Open main menu

Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/12

This page has been validated.
viii
NOTE BY THE DIRECTOR

and by the people. In its mother country, Russia, the economic measure by which it began its career was confiscation of private wealth—in itself an ultra-democratic measure. If this had brought in a true communism, it would have been a ruthless and unjust measure for creating a peace-loving state. A just and orderly democratizing of industry in the several states would give new strength to the forces of peace, and it would be highly improbable that any state so influenced would try to extend its system over foreign countries by military invasion. Democracy, socialism, communism, and bolshevism all appear in the aftermath of the war. The first of them makes for future peace and so does even the conservative element in the second, while all else in the series means certainty of civil strife and danger of international war.

The fact that during the war governments had to take on innumerable functions that were formerly in private hands has lent an impetus to socialism and to the perverted growths that have accompanied it, and it has created a new international system the meaning of which is profoundly significant, though he who runs cannot so easily read it. There are dangerous features in the system which the war evoked and, happily for mankind, there are available safeguards which were evoked with them and need to be retained if human effort can do it.

By a compulsion that there was no resisting, the war forced the nations of the Entente into economic co-operation with each other. Commissions centring finally in the Supreme Economic Council adjusted in a harmonious way questions that would otherwise have led to rivalry and conflicting action in purchasing war materials, securing ships, apportioning food, controlling railroads, financing the war and doing a multitude of other things with the one common purpose of victory. The special compulsion of the struggle is over, but it has left an aftermath of issues grave enough to make peace