not be observed by comfortable tourists; but they are sufficiently recognized by the Reich's leaders to form the main theme of many an official speech. Herr Hitler at the end of January admitted the existence of a grave economic crisis, demanded national unity and strength of will to shoulder further sacrifices necessary to overcome it, and promised a reaping-time after the sowing. Of course, the Leader could not admit that the curtailment of consumption in the Reich had always been deliberately managed, though an echo from a long-past speech by one of his lieutenants about "guns rather than butter" must now sound ominous when there are so many more guns and still no butter. Yet the very rapidity with which the Reich's economic reverse has developed, at a time when its output of military material is unparalleled and when the cost steadily emerges into public view, emphasizes the persistent dependence of the Reich on its foreign trade. The Leader who suddenly sang out "We must export or die!" has struck a new note, a different one from that on which so many of the Nazi autarchs have harped since 1933, a note strangely like that of the ejected Dr. Schacht. Why is this?
The reason is that, since the end of 1937, and accelerated by the greatly enlarged import needs of Austria and the Sudetenland, the Four Year Plan has been going adrift. The vast acquisitions and allocations of liquid capital for strategic (often Ersatz or "substitute") industries have not been able to cover the rapidly increasing demand by the state for vital raw or semi-manufactured materials; and at the same time the annexations in 1938 sharply stepped-up the expanded Reich's needs of food and raw materials. Moreover, in the foreign field the bilateral barter and compensation trade agreements, driven as hard bargains during the last four years, came within sight of a natural limit to their usefulness. This natural limit in the case of Germany's smaller neighbors was set by their own dependence on imports of raw materials from free world markets, to which markets, accordingly, they would in any case have to send a fixed proportion of their products in payment. These smaller countries possessed highly-protected home industries, and they were not willing to wipe these out in favor of Germany's export industries, even if the latter ever were enabled once again to run at full capacity on imported raw materials. Thus there was a kind of deadline beyond which it was virtually impossible for even the redoubtable Dr. Walther Funk, Dr. Schacht's successor, to drive German goods in the old endeavor to buy more strategic materials from abroad -- and, of course, from the weakest sellers. Finally, there was another kind of deadline, too. This emerged from the growing invasion of all civil industry (and therefore especially of export industry) by the party-state's home military-investment program. Consequently before 1938 was well under way the Reich's own ability to step-up exports without gaining absolutely additional imports of civil raw materials was highly questionable. The smaller countries which supplied these before had burned their fingers once too often.
Thus, what the evidence shows us since the annexation of Austria last March is nothing else than a conjuncture of saturation-elements on both the domestic and foreign sides of the Reich's economy. The importance of the evidence must be emphasized, because those responsible for the economic destinies of the Reich have, since Munich, patently and curtly declared to the world and to the German people their decision to push on with the same program, and at the same increasing velocity, which led them to the present pass. "Audacity, always audacity!" It was the cry of the most persuasive of all the Jacobins. Now, it is hoped, a similarly outspoken audacity will secure from a collection of tired and ageing democratic nations those absolutely additional imports of raw materials which may form the basis of new activity, new tax-revenue, and new exports. But although, despite the removal of Dr. Schacht, the British authorities still seem convinced of their ability to bribe the party-state into following the path of peace, that state has taken pains since Munich to blazon abroad its uncompromising fidelity to an extreme form of proletarian collectivism. Can the British Government save the Nazi economy in spite of itself?
That the Reich's economic situation is, indeed, very serious scarcely requires evidence. Still, to lend point to Herr Hitler's own admissions, here are a few evidences which have nothing to do with foreign Powers, with the encirclement of Germany by implacable and gorged foes, or with any other kind of "Just-so" stories. The state railways have now 10 percent fewer cars than they had in 1929, mainly owing to lack of maintenance; the tracks are badly in need of repair; personnel is less efficient (of which complaints have been made to high places, especially in connection with the increasing accident rate). The factories which alone made rearmament possible, some of them entirely new a few years back, have not been permitted to allocate a sufficient proportion of current earnings to cover greatly increased maintenance and obsolescence charges; these naturally are high, as the factories were run on 16- and 24-hour shifts. The output per man-hour has fallen rapidly -- some reliable reports say by as much as 10 percent -- during the last year, due in the main to the drive for longer hours without adequate compensation. The skill and intellectual performance of apprentices has shown so startling and abrupt a falling-off in 1938 that official (and even military) German newspapers have arraigned the young men for trying to excuse themselves by devotion to party requirements in other fields. The retail turnover of certain important items of foodstuffs, tobacco and textiles stood last year at a level fully 10 percent below the corresponding figures for the year 1928 -- and this without taking into account the obvious reductions in quality. If we include the effects of the incorporation of Austria and the Sudetenland, the note circulation in 1938 rose suddenly by over 20 percent. Since the end of 1936, allowing again for the two annexations of 1938, the note circulation has risen by 50 percent; yet retail prices have been controlled, rationing is general, and the output of consumable goods has been restricted. Naturally, the reabsorption of 6,000,000 unemployed, and the driving of all the employed to work more, plus the inauguration of new official jobs and officials, soldiers, police, etc., required more money; but it is hard to resist the conclusion that there must be some hoarding of notes against the day when the system may fail, the currency be realigned as after 1923, and the possessors of ready cash will at least be able to receive something for their old notes.
On the social side, the Reich's economic system is beginning to weigh heavily upon the workers. There is no unemployment; but there is an almost as embittering compound of conscription, forced labor service, voluntary offerings for party or Winter Help funds, protracted hours of work without direct consultation of the individual workers (though the Labor Front conducts the negotiations), and -- the last straw, since Munich -- the power of the party-state to pick up a man and remove him from one job and one locality to another, without explanation or compensation. No German citizen-worker would, perhaps, wish to grumble at a régime which has given to his beloved Germany so mighty a place in the modern world. Even if he groused a bit, and even if he wanted to be ruled by another system, he could not do a single thing about it -- except to register his discontent by being a bit slack in his work in the factory. The fact remains that, in time of so-called peace, the Nazi party-state has driven its workers and apprentices to a point where, after only five years, the skill and output per man have begun sharply to decline. As to standards of living, the German housewife has even less say in affairs than her husband; she has to exercise as much ingenuity in running her budget as the state's experts have to do in trimming their secret budget; yet it is probably still true that a majority of German housewives would vote enthusiastically for the Leader on an absolutely free vote. (The régime has not only given women their men, but forced the men either to stay at home or to be under state supervision!) But to every urban dweller in Germany above the stratum of the lowest-paid workers and unemployed in 1932, even in the richest stratum, it is no longer a matter of dispute what has happened to the standard of living. Yet all is suffered for a purpose long clarified by able propaganda; and all hardships are laid by the same propaganda at the doors of gorged, encircling and implacable foreign Powers. Only now, especially after Austria and Czecho-Slovakia, the encirclement and the implacability do not impress German minds so much. The people want peace -- less glory and less tension. This may explain why, in the last three months, official explanations and arguments in Germany have seemed unduly vague, complicated and involved.
In the sphere of foreign trade the Reich has witnessed a sudden change from an export surplus of just over Rm. 400 millions in 1937 to an import surplus, for an enlarged Reich, of well over Rm. 400 millions last year. This represents a turnover in twelve months of nearly Rm. 850 millions. At the same time, the acceleration and peculiar methods of stimulation of the Reich's bilateral trade transactions after Munich led the British authorities to hint at defensive measures; the economic fate of what was left of Czecho-Slovakia drove many smaller states to unexpected resistance against German economic penetration beyond the deadline mentioned above; and even existing German trade agreements began to be thrown out of gear by unforeseen recalcitrance on the part of the smaller client-States. None of these factors is an insuperable obstacle in the long run; but in the Reich's present situation it is a great and grave question how long the run, in time of so-called peace, will be. For, after the two costly mobilizations of 1938 (the second not yet liquidated), many stocks have been drawn on and depleted, and shortages of foreign essential materials both for Germany's civil export trade and for the armament program have once more become apparent. Hence the sudden reiteration of the "export or die" slogan, once the device of free-traders.
But it is mainly in the field of domestic finance that the evidence has accumulated most rapidly. Nazi Germany staked all on acquiring stocks for an early "lightning war." After 1938 her resources have been strained, whereas Britain's are still elastic. It is said that the removal of Dr. Schacht was precipitated because a batch of the "delivery certificates" which he issued from May of last year onwards in place of the former work-creation bills, fell due in January of this year at a time when, despite the continual rise in state revenues, there were insufficient funds to meet all demands. Borrowing on the market was impossible, for the latest Rm. 1½ billion loan had just been crammed down the throats of all institutions possessing available funds. The President of the Reichsbank is said to have precipitated his own removal by repeating, in categoric terms, the warnings against out-and-out inflation which he certainly delivered in March of 1938, when the issue of new work-creation bills was stopped. Perhaps he declined to meet the needs of the certificate-holders by credit-creation until he had secured from the party-state some undertaking against a recurrence -- especially a regular recurrence -- of the event in the future. In any case, Dr. Schacht has shown in 1923, in 1929-30, and again in 1932-33, a genius for knowing precisely when to join and when to leave a ship. And if there is one thing about which he knows more than about any other, it is sailing near the wind of inflationary finance. There is enough evidence to show that not only was the wind veering unfavorably during 1938, but also that many other hands were monkeying with the sails while Dr. Schacht was only allowed to hold the tiller. The result, as 1939 dawns, seems to be as near an inflationary jib as anything possibly could be.
But when all this evidence is reviewed, we still cannot prophesy immediate economic disaster for the Nazi party-state. To begin with, most of us who live in the happy-go-lucky countries would count it an economic disaster to have to live as the German people have now had to live for five years. Secondly, we have learned that men and women will quietly put up with the continuance of conditions against which cattle would probably kick. Thirdly, as Adam Smith reminded us over 150 years ago, "there is a lot of ruin in a nation." Fourthly, the belt can be remorselessly pulled in, as long as there is still a little stomach left within it, and as long as the notches are closely spaced. Fifthly, no outbreak or open opposition of any kind against the Nazi party-state in peacetime is thinkable. On the other hand, though the Reich can keep its hand-to-mouth, Peter-and-Paul economy going, perhaps even for some years, it cannot simultaneously expand its current armaments program, its productive capital-equipment, cover all its maintenance charges, and provide duly for all obsolescence, without henceforth plunging its 80,000,000 Germans into the kind of servile collectivism, both political and economic, against which its leaders in the recent past have been wont to inveigh as "Bolshevism." Of course, its latest batch of new taxes and tax-increases -- on company directors, bachelors and spinsters, and on moderate or higher incomes -- proves that the party-state is intent on taking this Leftward path. It can, in reality, take no other. The economic system which nominally began as a "bulwark against Communism" is merely approaching its logical Communist end.
Which leads us, perhaps late in the day, to appreciate why both puritanical and unbridled revolutions rapidly throw up a set of leaders to whom one can only apply the old English seventeenth-century term: Levellers. Both the Russian and the Nazi revolutions set out flushed with zeal to unify, to purge, to build up a new people. The former, however, set out to destroy and "level" at home, before reforming; the latter set out to destroy Germany's foreign bonds (in every sense) and "level-up" Germany's prestige abroad before reforming at home. Yet frenzy, fanaticism and zeal all end a little aside of the mark. And the outcomes of both revolutions are ironically apt.
The Russian revolution has built up Russia's standing abroad by foregoing "levelling" at home. Russia is now the oligarchic, corporate, Fascist state par excellence. The Nazi revolution, fanatically devout in opposing Communism as a kind of Anti-Christ, has only lunged at an open door, and has fallen into Bolshevism (not yet Communism) itself. The disciplined, unified, oligarchic, Fascist, hierarchical state under the One Leader, the Führerprinzip -- the superficial antithesis of the Red Mass -- has been neatly turned during five short years into a laboratory of extreme Levellers. Out of the laboratory, as far as one can yet tell, is merely coming an obvious and rather cumbrous economic and militaristic collectivism. The political shade seems already more red than brown or black.
One thing we may perhaps lay to our hearts for comfort. Whatever the Reich's current economic reverse may really portend, it cannot increase, and must diminish, the Reich's ability to wage a war of any appreciable duration. It may prevent the Nazi party-state from starting a war. Even if it does not do that, it will assure that the Reich cannot keep modern war going -- and its own people quiet -- for more than a few months at most. And there is no probability that the Reich and its allies could defeat everyone in a few weeks. Perhaps the most encouraging evidences of all are those which seem to indicate that many Nazi leaders now realize this. If they express that realization in bitter and petulant terms, the rest of us will not grumble. We shall understand and be happy.