War Collectivism

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Search Site only in current section. Advanced Search…. Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette, editors. Analyzes collective artistic practice from the Cold War to the global present. Don't start an art collective until you read this book. Guy Debord Revolution in the Service of Poetry The definitive biography of the author of The Society of the Spectacle and a compelling account of his war against inauthenticity.

Migrations of Gesture The cultural significance of gesture as a human expression. The Board, or Division, would suggest industrial economies, and encourage the industry concerned to establish cooperative regulations. The board's regulations were supposedly "voluntary," a voluntarism enforced by "the compulsion of trade opinion — which automatically policed the observance of the recommendations. In this way, in the name of wartime "conservation," the Conservation Division set out to rationalize, standardize, and cartelize industry in a way that would, hopefully, continue permanently after the end of the war.

Arch W. Shaw summed up the division's task as follows: to drastically reduce the number of styles, sizes, etc. That this ruthless and thoroughgoing suppression of competition in industry was not thought of as a purely wartime measure is made clear in this passage by Grosvenor Clarkson:.

The Art of Social Imagination after 1945

The World War was a wonderful school. Yet now the world needs to economize as much as in war. Looking forward to future cartelization, Clarkson declared that such peacetime "economizing … implies such a close and sympathetic affiliation of competitive industries as is hardly possible under the decentralization of business that is compelled by our antitrust statutes. Bernard Baruch's biographer summarized the lasting results of the compulsory "conservation" and standardization as follows:. Wartime conservation had reduced styles, varieties, and colors of clothing. It had standardized sizes.

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Not only the Conservation Division, but the entire structure of wartime collectivism and cartelization constituted a vision to business and government of a future peacetime economy. As Clarkson frankly put it,. It is little wonder that the men who dealt with the industries of a nation … meditated with a sort of intellectual contempt on the huge hit-and-miss confusion of peacetime industry, with its perpetual cycle of surfeit and dearth and its internal attempt at adjustment after the event.

From their meditations arose dreams of an ordered economic world.

War Collectivism : Power, Business, and the Intellectual Class in World War I

They conceived of America as "commodity sectioned" for the control of world trade. They beheld the whole trade of the world carefully computed and registered in Washington, requirements noted, American resources on call, the faucets opened or closed according to the circumstances.

In a word, a national mind and will confronting international trade and keeping its own house in business order. Heart and soul of the mechanism of control of industry by the WIB were its odd commodity sections, committees supervising the various groups of commodities, which were staffed almost exclusively by businessmen from the respective industries. Furthermore, these committees dealt with over "war service committees" of industry appointed by the respective industrial groupings under the aegis of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.

It is no wonder that in this cozy atmosphere, there was a great deal of harmony between business and government. As Clarkson admiringly described it,. Businessmen wholly consecrated to government service, but full of understanding of the problems of industry, now faced businessmen wholly representative of industry … but sympathetic with the purpose of government. The commodity sections were business operating Government business for the common good.

They were of the same piece. All in all, Clarkson exulted that the commodity sections were "industry mobilized and drilled, responsive, keen, and fully staffed.

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They were militant and in serried ranks. The Chamber of Commerce was particularly enthusiastic over the war service committee system, a system that was to spur the trade association movement in peacetime as well. Chamber President Harry A. Wheeler, vice president of the Union Trust Co. Creation of the War Service Committees promises to furnish the basis for a truly national organization of industry whose preparations and opportunities are unlimited.

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War is the stern teacher that is driving home the lesson of cooperative effort. The result of all this newfound harmony within each industry, and between industry and government, was to "substitute cooperation for competition.

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Contrary to their slogans about service being a sign of responsibility, the Statist who supports war is actually claiming that soldiers can escape responsibility for their actions by belonging to a collective. Donald acknowledges, available evidence suggests that the vast majority of people who profess the Islamic faith are not engaged in violence against anyone. I see costs and benefits to any perspective. And Americans have seen just how far Democrats are willing to go. Daniel Castro rated it liked it Feb 02,

Industry was for the time in … a golden age of harmony," and freed from the menace of business losses. One of the crucial functions of wartime planning was price fixing, set in the field of industrial commodities by the Price Fixing Committee of the War Industries Board. Beginning with such critical areas as steel and copper early in the war and then inexorably expanding to many other fields, the price fixing was sold to the public as the fixing of maximum prices in order to protect the public against wartime inflation.

In fact, however, the government set the price in each industry at such a rate as to guarantee a "fair profit" to the high-cost producers, thereby conferring a large degree of privilege and high profits on the lower-cost firms. The large and efficient producers made larger profits than normally and many of the smaller concerns fell below their customary returns. Brookings, a retired lumber magnate, addressed to the nickel industry: "We are not in an attitude of envying you your profits; we are more in the attitude of justifying them if we can.

That is the way we approach these things.

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Typical of the price-fixing operation, was the situation in the cotton textile industry. Chairman Brookings reported in April , that the Cotton Goods Committee had decided to "get together in a friendly way" to try to "stabilize the market.

The general enthusiasm of the business world, and especially big business, for the system of war collectivism can now he explained. The enthusiasm was a product of the resulting stabilization of prices, the ironing out of market fluctuations, and the fact that prices were almost always set by mutual consent of government and the representatives of each industry. It is no wonder that Harry A. Wheeler, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, wrote in the summer of that war "is giving business the foundation for the kind of cooperative effort that alone can make the U.

The vitally important steel industry is an excellent example of the workings of war collectivism. The hallmark of the closely knit control of the steel industry was the close "cooperation" between government and industry, a cooperation in which Washington decided on broad policy, and then left it up to Judge Elbert Gary, head of the leading steel producer, United States Steel, to implement the policy within the industry.

Gary selected a committee representing the largest steel producers to help him run the industry.

The Climate of Collectivism: From Hegel to the Twentieth Century

A willing ally was present in J. Leonard Replogle, head of American Vanadium Co.

Replogle shared the long-standing desire of Gary and the steel industry for industrial cartelization and market stability under the aegis of a friendly federal government. Unsurprisingly, Gary was delighted with his new powers in directing the steel industry, and urged that he be given total power "to thoroughly mobilize and if necessary to commandeer. It is true that wartime relations between government and steel companies were sometimes strained, but the strain and the tough threat of government commandeering of resources was generally directed at smaller firms, such as Crucible Steel, which had stubbornly refused to accept government contracts.

The main reason was that the big steel producers, happy at the enormous increase of steel prices in the market as a result of wartime demand, were anxious to stabilize the market at a high price and thus ensure a long-run profit position for the duration of the war. The government — steel industry price-fixing agreement of September , was therefore hailed by John A.

Topping, president of Republic Steel, as follows:. The steel settlement will have a wholesome effect on the steel business because the principle of cooperative-regulation has been established with Government approval. Of course, present abnormal profits will be substantially reduced but a runaway market condition has been prevented and prosperity extended.