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Dictatorship in the Modern World

Dictatorship in the Modern World

Copyright Date: 1939
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Dictatorship in the Modern World
    Book Description:

    Dictatorship in the Modern World was first published in 1935. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. “The wisdom of the ages turned on the problem of the hour,” says Charles A. Beard of this thoughtful and thought-provoking volume. Fourteen scholars, American and European, under the guidance of the president of a great university (himself a distinguished historian) have cooperated to provide a cool and dispassionate survey such as only the historical approach can give. Here is a world view, a balanced presentation, covering more aspects of the problem of dictatorship than have been brought together in any other single volume.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3780-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
    (pp. v-viii)
    Guy Stanton Ford

    In its original form this thoughtful and thought-provoking volume went through two printings and then “out of print.” The continuing demands for it both by general readers and by teachers for use in the classroom are significant indications of an interest that has not slackened but has grown both in extent and intensity in the last three years. To reprint the volume or to approve the requests by others to print single essays or selections from it would in no way satisfy the need for a more comprehensive treatment of dictatorships done in the same scholarly spirit that gave the...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-2)
    (pp. 3-20)
    Max Lerner

    The contemporary concern over the advance of dictatorships is not merely the expression of our democratic bias but proceeds from deeper intuitions. There are moods in history when the world map is in essence a military chart, and every governmental change in even the least important country comes like a bulletin from the battlefield, laden with fateful significance for the entire world outlook. Our present mood is one of these. There are still some minds, of course, that persist in regarding the new dictatorships as momentary departures from the democratic norm, just as there are some at the other extreme...

    (pp. 21-42)
    Henry R. Spencer

    The vocabulary of political science has undergone remarkable shifts of meaning. The title of this volume suggests one such notable change going on during the present generation. If we have regard to the idea and practice to which the term “dictatorship” was historically, traditionally applied, it becomes obvious that the Italian regime of today is of utterly different character. Yet the old tag with the new meaning has undeniably stuck, and in popular speech the word seems to be rapidly becoming the accepted designation for what Mussolini is and does. Other state rulers, from Pilsudski to Kamal Ataturk and Zivkovitch...

    (pp. 43-64)
    Harold C. Deutsch

    Few contemporary political phenomena have so persistently challenged analysis of their origin and significance as has the Hitlerite dictatorship in Germany. Defined in turn as revolution and as reaction, as the climax of a series of political accidents and as the culmination of an extended historic process, the interpretation of its more general aspects has varied as greatly as it has in matters of detail. “National Socialism,” say its own adherents, “was born at Versailles.” If so, the German revolution of 1933 is the inevitable consequence of the long travail of the German people which began with the Armistice, a...

    (pp. 65-78)
    Harold C. Deutsch

    When on January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of the German Reich, many of his contemporaries refused to believe that another dictatorial regime had come into being. The most confirmed in their skepticism were a large proportion of his own countrymen. To the parties of the Left the magnitude of the catastrophe that had overwhelmed them as yet passed comprehension. The monarchical Right, little dreaming how transitory was to be its command of the balance of power, found no difficulty in persuading itself of the vicariousness of Hitler’s rule. At the proper moment the demagogue, having yielded the support...

    (pp. 79-92)
    Hans Kohn

    In the year 1815 the whole of Central and Eastern Europe was divided between four empires: the German Confederation; the Hapsburg Empire, which partly overlapped the former until, under the leadership of the Hohenzollern dynasty, a new German Empire arose out of the German Confederation; the Russian Empire; and the Ottoman Empire. None of these empires had gone through the process of national integration through which the nations of Western Europe passed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was only in the nineteenth century that modern nationalism penetrated into the lands between the Rhine and the Ural Mountains, between...

    (pp. 93-125)
    John N. Hazard

    Soviet leaders speak of their state in terms of both dictatorship and democracy. One of them explains, “Our democracy rests upon the proletarian dictatorship,” and similar phrases can be heard the length and breadth of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Is this a confusion of terms, or does the Soviet political theorist have something very definite in mind? An answer to this question appears to rest upon various factors: the Soviet philosophical approach to the problem of government; the historical background of democracy in the Russian Empire; the character of Soviet leadership; the program for the development of economic...

    (pp. 126-153)
    Thomas K. Ford

    On May 15, 1919, a convoy of Allied and American warships steamed into the harbor of Smyrna to cover the landing of Greek troops on the soil of Asiatic Turkey. There was no resistance; Turkey was helpless and friendless. Impoverished, despondent, humiliated, and futile, the once magnificent Ottoman Empire could do nothing to protect itself. In accord with the Armistice of Mudros imposed at the end of the war, Allied forces occupied Istanbul (then Constantinople) and garrisoned various strategic points along the Anatolian section of the Berlin-to-Bagdad railway, French troops were in Cilicia, and Italian in Adalia. To those who...

    (pp. 154-177)
    Harold S. Quigley

    “Despotism” and “Oriental” are words that call one another to mind. Twenty-one centuries of monarchy in China and twelve in Japan have made their contribution to Asia’s tradition of autocratic government. It may be helpful to consider briefly the nature of the older political systems of China and Japan. There are interesting points of similarity and of difference; and in both countries old ideas continue to find expression in new organs and procedures.

    Monarchy of theoretically absolute power was the central institution in both states. But in both the actual authority was widely distributed. The emperors of China were limited...

    (pp. 178-214)
    J. Fred Rippy

    Spanish America has exhibited during the last century great capacity to produce dictators. Every nation to the south of us has had them, including even the younger republics of Cuba and Panama. They have been so numerous, their sway has been so constant, that the national history of most of the countries of the area is to a large extent the biography of these imperious personalities. Nor would it be safe to assert that the Age of the Dictators has passed in a single nation of Spanish America. They come, go, and return even in the most stable republics like...

    (pp. 215-230)
    Calvin B. Hoover

    There is a Russian legend of one of the earliest Tsars who summoned the representatives of the three religions of Judaism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity to present to him in turn the case for the adoption of each as the state religion. The choice, for none too respectable a reason, so the story goes, fell upon Christianity. Whatever the way in which countries acquire their religions, economic systems have not usually been thus consciously elected. They have instead developed by a process of evolution. This is true of the economy of Fascism, just as it was true of the system of...

    (pp. 231-271)
    Peter H. Odegard

    Any analysis of propaganda in modern society necessarily involves assumptions, express or implied, regarding human nature. The present writer prefers that his own assumptions in this connection be made explicit. In prosaic language we may describe the dynamic elements in human conduct as the desires forsecurity, sexual gratification, new experience, andprestige. The hunger for security manifests itself in the struggle for food and shelter to preserve the life of the individual and those dependent upon him. Prestige hunger arises from the desire of individuals to achieve some sense of significance in their relations with one another. Obviously, these...

    (pp. 272-291)
    Mildred Adams

    Whatever has happened to women under the dictatorships—Communist, Nazi, Fascist, or the Turkish kind, which seems to have no label—has been for the good of the state and for the good of women. This has been said by the dictators themselves so many times that the words should carry the mystic conviction of a ritual. Whatever their other differences of ideology or practice, in this they are alike—the state comes first, and then, by a kind of logic alchemy, the thing which its masters believe good for it at the moment is transmuted into terms which are...

    (pp. 292-309)
    Sigmund Neumann

    The lieutenants of modern dictators are the forgotten men in most discussions of the totalitarian state. And yet they are a most essential feature, which differentiates the modern version of dictatorial rule from its classical prototype. Not only do they represent the potentialities for survival of these modern political forms beyond the lifetime of their creators, but they also stand for the very existence of modern dictatorship, because this revolt of the masses, child of machine-age and mass democracy, is the creation of an organized party and is carried on by a well-established bureaucracy. Thus not the leader—symbol though...

    (pp. 310-330)
    Denis W. Brogan

    A century ago appeared the most famous and most remarkable book ever written about the United States, Alexis de Tocqueville’sDemocracy in America. The thesis of this study, written under the influence of the triumph of Jacksonian democracy in America and of the final collapse of monarchy by divine right in France, is, briefly, that democracy is inevitable, that the psychological basis for governments not based on popular choice is increasingly lacking, that at some time, which may be delayed but cannot be far distant, democracy will triumph in Europe, as it already has triumphed in America. Tocqueville was too...

    (pp. 331-362)
    Joseph R. Starr

    One of the ways to appreciate the march of dictatorship in post-war Europe is to take note of the principal events that have occurred in the countries having experience with the new form of absolutism. The following chronology is a summary of the events of this kind. In the chronology the countries are arranged in alphabetical order. With respect to each country, the chronology begins with the events that immediately preceded the establishment of the dictatorship and continues until the early part of 1939. While attention is given to political, military, diplomatic, and economic events of general interest, emphasis is...