Book Reviews

08 fevereiro, 2008

176) Europeus são de Venus?

Europeans Are From Venus

The Transformation of Modern Europe.

By James J. Sheehan.
Illustrated. 284 pp. Houghton Mifflin Company. $26.
Book Review:
The New York Times Book Review, February 10, 2008

At the time of the World Cup the summer before last, there was a nice cartoon in the papers by Oliphant, with two panels. One showed “Soccer as seen by Americans,” a group of dainty chaps prancing lightly across the grass with purses dangling from their limp wrists, and the other, “American football as seen by Europeans,” a heap of brutally moronic humanoids using severed limbs to batter each others’ brains out.

Yes, that sums up this reciprocal perception rather well — and it might have hinted at a contrast going beyond sports. The delicate midfield artists of Barcelona and Arsenal are vegetarian Venusians, shall we say? While the ferocious Giants and Patriots linebackers could be called Martian carnivores. The very games look like a metaphor for the gulf, growing between the two continents since World War II, that was the subject of Robert Kagan’s “Of Paradise and Power” in which he denounced sybaritic, pacifistic Europe on behalf of “Americans from Mars.”

As James J. Sheehan neatly observes in “Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?” Kagan’s philippic was published on Feb. 5, 2003, just 10 days before Europe saw the largest political demonstration in its history. More than half a million marched in Berlin to protest the imminent Iraq war, with other huge rallies in Rome, Barcelona and London (prompting Tony Blair’s bizarre comparison of the number of demonstrators with the number of Saddam Hussein’s victims). This outpouring of popular feeling against war no doubt confirmed Kagan in his view that those “Europeans from Venus” are now incapable of the use of military force that still comes naturally to Americans, and that it was “time to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world.”

However that may be, it’s a surely astonishing fact that no European war has been fought for more than 60 years, at least outside the ruins of Yugoslavia. Western Europe has become politically and socially demilitarized to a degree once unimaginable; after so many centuries of bloody conflict, Europeans don’t want to study war no more. In his scintillating tour d’horizon — and de force — Sheehan suggests that such obsolescence of war is specifically “the product of Europe’s distinctive history in the 20th century,” and he argues that it has created a new kind of European state along with “a dramatically new international system within Europe.”

There had been an earlier age of peace. The half-century following Waterloo was notably pacific after the violence from which it had emerged, and 1871 to 1914 saw the longest period until now without any war at all between larger European powers. There was besides a vigorous peace movement. Sheehan describes the vogue for such books as Bertha von Suttner’s “Lay Down Your Arms,” Ivan Bloch’s “Future of War,” which inspired the 1899 Hague peace conference, and Norman Angell’s “Great Illusion.” So it was that “at the beginning of the 20th century, as at the beginning of the 21st, a relatively peaceful Europe lived in a dangerously violent world.”

And yet even then there were powerful contrary forces plainly visible. In that age of ever more strident nationalism, chauvinists saw the army — and war — as the crucible forging national unity. Great powers displayed their greatness with mass conscript armies, uniforms were seen everywhere, and when a Bulgarian general said in 1910 that “we have become the most militaristic state in the world” it wasn’t a lament but a boast (not to say one of the many fascinating quotations with which Sheehan’s book is studded). An unmistakable mood was bored with the very achievements of consensual government and material improvement, while “the revolt of the masses” itself had military implications, as some saw: well before 1914 Churchill said with chilling prescience that democracy was more vindictive than oligarchy, and “the wars of peoples will be more terrible than the wars of kings.”

In the end the Party of Peace did win, but only after the catastrophe between 1914 and 1945, with bloodshed surpassing anything ever seen and an utterly unparalleled murder of innocents; a regression that remains an inexplicable moral mystery. In those years one might say that the best lacked all conviction and the worst were full of passionate intensity: even after the carnage of the trenches, an important minority — Russian Communists as well as Italian Fascists — still believed in “the regenerating value of violence,” and this was brilliantly exploited by Hitler. When the next war came it was waged just as he demanded, “with the greatest brutality and without mercy.”

Although Sheehan’s title alludes to Europe since 1945, almost two-thirds of his narrative deals with the years up to then — but in a way those earlier years answer the question he poses. By the second half of the 20th century, having given a most vivid demonstration of Walter Benjamin’s saying that civilization and barbarism are far from incompatible, Europe was exhausted and ashamed. For all the exigencies of the cold war, there was an overwhelming desire never again to see real war, between France and Germany or among their neighbors.

The trente glorieuses after VE-Day saw three decades of astonishing economic growth, which coincided with another most remarkable change: “With or without a fight, Europeans abandoned their empires.” This proved pure benefit for Europe, if not for the former colonies, and its further significance was that, as Sheehan says in a typically perceptive phrase, the brute force with which empire had been won and held now seemed anachronistic, “part of a vanished world in which the ability to wage war had been centrally important to what it meant to be a state.”

From the 1970s the economy stalled while Europe faced numerous social problems. And yet as the cold war ran down the clock, it became gradually clearer that liberal democracy and a market economy mitigated by welfare had won a complete political victory over “actually existing socialism.” At the same time Europe was fully “civilianized”: conscription was abandoned, armies themselves assimilated the values of civilian society and, as the great English military historian Michael Howard has put it, “death was no longer seen as being part of the social contract.”

But life is full of surprises. Sheehan’s book is sprinkled with confident but foolish predictions, like H. N. Brailsford averring in the early summer of 1914 that “there will be no more wars among the six great powers,” or The Economist in September of that year dilating on “the economic and financial impossibility of carrying out hostilities many more months on the present scale.”Just over 70 years later, as cocksure as ever and as wrong, that magazine asserted in 1985 “that nothing much will have changed by the year 2025.” Shortly after those words were published, the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet empire imploded and savage violence consumed the Balkans, whence so many of Europe’s woes had long stemmed.

Here Sheehan is most sagacious. He sees that the game was up for the Soviet regime the moment Gorbachev disavowed “force and the threat of force,” and he gets the break-up of Yugoslavia right. In late 1991, at the insistence of the German government (itself egged on, one might add, by Serb-bashing right-wing columnists in papers like The Frankfurter Allgemeine), the European Union recognized the sovereignty of Slovenia and Croatia, and then Bosnia, crucially and disastrously before the nationality questions in those territories had been resolved. This encouraged a competitive round of territorial acquisition and ethnic expulsion and “intensified the predatory war being fought by Serbs and Croatians against Bosnia.”

It was of course ludicrous as well as hubristic for Jacques Poos, foreign minister of Luxembourg, to say at this juncture that “the hour of Europe has dawned,” but trans-Atlantic denunciations of European weakness were also misplaced. When the tub-thumpers of Capitol Hill and the op-ed pages were asked 15 years ago what kind of military intervention in the Balkans they had in mind, it turned out to mean American air cover while the Western Europeans provided the P.B.I., as the British Army used to say, the poor bloody infantry, a division of labor that had little appeal in Europe.

What sense does “Mars and Venus” have in the light of the past century, and the price paid by different countries? In 1914-18, 1.3 million Frenchmen (those cheese-eating surrender monkeys) were killed defending their country, which is to say more than twice as many as all the Americans who have died in every foreign war from 1776 until today. There has been much anguish about American casualties in Iraq, where last year was the worst since 2003, with all of 901 deaths. Reading that, the European may reflect silently on the dates Aug. 22, 1914, when 27,000 French soldiers were killed in a day, or July 1, 1916, when 20,000 British troops died.

It isn’t necessary to agree with Evelyn Waugh writing to his friend Graham Greene — “Of course the Americans are cowards. They are almost all the descendants of wretches who deserted their legitimate monarchs for fear of military service” — to see clearly that the United States isn’t a warlike country at all. In many ways it has always been more deeply peaceable in its instincts than ever Europe was.

And is the civilianization of Europe such a bad thing? Although there has been much grumbling about the Bundeswehr’s inadequate contribution in Afghanistan, some of us cannot see it as an occasion for pure regret if the Germans have changed character so drastically. In World War II, the Wehrmacht was unquestionably the best army, man for man and unit for unit, not least against the less ferocious “citizens in uniform” of the British and American Armies. Is that really a cause for British or American shame? When German rearmament began in the 1950s, at American urging, Gustav Heinemann resigned as Adenauer’s interior minister, with the words, “God took arms out of our hands twice; we must not take hold of them a third time.” Was he so wrong?

In a bravura final chapter Sheehan explains “Why Europe Will Not Become a Superpower.” As he recognizes, the European Union is already a superstate economically, but its failure to develop a common foreign and defense policy will continue to disappoint some enthusiasts. Disingenuous and ignorant at once, Blair once said that no one had ever envisaged a United States of Europe. In fact that very phrase has been current since the mid-19th century. But it was always a false analogy, illustrating Johnson’s saying that life’s follies stem from the attempt to emulate that which we do not resemble: the European Union no more resembles the American Union than the Soviet Union, and why should it?

It is not complacent to say that “the European idea” has in many ways been a heartening success, even if it never achieved all that its early proponents hoped. Europeans may have chosen butter instead of guns, and Europe as a whole may even be what Churchill said he hoped to see Germany become after 1945 — fat but impotent. And yet, while the continents are certainly drifting apart in some ways (secular Europe looks on with bewilderment at the contest between preacher-men in this presidential campaign), Europeans aren’t quite the decadent lotus-eaters that some Americans claim.

One can talk about European soft power against American hard power, but the point is made better by Sheehan in the peroration to this excellent book. The birth of the Bolshevik regime — and then of Fascist and National Socialist regimes — was a direct consequence of the “intense violence” then poisoning Europe. The astonishingly peaceful collapse of Communism rather more than 70 years later reflected in turn “the decline of violence that, by the 1980s, had transformed international and domestic politics throughout Europe”: a change for the better if ever there was one. To put it another way, soccer is not only England’s and Europe’s gift to all mankind. It really is a better game.

Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s books include “The Controversy of Zion,” “The Strange Death of Tory England” and “Yo, Blair!” He is writing a book on Churchill’s reputation before and since his death.

07 fevereiro, 2008

175) Barrington Moore: Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

Barrington Moore Jr
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of Modern World
Original publication: 1966
(Harmondsworth: Penguin,1979)

Barrington Moore's book is one of most illuminating books in the field of comparative politics that were written in this century. Barrington Moore's thesis is that the landed gentry and peasantry are important forces in determining the social and political order as countries are transformed from agrarian to industrial communities. Comparing eight major countries, in both the East and the West, Moore looks in detail at the varied political roles played by the varied political roles played by these two groups and identifies three main paths from pre-iindustrial to modern world - bourgeois revolutionary, capitalist and reactionary, and communist. Moore's book enables the reader to better understand the English and American civil wars, the character of Japanese fascism and the social and economic nature of non-violence in India. In general, he offers fascinating insights into alliances and conflicts which have arisen between classes and interests over the bones of privilege, commerce and property.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Chapter I. England and the Contributions of Violence to Gradualism
1. Aristocratic Impulses behind the Transition to Capitalism in the Countryside
2. Agrarian Aspects of the Civil War
3. Enclosures and the Destruction of the Peasantry
4. Aristocratic Rule for Triumphant Capitalism

Chapter II. Evolution and Revolution in France
1. Contrasts with England and their Origins
2. The Noble Response to Commercial Agriculture
3. Class Relationships under Royal Absolutism
4. The Aristocratic Offensive and the Collapse of Absolutism
5. The Peasants' Relationship to Radicalism during the Revolution
6. Peasants against the Revolution: The Vendee
7. Social Consequences of Revolutionary Terror
8. Recapitulation

Chapter III. The American Civil War: The Last Capitalist Revolution
1. Plantation and Factory; An Inevitable Conflict?
2. Three Forms of American Capitalist Growth
3. Toward an Explanation of the Causes of the War
4. The Revolutionary Impulse and its Failure
5. The Meaning of the War

Note: Problems in Comparing European und Asian Political Processes

Chapter IV. The Decay pf Imperial China and the Origins of the Communist Variant
1. The Upper Classes and the Imperial System
2. The Gentry and the World of Commerce
3. The Failure to Adopt Commercial Agriculture
4. Collapse of the Imperial System and Rise of the Warlords
5. The Kuomintang Interlude and its Meaning
6. Rebellion, Revolution, and the Peasants

Chapter V. Asian Fascism: Japan
1. Revolution from Above: The Response of the Ruling Classes to Old and New Threats
2. The Absence of a Peasant Revolution
3. The Meiji Settlement; The New Landlords and Capitalism
4. Political Consequences: The Nature of Japanese Fascism

Chapter VI. Democracy in Asia: India and the Price of Peaceful Change
1. Relevance of the Indian Experience
2. Mogul India: Obstacles to Democracy
3. Village Society: Obstacles to Rebellion
4. Changes Produced by the British up to 1857
5. Pax Britannica 1857-1947: A Landlord's Paradise?
6. The Bourgeois Link to the Peasantr/ through Nonviolence
7. A Note on the Extent and Character of Peasant Violence
8. Independence and the Price of Peaceful Change

Chapter VII. The Deniocratic Route to Modern Society
Chapter VIII. Revolution from Above and Fascism
Chapter IX. The Peasants and Revolution
Epilogue: Reactionary and Revolutionary Imagery
Appendix; A Note on Statistics and Conservative Historiography


THIS BOOK ENDEAVORS TO EXPLAIN the varied political roles played by the landed upper classes and the peasantry in the transformation from agrarian societies (defined simply as states where a large majority of the population lives off the land) to modern industrial ones. Somewhat more specifically, it is an attempt to discover the range of historical conditions under which either or both of these rural groups have become important forces behind the emergence of Western parliamentary versions of democracy, and dictatorships of the right and the left, that is, fascist and communist regimes.

Since no problem ever comes to the student of human society out of a blue and empty sky, it is worthwhile to indicate very briefly the considerations behind this one. For some time before beginning this work in earnest more than ten years ago, I had become skeptical of the thesis that industrialism was the main cause of twentieth-century totalitarian regimes, because of the very obvious fact that Russia and China were overwhelmingly agrarian countries when the communists established themselves. For a long time before that I had been convinced that adequate theoretical comprehension of political systems had to come to terms with Asian institutions and history. Hence it seemed at least a promising strategy to investigate what political currents were set up among the classes who lived off the countryside and to devote as much attention to Asian as to Western societies. The book presents first (in Part 1) a discussion of the democratic and capitalist route to the modern age as this transformation worked itself out in England, France, and the United States. My original intention had been to complete this section with similar chapters on Germany and Russia in order to show how the social origins of fascism and communism in Europe differed from those of parliamentary democracy. With some misgivings I decided to discard these two chapters, partly because the book was already quite long, partly because first-rate accounts became available during the course of writing to which it was impossible for me to add anything by way of interpreting the social history of these two countries. At the same time I have still drawn freely on German and Russian materials for the purpose of comparative illustration and in the theoretical discussion of Part III. The bibliography lists the sources that have formed the basis of my conception of German and Russian social history. Abandoning explicit accounts of Germany and Russia has at least the compensating advantage of permitting more extended discussion (in Part II) of the Asiatic versions of fascism, communism, and parliamentary democracy, in Japan, China, and India, where agrarian problems remain acute. Since the history and social structure of these countries is often quite unknown to educated Western readers, critics may show some indulgence to an author who writes more about what he knows less.

Against such a selection of cases it is possible to object that the range is too wide for effective coverage by one person and too narrow to yield sound generalizations. About the possibility that the undertaking was too big it would be inappropriate - for the author to say more than that there have been many times when he would have agreed heartily. Critics of the second type might point out that none of the smaller states Switzerland, Scandinavia, or the Low Countries on the democratic side, the smaller areas of communist victory or control on the other, such as Cuba, the satellites of Eastern Europe, North Vietnam, North Korea receive any consideration. How is it possible to generalize about the growth of Western democracy or of communism while excluding them? Does not the exclusion of the smaller Western democratic states produce a certain anti-peasant bias throughout the whole book? To this objection there is, I think, an impersonal answer. This study concentrates on certain important stages in a prolonged social process, which has worked itself out in several countries. As part of this process new social arrangements have grown up by violence and in other ways which have made certain countries political leaders at different points in time during the first half of the twentieth century. The focus of interest is on innovation that has led to political power, not on the spread and reception of institutions that have been hammered out elsewhere, except where they have led to significant power in world politics. The fact that the smaller countries depend economically and politically on big and powerful ones means that the decisive causes of their politics lie outside their own boundaries. It also means that their political problems are not really comparable to those of larger countries. Therefore a general statement about the historical preconditions of democracy or authoritarianism covering small countries as well as large would very likely be so broad as to be abstractly platitudinous.

From this standpoint the analysis of the transformation of agrarian society in specific countries produces results at least as rewarding as larger generalizations. It is important, for example, to know how the solution of agrarian problems contributed to the establishment of parliamentary democracy in England and the failure as yet to solve very different ones constitutes a threat to democracy in India. Furthermore, for any given country one is bound to find lines of causation that do not fit easily into more general theories. Conversely too strong a devotion to theory always carries the danger that one may overemphasize facts that fit a theory beyond their importance in the history of individual countries. For these reasons the interpretation of the transformation in several countries takes up the largest part of the book.

In the effort to understand the history of a specific country a comparative perspective can lead to asking very useful and some-times new questions. There are further advantages. Comparisons can serve as a rough negative check on accepted historical explanations. And a comparative approach may lead to new historical generalizations. In practice these features constitute a single intellectual process and make such a study more than a disparate collection of interesting cases. For example, after noticing that Indian peasants have suffered in a material way just about as much as Chinese peasants during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries without generating a massive revolutionary movement, one begins to wonder about traditional explanations of what took place in both societies and becomes alert to factors affecting peasant outbreaks in other countries in the hope of discerning general causes. Or after learning about the disastrous consequences for democracy of a coalition between agrarian and industrial elites in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany, the much discussed marriage of iron and rye one wonders why a similar marriage between iron and cotton did not prevent the coming of the Civil War in the United States; and so one has taken a step toward specifying configurations favorable and unfavorable to the establishment of modem Western democracy. That comparative analysis is no substitute for detailed investigation of specific cases is obvious.

Generalizations that are sound resemble a large-scale map of an extended terrain, such as an airplane pilot might use in crossing a continent. Such maps are essential for certain purposes just as more detailed maps are necessary for others. No one seeking a preliminary orientation to the terrain wants to know the location of every house and footpath. Still, if one explores on foot and at present the comparative historian does exactly that a great deal of the time the details are what one learns first. Their meaning and relationship emerges only gradually. There can be long periods when the investigator feels lost in an underbrush of facts inhabited by specialists engaged in savage disputes about whether the underbrush is a pine forest or a tropical jungle. He is unlikely to emerge from such encounters without scratches and bruises. And if he draws a map of tharea he has visited, one of the natives may well accuse him of omitting his own house and clearing, a sad event if the researcher has actually found much sustenance and refreshment there. The outcry is likely to be all the sharper if at the end of the journey the explorer tries to set down in very brief form for those who may come later the most striking things that he has seen. That is exactly what I shall try to do now, to sketch in very broad strokes the main findings in order to give the reader a preliminary map of the terrain

we shall explore together.

In the range of cases examined here one may discern three main historical routes from the pre-industrial to the modem world.

The first of these leads through what I think deserve to be called bourgeois revolutions. Aside from the fact that this term is a red flag to many scholars because of its Marxist connotations, it has other ambiguities and disadvantages. Nevertheless, for reasons that will appear in due course, I think it is a necessary designation for certain violent changes that took place in English, French, and American societies on the way to becoming modern industrial democracies and that historians connect with the Puritan Revolution (or the English Civil War as it is often called as well), the French Revolution, and the American Civil War. A key feature in such revolutions is the development of a group in society with an independent economic base, which attacks obstacles to a democratic version of capitalism that have been inherited from the past. Though a great deal of the impetus has come-from trading and manufacturing classes in the cities, that is very far from the whole story. The allies this bourgeois impetus has found, the enemies it has encountered, vary sharply from case to case. The landed upper classes, our main concern at the start, were either an important part of this capitalist and democratic tide, as in England, or if they opposed it, they were swept aside in the convulsions of revolution or civil war. The same thing may .be said about the peasants. Either the main thrust of their political efforts coincided with that toward capitalism and political democracy, or else it was negligible. And it was negligible

either because capitalist advance destroyed peasant society or because this advance began in a new country, such as the United States, without a real peasantry.

The first and earlier route through the great revolutions and civil wars led to the combination of capitalism and Western democracy. The second route has also been capitalist, but culminated during the twentieth century in fascism. Germany and Japan are the obvious cases, though only the latter receives detailed treatment in this study for reasons given above. I shall call this the capitalist and reactionary form. It amounts to a form of revolution from above. In these countries the bourgeois impulse was much weaker. If it took a revolutionary form at all, the revolution was defeated. Afterward sections of a relatively weak commercial and industrial class relied on dissident elements in the older and still dominant ruling classes, mainly recruited from the land, to put through the political and economic changes required for a modern industrial society, under the auspices of a semi-parliamentary regime. Industrial development may proceed rapidly under such auspices. But the outcome, after a brief and unstable period of democracy, has been fascism. The third route is of course communism, as exemplified in Russia and in China. The great agrarian bureaucracies of these countries served to inhibit the commercial and later industrial impulses even more than in the preceding instances. The results were twofold. In the first place these urban classes were too weak to constitute even a junior partner in the form of modernization taken by Germany and Japan, though there were attempts in this direction. And in the absence of more than the most feeble steps toward modernization a huge peasantry remained. This stratum, subject to new strains and stresses as the modem world encroached upon it, provided the main destructive revolutionary force that overthrew the old order and propelled these countries into the modern era under communist leadership that made the peasants its primary victims.

Finally, in India we may perceive still a fourth general pattern that accounts for the weak impulse toward modernization. In that country so far there has been neither a capitalist revolution from above or below, nor a peasant one leading to communism. Likewise the impulse toward modernization has been very weak. On the other hand, at least some of the historical prerequisites of Western democracy did put in an appearance. A parliamentary regime has existed for some time that is considerably more than mere facade. Because the impulse toward modernization has been weakest in India, this case stands somewhat apart from any theoretical scheme that it seems possible to construct for the others. At the same time it serves as a salutary check upon such generalizations. It is especially useful in trying to understand .peasant revolutions, since the degree of rural misery in India where there has been no peasant revolution is about the same as in China where rebellion and revolution have been decisive in both pre-modern and recent times.

To sum up as concisely as possible, we seek to understand the role of the landed upper classes and the peasants in the bourgeois revolutions leading to capitalist democracy, the abortive bourgeois revolutions leading to fascism, and the peasant revolutions leading to communism. The ways in which the landed upper classes and the peasants reacted to the challenge of commercial agriculture were decisive factors in determining the political outcome. The applicability of these political labels, the elements that these movements do and do not share in different countries and at different times, will I hope become clear in the course of subsequent discussion. One point, on the other hand, is worth noticing right away. Though in each case one configuration emerges as the dominant one, it is possible to discern subordinate ones that become the dominant features in another country. Thus in England, during the latter part of the French Revolution and until after the end of the Napoleonic wars, there existed some of the elements of a reactionary configuration recognizable as a dominant feature in Germany: a coalition between the older landed elites and the rising commercial and industrial ones, directed against the lower classes in town and countryside (but able at times to attract significant lower-class support on some issues). Indeed this reactionary combination of elements turns up in some form in each society studied, including the United States. To illustrate further, royal absolutism in France shows some of the same effects on commercial life as do the great bureaucratic monarchies of tsarist Russia and Imperial China. This type of observation encourages somewhat greater confidence in the possibility that empirically based categories may transcend particular cases.

Nevertheless there remains a strong tension between the demands of doing justice to the explanation of a particular case and the search for generalizations, mainly because it is impossible to know just how important a particular problem may be until one has finished examining all of them. This tension is responsible for a certain lack of symmetry and elegance in the presentation, which I deplore but have been unable to eliminate after several rewritings. Again the parallel with the explorer of unknown lands may not be amiss: he is not called upon to build a smooth and direct highway for the next band of travelers. Should he be their guide, he is thought to acquit himself adequately if he avoids the time-consuming backtracks and errors of his first exploration, courteously refrains from leading his companions through the worst of the underbrush, and points out the more dangerous pitfalls as he guides them warily past. If he makes a clumsy misstep and stumbles into a trap, there may even be some in the party who not only enjoy a laat his expense, but may also be willing to give him a hand to set him forth on his way once more. It is for such a band of companions in the search for truth that I have written this book.

Problems in Comparing European and Asian Political Processes

THERE WAS A TIME in the still recent past when many intelligent thinkers believed there was only one main highway to the world of modern industrial society, a highway leading to capitalism and political democracy. The experience of the last fifty years has exploded this notion, although strong traces of a unilinear conception remain, not only in Marxist theory, but also in some Western writings on economic development. Western democracy is only one outcome, and one that arose out of specific historical circumstances. The revolutions and civil wars discussed in the three preceding chapters were an important part of the process leading to liberal democracy. As we have just seen, there were sharp divergences within the same general line of development that led to capitalist democracy in England, France, and the United States. But there are differences far greater than those which exist within the democratic family. German-history reveals one type of development culminating in fascism, Russian history a third. The possibility of an eventual convergence among all three forms is not one to be dismissed offhand; certainly there are some ways in which all industrial societies resemble one another and differ from agrarian societies. Nevertheless, if we take the seventh decade of the twentieth century as our point of observation, while continuing to realize that like all historical vantage points it is arbitrarily imposed, the partial truth emerges that non-democratic and even antidemocratic modernization works.

For reasons that will become clearer in subsequent chapters, this claim may be less true of forms of modernization culminating in fascism than in communism. That remains to be seen and is not the issue here. What is beyond all doubt is that by very different means both Germany and Russia managed to become powerful industrial states. Under Prussian leadership Germany was able to carry out in the nineteenth century an industrial revolution from above. What impulse there was toward a bourgeois revolution and what was revolutionary was not bourgeois - petered out in 1848. Even the defeat of 1918 left essential features of the preindustrial social system intact. The eventual if not inevitable result was fascism. In Russia the impulse toward modernization prior to 1914 was very much less effective. There, as every one knows, a revolution whose main destructive force came from the peasants destroyed the old ruling classes, still mainly agrarian as late as 1917, to make way for the communist version of an industrial revolution from above.

All these familiar facts serve to press home the point that such words as democracy, fascism, and communism (and also dictatorship, totalitarianism, feudalism, bureaucracy) arose in the context of European history. Can they be applied to Asian political institutions without being wrenched beyond all recognition? At this moment it is not necessary to take a position on the general question of whether or not it is possible to transfer historical terms from one context and country to another beyond remarking that, without some degree of transferability, historical discussion breaks down into a meaningless description of unrelated episodes. On a strictly philosophical plane these questions are sterile and insoluble, leading only to tiresome word games as a substitute for the effort to see what really happened. Objective criteria, it seems to me, do exist for distinguishing between superficial and meaningful historical resemblances, and it may be helpful to say just a few words about them.

Superficial and accidental resemblances are those unconnected with other significant facts or that lead to a misapprehension of the real situation. For example, a writer who stressed similarities in the political styles of General de Gaulle and Louis XIV let us say their punctilious enforcement of the etiquette of deference would be setting out misleading trivialities if he were doing this as more than a joke. The different social bases of their power, the differences between seventeenth and twentieth-century French society, are far more significant than these superficial resemblances*. On the other hand, if we find that in both Germany and Japan prior to 1945 there was a whole series of causally related institutional practices whose structure and origins are similar, We are justified in calling this complex unit by the name fascism in both cases. The same is true of democracy and communism. The nature of the connections has to be established by empirical investigation. It is quite

likely that in themselves the essential features that go to make up communism, fascism, or parliamentary democracy will fall short of providing an adequate explanation of the principal political characteristics of China, Japan, and India. Specific chains of historical causation that do not fit into any recognizable family of sequences may have to bear a substantial share of the explanatory burden. This has been the case in the study of Western societies; there is no reason to expect it to be otherwise as we turn to Asia.

* If it were possible to demonstrate that the resemblances between de Gaulle and Louis XIV were indeed symptoms and consequences of a deeper and more significant connection, they would cease to be superficial. One cannot in advance rule out the possibility of such discoveries. Slips of the tongue seemed trivial until Freud uncovered their connection with serious human concerns. Once again it is necessary to stress that such questions can be settled only through studying the facts.

174) Economic Growth, R. Barro-X. Sala-i-Martin

Economic Growth
Robert J. Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin
2nd Edition; Cambridge, Mass.; The MIT Press, 2003

This graduate level text on economic growth surveys neoclassical and more recent growth theories, stressing their empirical implications and the relation of theory to data and evidence. The authors have undertaken a major revision for the long-awaited second edition of this widely used text, the first modern textbook devoted to growth theory. The book has been expanded in many areas and incorporates the latest research.

After an introductory discussion of economic growth, the book examines neoclassical growth theories, from Solow-Swan in the 1950s and Cass-Koopmans in the 1960s to more recent refinements; this is followed by a discussion of extensions to the model, with expanded treatment in this edition of heterogenity of households. The book then turns to endogenous growth theory, discussing, among other topics, models of endogenous technological progress (with an expanded discussion in this edition of the role of outside competition in the growth process), technological diffusion, and an endogenous determination of labor supply and population. The authors then explain the essentials of growth accounting and apply this framework to endogenous growth models. The final chapters cover empirical analysis of regions and empirical evidence on economic growth for a broad panel of countries from 1960 to 2000. The updated treatment of cross-country growth regressions for this edition uses the new Summers-Heston data set on world income distribution compiled through 2000.

About the Authors
Robert J. Barro is Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

About Robert Barro:
"He has changed the way economists think about everything from the long-run effects of government deficits to the forces that favor economic growth."
--Sylvia Nasar, New York Times

Xavier Sala-i-Martin is Professor of Economics at Columbia University, and visiting professor at the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

Table of Contents

Economic Growth, 2nd Edition
Robert J. Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (24 KB) xvii
Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (167 KB) 1
1. Growth Models with Exogenous Saving Rates (the Solow-Swan Model)
Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (341 KB) 23
2. Growth Models with Consumer Optimization (the Ramsey Model) 85
3. Extensions of the Ramsey Growth Model 143
4. One-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth 205
5, Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth (with Special Attention to the Role of Human Capital) 239
6. Technological Change: Models with an Expanding Variety of Products 285
7. Technological Change: Schumpterian Models of Quality Ladders 317
8. The Diffusion of Technology 349
9. Labor Supply and Population 383
10. Growth Accounting 433
11. Empirical Analysis of Regional Data Sets 461
12. Empirical Analysis of a Cross-Section of Countries 511
Appendix on Mathematical Methods 567
Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (80 KB) 627
Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (69 KB) 641


"Barro and Sala-i-Martin have done a superb job of synthesizing much of the existing theoretical and empirical research on the mechanisms and determinants of economic growth and convergence. Though it incorporates much new material, this updated version is fully accessible to a third year undergraduate student, while remaining of invaluable use to any research scholar seriously interested in growth and development economics."
--Phillipe Aghion, Department of Economics, Harvard University

"This is an invaluable book for a first graduate course in economic growth. The exposition is clear and easy to follow, but also rigorous. It is an excellent stepping stone for research in the field."
--K. Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics, MIT

"Barro and Sala-i-Martin provide an outstanding and comprehensive treatment of growth theory and empirics--an instant classic! I learn something new every time I pull my copy from the shelf."
--Charles I. Jones, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley

04 fevereiro, 2008

173) Giberto Freyre: duas biografias intelectuais

Gilberto Freyre por seus biógrafos
Uma análise comparativa entre as duas mais recentes biografias do Mestre de Apipucos.
Anco Márcio Tenório Vieira
Revista Continente Multicultural
Edição Nº85 - Janeiro de 2008

Os lábios eram grossos, os ombros largos, os dentes irregulares, e a pele morena; vestia-se de maneira estudada — ternos de tecido inglês, mas também de casimira ou linho branco S-120, meias de losangos coloridos, chapéu de feltro, suéter "bariolado", gravata amarelo canário —; perfumava-se com água-de-colônia e trazia sempre no bolso um lenço embebido em perfume francês e uma folha de papel de seda com pó-de-arroz. Na hora de se entregar aos braços de Morfeu, vestia-se com um pijama roxo. Apesar de todos esses ornamentos refletidamente escolhidos, confessava aos ami-gos: "Meu Deus, como sou feio!". Feiúra que o levava a se definir como "um canhão". No entanto, como todos esses recursos ainda não eram suficientes para encobrir sua pouca beleza, atenuava o tom moreno da sua pele com o pó-de-arroz que carregava sempre no bolso.
As duas biografias que, nos últimos dois anos, foram publicadas sobre o Mestre de Apipucos — Gilberto Freyre: um vitoriano dos trópicos (2005), da historiadora Maria Lúcia Garcia Pallares-Burke, e Gilberto Freyre: uma biografia cultural (2007), do antropólogo Enrique Rodrigues Larreta e do crítico de literatura Guillermo Giucci — tratam, cada uma ao seu modo, de como Gilberto Freyre, num longo processo de reflexão intelectual, foi, ao longo dos Anos 20, revendo sua formação cientificista — que classificava os homens em "raças" superiores e inferiores e acatava o "clima" como um fator determinante para o florescimento ou não de uma civilização — e terminou por transformar "a miscigenação de hipoteca em lucro", para citar a feliz expressão do historiador Evaldo Cabral de Melo.
No entanto, mesmo sendo duas eruditas biografias, a precedência de publicação da obra de Pallares-Burke terminou por expor, quando não potencializar, as insuficiências da tão prometida bio-grafia de Larreta e Giucci (iniciada na segunda metade dos anos 90). Se ao lermos a biografia de Pallares-Burke descobrimos um Freyre completamente desconhecido, ao lermos Larreta e Giucci a impressão que temos é que tudo que lá está dito nos parece familiar. E essa familiaridade se dá, entre outros motivos, pelas metodologias distintas que foram empregadas pelos autores. Enquanto Pallares-Burke constrói sua biografia a partir do conceito de "Campo intelectual", de Pierre Bourdieu, que afirma que "[...] para se entender um intelectual no seu próprio tempo e discutir o modo como ele pode ter dado continuidade e ao mesmo tempo transcendido o mundo cultural que herdou, é imperativo um esforço de descrever o campo intelectual ao qual ele pertencia", Larreta e Giucci tomam "como critérios centrais da presente pesquisa" "a reconstrução dos contextos de época, a análise dos autores significativos e o traçado de seu próprio horizonte de idéias e sensibilidade, apoiados no exame preciso de documentação histórica".
O fato é que Pallares-Burke persegue, através de um trabalho meticuloso e exaustivo (e com uma objetividade que só os biógrafos britânicos possuem), o campo intelectual de Freyre, desvelando seus contatos literários e científicos e, principalmente, as suas leituras, em particular as que foram realizadas entre 1918 (quando viaja para estudar na Universidade de Baylor, nos Estados Uni-dos) e 1933 (ano da publicação de Casa-grande & senzala). Mais: sua biografia nos revela como Freyre transformou "a miscigenação de hipoteca em lucro", construiu sua "noção de 'antagonismos em equilíbrio'" (idéia nascida durante a sua estada na Inglaterra), redefiniu o conceito de "regionalismo" (a unidade dentro da diversidade) e, principalmente, como sedimentou seus pressupostos críticos para pensar as bases de uma sociedade moderna no Brasil. Idéias que vão, ao longo das suas obras, se desdobrando em tantas outras, como a de metaraça, lusotropicologia, tempo tríbio, Região e Tradição, etc.
Já a biografia escrita por Larreta e Giucci, nada obstante comentar algumas influências intelectuais de Freyre (muitas já exploradas exaustivamente e problematizadas em profundidade por Palla-res-Burke), se prende muito mais à própria trajetória de vida do biografado do que em lançar novas interpretações das suas idéias. Pior: se valem amiúde (muitas vezes sem o rigor crítico necessário) das informações fornecidas pelo próprio Freyre, como as contidas no seu diário de adolescência e mocidade — Tempo morto e outros tempo (1975) —, numa autobiografia, ainda inédita, que vinha escrevendo em seus últimos anos de vida, e na biografia — Gilberto Freyre — que Diogo de Melo Menezes publicou em 1944 (texto em que a mão de Freyre esteve presente). Sendo um construtor meticuloso da sua biografia (característica dos homens da sua geração, basta lembrar Mário de An-drade, autor de uma copiosa correspondência com os amigos, mas que sempre ocultou deles sua homossexualidade), as informações biográficas fornecidas por Freyre não podem ser simplesmente acatadas acriticamente. Recordemos que na velhice, quando republicou os artigos de juventude em dois volumes — Tempo de aprendiz (1979) —, ele acresce frases e parágrafos inteiros. Detalhe: o leitor não é informado que os textos foram revistos. Daí a sensação, como já dissemos, de que o que vamos encontrar em Gilberto Freyre: uma biografia cultural vai nos parecer familiar. Pois quem é familiarizado com os livros citados acima pouco encontra de novo na obra de Larreta e Giucci.
Outro ponto a favor de Pallares-Burke é como ela enfrenta, com rara coragem intelectual, a fortuna crítica de Freyre. Já Larreta e Giucci discutem timidamente as "verdades" estabelecidas pelos seus críticos (particularmente a chamada Escola Paulista). Afinal, não há como pensar Freyre sem repensar criticamente o que se escreveu sobre ele. Como todo autor polêmico, complexo e que se tornou um clássico na sua área de conhecimento, Freyre termina hoje por ser conhecido do grande público antes pelo o que os seus críticos escreveram sobre ele do que pela leitura da sua obra. Um bom exemplo é o mítico conceito de "democracia racial". Imputado a Freyre pelos seus desafetos, particularmente a partir de 1964, mas que nunca foi enunciado na sua obra.
Creio ainda que Larreta e Giucci concluem sua obra em dívida com o leitor. Não se entende como eles dedicam dezenas de páginas a descrever a recepção crítica de Casa-grande & senzala e calam ante a recepção crítica de Sobrados e mucambos (1936). Obra, em muitos aspectos, superior a Casa-grande & senzala. Além do que, o livro príncipe de Freyre tem sua fortuna crítica conhecida desde 1985, quando Edson Nery da Fonseca a reuniu e comentou em livro, hoje raro, publicado pela CEPE: Casa-grande & senzala e a crítica brasileira de 1933 a 1944. A impressão que fica é que faltou a Larreta e Giucci o que sobrou em Pallares-Burke: vontade de pesquisar, organizar e refletir sobre tão rica matéria intelectual. Se a fortuna crítica de Casa-grande & senzala fosse ajuntada com a de Sobrados e mucambos teríamos, em primeira mão, um painel das matrizes intelectuais que irão delinear as principais correntes críticas ao pensamento de Freyre. Fica a dívida e uma sugestão para os futuros pesquisadores.
Poderíamos ainda apontar, em ambas as biografias, algumas insuficiências, a exemplo de uma maior verticalização sobre as idéias que fundamentaram o regionalismo. Regionalismo que gerou um dos momentos mais fecundos da literatura em língua portuguesa — a dos anos 30 — e que ao contrário do que foi, em um primeiro momento, o Modernismo paulista, não se restringiu ao ape-nas estético. Como já escrevi nesta mesma revista (dez. 2006), há no projeto regionalista de 1926 "algo mais ambicioso" do que um projeto estético-literário: nele se busca um projeto civilizatório. Daí a diversidade e a interdisciplinaridade dos temas tratados no 1° Congresso Regionalista do Nor-deste: estética, urbanismo, sociologia, antropologia, cultura popular, história e, principalmente, ecologia (tema de um dos seus mais contundentes libelos contra a monocultura da cana-de-açúcar: Nordeste, de 1937). Toda a obra de Freyre persegue esse projeto civilizatório e, principalmente, a defesa de uma Modernidade que seja filtrada pelos conceitos de Região e Tradição. Ou seja, a Modernidade, para Freyre, seria antes uma ferramenta crítica para pensarmos os destinos do Brasil do que algo acatado como um valor em si. Tradição, Região e Modernidade são conceitos que, em Freyre, não convivem separadamente, um precisa do outro para cumprir seu destino. Resumindo: em Freyre, o local é caminho de partida para o universal e não um ponto de chegada. Daí sua admiração por James Joyce e, como lembram Larreta e Giucci, "em várias ocasiões [Freyre] escreverá que em sua árvore genealógica espiritual Shakespeare está mais próximo que Camões".
Apesar da monumentalidade das biografias comentadas, o brilho que emana da obra de Pallares-Burke é mais forte do que o que vem do livro de Larreta e Giucci. A obra de Pallares-Burke se firma não somente como a mais importante já escrita sobre Gilberto Freyre, mas como definidora para se entender, no campo das idéias, a formação do Brasil moderno que nasce nas décadas de 1920 e 1930. Alguns próceres da geração de Freyre — a exemplo de Mário de Andrade, Oswald de Andrade, Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, Caio Prado Júnior, Portinari... — estão carecendo de biogra-fias intelectuais tão eruditas e exaustivas como as que foram escritas sobre o Mestre de Apipucos. A sorte está lançada.
A propósito, o perfil físico no parágrafo inicial não é o de Freyre, e sim o de Mário de Andrade. Em 1921, o então cientificista Freyre avista um bando de marinheiros brasileiros ("mulatos e cafu-zos") andando pela neve do Brooklyn, em Nova York. Sua impressão é "de caricaturas de homens" — "A miscigenação resultava naquilo", conclui melancolicamente; conclusão que poderia ser de qualquer um dos seus contemporâneos. Ler as citadas biografias aqui resenhadas é percorrer uma trajetória intelectual — a de Freyre — e de como ele abandonou o eugenismo e passou a exaltar a miscigenação. No entanto, por subtração, passamos também a entender como certas idéias subsistem aos novos conceitos. O Mário que escondia sua morenidade com pó-de-arroz (a feiúra ele ocultava com as roupas meticulosamente escolhidas), revela-nos que nem sempre idéias novas significam a morte das antigas. Elas subsistem no inconsciente, mesmo dos que, em sua plena razão (como é o caso de Mário), já não acreditam mais nelas. Este talvez seja o motivo do porque das idéias de Freyre ainda continuarem tão atuais.

Anco Márcio Tenório Vieira é doutor em Teoria Literária e professor universitário.

02 fevereiro, 2008

172) Keynes internacionalista...

Donald Markwell, _John Maynard Keynes and International Relations: Economic Paths to War and Peace_. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. xv + 320 pp. $85 (hardcover), ISBN: 0-19-829236-8.

Reviewed for EH.Net by Michael S. Lawlor, Department of Economics, Wake Forest University.
EH.NET (February 2008)

This book will be of interest to economists in general, and to Keynes specialists in particular. It focuses on the topic of the international relations views expressed by Keynes over his long career, from his involvement in the First World War as a Treasury official and as Lloyd George's economic advisor at the Paris Peace Conference; through his interwar position as a prominent analyst of international monetary problems; to the part he played in the British Treasury during the Second World War. There he was very influential on the policies of how Britain would pay for the war, the form that the post-war international payment systems would take under the Bretton Woods system, and the negotiation of the terms of the American post-war loan to Britain in 1946, shortly before his death.

The fact that this book solely focuses on this limited facet of Keynes's multi-dimensional career, that Markwell is a political scientist and therefore uses much non-economic material, consisting mostly of primary internal memoranda from the Treasury office and other governmental units, and that he frames his arguments in terms of the secondary scholarship on international relations in political science -- both of which are unfamiliar territory for most economists -- adds to the freshness and usefulness of this study. It should also be added -- and I don't think Markwell would disagree -- that some of the debates and contexts for Keynes's activities in this regard have already been well discussed in both Robert Skidelsky's (2000) and Donald Moggridge's (1992) biographies of Keynes. These books provide a thorough background and context for the many issues, events and personalities surrounding Keynes's involvement in international relations. I would suggest one of these volumes for further reading to those who find this to be an area of interest. Markwell's book goes beyond them, and is a useful companion to them, in its bringing together the various strands of Keynes's ideas, writings and activities with respect to international relations in one place. This treatment adds focus to the material in a way that Keynes's biographers, necessarily more focused on the grand sweep of his career, were not able to do.

More broadly, this book is instructive to this reviewer for the opportunity it offers to ponder the importance of context for the application of some of the fundamental tenets of economic theory. Ironically, perhaps this is precisely because of Markwell's lack of focus on economics and due to his use of the aforementioned wealth of policy evidence on Keynes's extensive involvement in government and international affairs. Markwell's analysis requires the economic reader to follow Keynes into the task of applying economic theory to knotty problems of international politics and thereby to think hard about the validity of the abstract nature of economic principles in various real geopolitical scenarios of great import (like the two World Wars), to consider what role economic factors may play in the development of hostilities between nations, and to consider seriously the compatibility of microeconomic truths with macroeconomic truths when their application is not just a hypothetical example, but a real live political circumstance.

To first take up the issue of the contextual nature of the application of economics to political situations consider the situation that Keynes, and all western economists and political analysts, faced in the period from the end of the First World War, through the slump and depression of the thirties. What concerned them most was the question of how to re-create the era of rising prosperity and smoothly functioning world trade that had characterized Europe and America in the period before 1914. From the end of the First World War and the Paris Peace Conference on, Keynes was one of the first and most prominent (but by no means the only) international figures who felt that this goal required a lasting peace that would allow Germany to regain its rightful place, for reasons of geography and size, as the economic engine of Europe.

This was Keynes's message in the book that first made him internationally famous, _The Economic Consequences of the Peace_. This book, as Markwell shows, grew from Keynes's fears that restoring prosperity to Europe was wholly lost sight of in the blind rush to revengefully heap reparations and crippling terms of defeat upon a prostrate Germany. Keynes's sometimes over-the-top criticism of the principals at the conference -- with Lloyd George, George Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson coming particularly under extensive personal attack, some thought bordering on ridicule -- stemmed from the fact that Keynes believed that their actions, as opposed to their hypocritical words, would lead to an unstable peace.

Thus, at some risk to his own influence and career, Keynes quit his role in the negotiation of the Paris peace treaty and returned to England to hastily write his reaction to that experience in the form of _The Economic Consequences_. It was a book that both criticized the leaders of England and France for cowardice, in being unwilling to challenge the popular clamor for revenge upon Germany, and that laid bare the flaws of the peace terms that the French and British political leaders had, Keynes thought, bamboozled President Wilson into signing. These plans, he felt, were counterproductive of a lasting peace and unrealizable to boot, because Germany could never meet its reparations obligations so long as its internal economy was crippled by the terms forced upon it by the treaty.

All this is well known to Keynes scholars and to students of the World War One period. What Markwell adds is context and detail to Keynes important role in the struggle to win both the war and the peace. What can be learned by all economists from his experience is that the dire nature of the post-war European economies, particularly those of the losing Axis powers, could not _automatically_ be reversed unless attention was paid both to their immediate needs in the form of relief aid of one kind or another and also to their more long-term need to foster investment and trading institutions that would ensure the growth and permanence of economic prosperity. In asking how this would be achieved, Markwell classifies the nature of Keynes's arguments at this crucial historical juncture as a species of a "liberal-idealist" one.

At the end of 1918, Keynes had a clear view of some of the elements of the post-war order he wished to see. His liberal-idealist faith in free trade, on which he had been brought up, was unshaken. He had urged the abandonment of inter-Allied debt and Britain's forgoing her share of reparations, which he hoped would go to assist the new states. He had urged a moderate approach to reparations; and clearly wished the defeated powers to be treated so that they would not need assistance to avoid starvation, unemployment, anarchy, or perhaps bolshevism. The fundamental views which underlay his action at the peace conference, and which were to be expounded in _The Economic Consequences_, were already formed and were shared by many others (p. 53).

Thus Keynes began his career, as many economists have before and since his time, as a solid proponent of free trade as the primary means to bring about international peace. This brings us to the second issue raised above: to what extent, and how, are economic factors causative of acrimony and war between nations? Any modern economist could profit by considering this question in light of Markwell's book. Here, Markwell writes, Keynes's view matured over the course of his career. The standard argument pits free trade against imperialism. Free trade, it is thought in the standard liberal argument, may have peaceful benefits as an unintended consequence, if it make customers out of potential enemies. Moreover, since mutually beneficial gains for any two countries can be shown (and this is one of the principle lessons of a liberal economics) to lead to rising prosperity for both trading partners, there is a potential for any two countries to both benefit from trade. Trade, so this argument goes, would make traders reluctant to upset trading by aggression and war, and so free trade may tend to reduce international aggression and war.

On the other side, the argument of imperialism starts from the premise that it is beneficial for a country to run a favorable balance of trade, and an expanding export market, in that this tends to keep manufacturers and producers of tradable goods and services at home in a prosperous and expanding state. By this argument developed _countries_ (note not firms directly, but perhaps state action spurred by firms) will seek means to maximize export opportunities in particular and may also vie to receive exclusive preferences for their goods and services in these markets, as well as trying to ensure scarce inputs to the production process, such as raw materials and/or natural resources that are in short supply at home. How is this accomplished? By the argument of imperialism, it is accomplished by military and diplomatic maneuvers that allow powerful states to dominate weaker states and to assemble official or semi-official trading _empires_.

The economic analysts of the liberal tradition in England -- Smith, Ricardo, Burke, Mill, and Marshall -- can be identified as the major proponents of the former idea. Dissenters from this tradition both in England and on the continent -- like Hobson, Lenin and Luxembourg -- can be identified with various twists on the latter idea in Keynes's time. Markwell makes it clear that Keynes early in his career came down exclusively on the side of the liberal conception of free trade -- hence his categorizing of Keynes's earliest arguments into those of a "liberal-idealist" camp. He recognized and believed in the potential of free trade to promote peace and harmony among nations, and he thought that by reestablishing Germany's power to participate in trade with it neighbors, a lasting peace could be established in Europe after World War One.

It must be said, though, that the history of Europe and the world in the nineteenth century and leading up to the war in 1914, offered evidence supportive to both sides of this debate. On the one hand Britain, France, Germany and in fact most of Europe, had all grown prosperous in this period by trading with other nations, particularly was this so in the case of Britain, a small island economy with vast global trading interests. But each had also sought to carve out for itself some exclusive markets for its exports, and some exclusive sources of raw material for it own producers, through the conquest of overseas empires. This vying for power internationally had become so commonplace among European governments that part of this activity became known in England by the playful title of the "The Great Game."

But imperialism and empire were not topics that engaged Keynes, either by upbringing or by temperament. In order to reassert the classical liberal argument he had been brought up on in this context he, like many of his fellow British liberals, made a crucial distinction between empires and exclusive trading blocks. "Empires," according to Keynes (in 1903), need not lead to exclusive trading blocks. An empire that was founded and run on proper political principles, as he thought was the case of the British Empire, could lead to a loose confederation of states for which association with Britain was "to provide facilities for the growth under freedom and justice without molestation from abroad of these young nations ... [W]hen a country becomes part of the Empire it is free to pursue it own destiny, in its own way. Because our ideal is democratic" (p. 19).

This somewhat condescending (to the colonial countries) and benign view of empires was in sharp contrast to both the imperialism theorist's view of empires, as well as to those of other English political and ideological leaders (of the so called "Round Table") who, after World War One, wanted to work for the imperial unity and exclusivity of trade relations between the various members of the British Empire. Keynes criticized the notion that empires necessarily _would_ form into exclusive trading blocks that excluded all others, and that empires _should_ lead to this state of affairs. He excoriated the latter in particular, exemplified for Keynes by the "German dream of Mittel-Europa." It was a conception of empire based on "exclusivity" and the attempt to "monopolize" for the home country producers' markets for their exports and sources of food and raw materials. This, he lamented, led to new frontiers "between greedy, jealous, immature, and economically incomplete, nationalist states" (p. 20). Worse, competing for such imperial preferences by nation-states, such as the British Round Table thinkers advocated, could lead to conflict and war.

Thus, the question that formed the international relations context in which Keynes wrote during and immediately after the First World War, was whether war could only stem from a perverse international policy in pursuing the potential gains from free trade (what Markwell calls the liberal-idealist position) or whether war was a natural outcome that could be expected from an inevitable imperialist-capitalism by which states would naturally vie for national power by assembling competitive exclusionary trading blocks (what Markwell identifies as the "realist" view).. Keynes, at this stage, as we have seen, favored the first argument -- that free trade only caused war when it was perversely pursued along the lines of imperial, exclusive terms. If trade and empires could be based on openness of markets and democracy, such as British experience in the pre-war period showed to Keynes was possible, then empires could be a beneficial source of cosmopolitanism and peace.

So what did Keynes at this early stage in his development think were the economic causes of war? Wars could result, said the younger, classical liberal Keynes, from "impoverishment, population pressure, penetration by foreign capital and the 'competitive struggle for markets'" (p. 3). Note this fits our conclusion in the previous paragraph, by carefully excluding free-trade from those causes, so long as it is not pursued in exclusionary terms. So the interesting questions for economists today -- trained to believe unreflectively and in the abstract in the eternal verity of the potential for mutual gains from trade -- to take from this study of Keynes are as follows: Are there some possible circumstances under which this gain will not _automatically_ arise in the context of actual situations of international relations? Does economic theory itself suggest conditions in which we may want to abandon a dogmatic attachment to what seems like a species of economic Truth? It turns out that the historical analog to these questions in the present case is "how did Keynes's view of the role of economics in international relations evolve over his career?"

One way to answer these questions is by following Markwell in identifying three further stages in Keynes's evolution in this regard -- identified as his "early liberal institutional, protectionist and mature liberal institutionalist" (p. 3) positions. All three stages could be thought of as instances where Keynes did not so much abandon the above-listed catalogue of the potential economic causes of war, but rather thought of extensions to the first cause -- economic "impoverishment." His extensions were of two varieties. First in the 1920's, and again in the 1930's, Keynes suggested extensions from the _contextual_ perspective of then current national and international events. Later in the 1930's, and from the _theoretical_ perspective of his _General Theory_, he suggested further, more economically fundamental extensions to this factor. Put another way, as he matured in terms of both experience and theoretical framework, he added to this list of the potential economic causes of war the crucial factors of monetary disorder, trade imbalances and unemployment. Even later, with special reference to Hitler and Germany, he added that there is no proper economic cause that extended to a nation's possible reaction to "impoverishment" by embracing what he called a "brigand." That is to say, economics had no explanation or remedy for a nation that was led by "a madman or a gambler" that was willing to risk war for personal power (p. 198). (Markwell convincingly shows on pp. 197-203 that Keynes was never pro-German or an appeaser, as he has sometimes been accused.)

Let us take the first stage of the evolution of Keynes's views to begin. As Britain suffered through the slump of the twenties and as most of the West similarly suffered though the worse experience of the Great Depression in the thirties, Keynes came to blame these continued difficulties in restoring prosperity on the lack of existence a of well-functioning international monetary order. In particular, he was convinced that the gold standard had become a shackle on Britain, and on western expansion in general, because it forced weakened economies, such as he identified Britain as being since the First World War, to run a high-interest-rate policy for international reasons (to protect its gold reserves) that was wholly inconsistent with a needed internal low-interest-rate policy to restore employment and prosperity. This again deviated from the belief that free trade would _automatically_ restore prosperity in any political context. In this case, and barring international agreement on an alternative system that bitter experience had taught him was not likely, it would be better for Britain to unilaterally either peg its pound below its pre-war parity rate -- and by such a devaluation encourage the output of its exporters - or, as eventually transpired in 1931, to abandon the gold standard altogether.

Even as this was his best counsel on short-term policy, Markwell shows Keynes was continuously preoccupied in this period, roughly 1922-1932, with finding a solution to the question of what possible type of international arrangement could be agreed upon by many nations and managed with some high degree of efficiency that would not rely upon what Keynes considered the immiserating and trade-inhibiting policies of the gold standard [1].

So the second-stage of the development of Keynes's views on international relations was that he came to feel strongly that a return to the pre-1914 prosperity in Europe required the adoption by international agreement of an alternative to the former gold standard that would attract wide participation. This could only happen, he thought, if there were strong international leadership (which he long looked for from the U.S., as far back as the end of the First World War, but did not actually witness until World War Two). Moreover, Markwell clearly shows that in all of his many writings and participation in conferences devoted to this topic, Keynes was very fluid and pragmatic about the form that such a system should take. He was willing to compromise his own vision of a U.S./British-led system of managed (flexible) fixed exchange rates and the form that a managed stock of international liquidity reserves and payment media would take, if it would encourage wider agreement. (He stressed that the search for unanimity was an evil to be avoided.)

This fluidity as to details was to serve him well when he was negotiating with America during the Second World War over Lend-Lease and especially the post-war monetary system in that the Americans had firmly held demands and alternative plans of their own, which when added to Britain's weak financial position, meant that Keynes was forced to negotiate from a distinctly weak position. Thus, the 1923-30 period was the stage of Keynes's developing international relations views that Markwell calls "early liberal institutionalist." Free trade could be beneficial, he was saying, but only if a properly functioning international monetary institution was adopted.

Briefly, we proceed on to the third stage of Keynes's views on the economic element in international relations. Here the question becomes more starkly the universal nature of the coincidence of free trade and peaceful international relations. This stage arose out of Keynes's participation on the Macmillan Committee on Trade and Finance (1929-31), the Economic Advisory Council set up by Ramsey McDonald, and particularly its Committee of Economists (created in July 1930, and to which also belonged William Beveridge, A. C. Pigou and Lionel Robbins) and in the pages of the political affairs journal that he headed at the time, the _New Statesman_. All of this activity arose from the need to respond to the international crisis that arose from the Great Depression and its particular impact on Britain.

In this and the fourth stage of Keynes's grappling with international relations questions, Markwell emphasizes continuity in Keynes's evolving views. The economist in me wants to call the first issue one of political context and, therefore not economically fundamental. But Markwell makes a good case that the last two stages of Keynes's thought in this regard should be seen as merging into, and reinforcing, one another. The fourth phase he identifies is the period after 1933, sometime between 1934 and 1936, depending on when one judges Keynes to have been in control of the central propositions of his _General Theory_.

To go back, we should start with describing the third stage of Keynes's views that Markwell describes as his "protectionist" phase. This occurred when, in the early years of the Great Depression, 1929-33, and to quite a bit of controversy, Keynes advocated protectionist measures for Britain, especially higher tariff barriers, as a way of combating the British unemployment of that period. He contextualized this recommendation by arguing that this unemployment had unfortunately occurred within a world system where the gold standard made the pursuit of free trade for "creditor" countries (such as Britain was since 1914) a road to even higher domestic unemployment than it was already experiencing. This was because, in order to maintain its balance of payments, it was forced to run a high-interest rate policy and deflation to protect its reserves. In this circumstance, and again barring a better international monetary system that seemed so impossible to him at that dark stage in history, Keynes gave a limited endorsement to British protectionist policy in the then-current economic emergency and for the short term. One detects almost a reluctance on his part to do so. And, indeed, his about-face was controversial enough on the Economists Committee that Robbins found it necessary to both author a dissenting minority report, attack Keynes's position in the press and later author, with Beveridge and other LSE economists, a book defending free trade even in this context (Beveridge et al. 1931).[2] Consider Markwell's comment on Keynes in this period: "Keynes's renunciation of free trade came, hesitantly, and then boldly, in proposals, first, for emergency tariffs, and, secondly, for greater national self-sufficiency and economic isolation. Keynes moved from admitting that the classical connection between free trade and peace was an argument against a tariff, but one outweighed by the economic emergency; through saying that his proposed tariffs could also help international amity; to denying that free trade did in fact promote peace" (p. 153).

His argument in the context of such an economic emergency as the Great Depression seems to have been analogous to the old saw that "the patient cannot stand the cure." He thought that Britain was in such a crisis with regard to unemployment, that her money wages were too rigid for deflation to work its classic role in bring down costs, that the gold standard had so limited the range within which domestic economic policy had to maneuver, and that so many other countries were reacting to this crises by erecting tariff barriers of their own (effectively exporting their unemployment problems to Britain), that he had become "reluctantly convinced" (p.154) that protectionism was the best temporary policy Britain could pursue in this circumstance.

Economists, and particularly specialists in macroeconomics and in Keynes's thought, might immediately wonder if the drafting of the _General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money_ did not have a profound effect on Keynes's ideas on this question. Less historically minded economists might also wonder if, and how, the perspective of macroeconomics might alter one's view of the _universal_ argument for the benefits from trade. Again the history of Keynes's own international relations positions offers examples of him facing exactly this question. Consequently, the fourth and last stage that Markwell identifies in Keynes's evolving views on international relations -- what he calls the "mature liberal institutionalist" phase -- was based on just this issue. Again depending on when one judges the proposition of the _General Theory_ to have been drafted, in some period during the middle part of the 1930s, Keynes developed a more fundamental _economic theory_ framework in which to argue the point about protectionism that we have seen him making on pragmatic _policy_ grounds in the early years of the Great Depression. In the _General Theory_ and after, Keynes insisted that the question of the economic causes of war and the advisability of protectionist, anti-trade measures depended on how close the economy was to full employment -- and this extended to his advice to the government during the Second World War, when he judged the economy to have met this condition. Short of this internal goal, Keynes said that countries were unlikely to reap the potential benefits from free trade described by classic liberal economics. This was because the temptation was too strong for any one country to erect tariff barriers around itself to boost the demand for domestic producers. It was Keynes's view that the policies of many nations since 1929 offered examples of this. Since competitive attempts to export domestic unemployment to another country eventually ended in lowering employment in them all, protectionist policies became a second best solution in this context. Better that each county should act in isolation from international forces to raise domestic employment to its full potential, by lowering interest rates and bolstering demand for domestic industry in any way possible. According to Keynes, "if our central controls succeed in establishing an aggregate volume of output corresponding to full employment as nearly as practicable, the classical theory comes into it own again from this point onwards" (p. 186).

Here we can quote Markwell to the effect that Keynes hereby modified his position on the economic causes of war in a fundamental way:

In short, Keynes's argument was both that laissez-faire did not have the tendency to peace claimed for it, and that a reformed capitalism along the lines he advocated would much improve the prospects for peace. Keynes said that 'the new system might be more favourable to peace than the old has been.' It is not clear
whether by this Keynes meant simply that past causes of war would be absent, or that with these gone _and_ free trade, some of the mechanisms classical liberals claimed were the means by which free trade actively promoted peace would work again. Such mechanisms included the creation by trade of vested interests in peace, and the promotion of moral solidarity between nations trading with each other (p. 184).

Here is the final issue that modern economists might profit from pondering as a result of reading this book. Keynes was saying in the 1930s that countries had first to ensure full employment before they could anticipate the mutual economic gains and the possible peace dividends that trade holds out. If the economic system of a free-market economy does not _automatically_ tend toward full employment, but needs to be managed to attain this goal consistently through time (and surely this is the basic lesson of macroeconomics even to this day), then it is a mistake to think and preach that free trade is some sort of divinely given cure for all economic ills, in all contexts, domestic and foreign.

Keynes, of course, should not be looked on as an infallible guide in pondering this issue. He was fallible in judgment even within the field of international relations that Markwell surveys here. For one, his self confidence about his cleverness in designing policy fixes often led to disastrous negotiations on his part with his official American counterparts during the Second World War. Harry Hopkins, the special advisor to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, reportedly expressed this irritation in his comment that Keynes was "one of those fellows that just knows all the answers" (Chandavarkar, 2001).

Moreover he showed a complete lack of understanding of the American political process. Used to dealing exclusively with ministers and their Whitehall staff in the more centralized English system, he was dismayed by the power of individual Congressman. Also, not only was Keynes unnecessarily rude to these Congressman, who he often gave the impression that he considered them provincial and beneath him, but his haughty behavior was also unwise, in that those very Congressmen could hold up American aid for British needs. He similarly accused the White House and State Department of being too timid in its relations with Congress, not realizing that the American Constitution gave Congress control of appropriations, whatever the White House may have negotiated for with the British.

But Keynes's faults were more than outweighed by his many talents. Keynes's insight into how economies work, combined with his ability to understand and exert influence over the process of policy creation, is unlikely to be seen again in today's era of extreme specialization. As such, modern economists, whether they agree with his judgments or not, can learn valuable lessons in the political economy of policy application from following his career in international relations in the context of numerous actual international crises. Markwell does a fine job in showing, over numerous issues, how difficult and how much skill is required to apply economic reasoning in the realm of international relations. Markwell's greatest attraction for an economist is that he shows how Keynes pursued this activity with skill and subtlety in the context of many of the weightiest geopolitical issues to face the West in the twentieth century. It is one measure of Keynes's and others' ultimate success in this context that it is hard now to even imagine Germany and England at war. We, as economists, can learn a great deal from a recounting of his experiences in establishing this peaceful and prosperous state of affairs in Europe. Perhaps it might even make us a bit humble to contemplate that it may be in large part due to Keynes's own work both in economics and politics, to the wisdom of the architecture and implementation of the Marshall Plan, which was surely in the spirit of Keynes's ideas, and to the way in which economies have been managed since his time, that we have the luxury of not facing his unpalatable choice between free trade and full employment.

1. Also note that Keynes therefore wanted to destroy what he considered a "barbarous relic" of the nineteenth century, the belief that the gold standard operated "automatically" to restore international imbalances and that this meant it would encourage trade. Alternatively, a major message of Keynes throughout this period was that the gold standard was not, in fact, operating automatically by the pre-war rules of the game in the period after World War One because the U.S. and the Federal Reserve System refused to let its own eventual control of the majority of the world's monetary gold cause U.S. prices to rise. Keynes thought this unfairly forced upon all other "creditor" nations the problems, noted above, of choosing to abandon international monetary arrangements, to competitively devalue its currency or to run a ruinous deflation.
2. It is instructive to modern economists that Robbins later, in his autobiography (Robbins, 1971), recanted his opposition to Keynes during those depression years.


Chandavarkar, A. 2001. "A Fresh Look at Keynes: Robert Skidelsky's Trilogy." _Finance and Development_, Vol. 38, no. 4, December.
Moggridge, Donald. 1992. _Maynard Keynes: An Economist's Biography_, Routledge.
Robbins, Lionel C. 1971. _Autobiography of an Economist_, Macmillan.
Skidelsky, Robert. 2000. _John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain_, Macmillan.

Michael S. Lawlor is Professor of Economics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His most recent publication on Keynes is _The Economics of Keynes in Historical Context: An Intellectual History of the General Theory_ (2006).

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