- Peter Drucker
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Mr. Drucker is one of those writers to whom almost anything can be forgiven because he not only has a mind of his own, but has the gift of starting other minds along a stimulating line of thought. There is not much that needs forgiveness in this book, but Mr. Drucker tends to be carried away by his own enthusiasm, so that the pieces of the puzzle fit together rather too neatly. It is indeed curious that a man so alive to the dangers of mechanical conceptions should himself be caught up in the subordinate machinery of his own argument. His proof, for example, that Russia and Germany must come together forgets the nationalism which has developed in Russia during the last twenty years and which would react very strongly against any new German domination of Russian life. But such excesses of logic are pardonable enough in a book that successfully links the dictatorships which are outstanding in contemporary life with that absence of a working philosophy which is equally outstanding in contemporary thought.
In his approach to totalitarianism Mr. Drucker brushes aside the familiar contention that it is the last refuge of Capitalism in desperation. It is not only Capitalism that is desperate. Marxian Socialism is in equally bad case. Our concern here is with Capitalism as a philosophy; Capitalism as a means of producing goods in constantly increasing volume at a constantly diminishing cost is by no means a failure. Where Capitalism has failed is in its exhibition of the Economic Man as a social ideal. In the heyday of industrialism it was argued that the competitive system gave a free and equal chance to everybody. Freedom and equality are the central ideas of European civilization, but people are now ceasing to believe that competition is a means to their attainment. Hence our present social bankruptcy.