BEYOND THE WELFARE STATE by Gunnar Myrdal

BEYOND THE WELFARE STATE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Swedish Marxian economist, best known for his uniquely comprehensive study of the Negro problem- The American Dilemma, here, by way of incredible over-simplification, has proceeded to apply the doctrine of the ""class struggle"" to the international scene. According to the learned Professor there are now two economic classes of nations, the underdeveloped former colonies, and the big, fat, rich Western nations. (Through some strange Marxist hocus-pocus the Soviet world is conveniently excluded from this class struggle.) This economic gulf between the rich and poor will of course lead to a catastrophe unless the rich nations of the West do something drastic. First they must divest themselves of their unnatural instinct for self- preservation. Western nationalism is bad and irrational, says the Professor. On the other hand, the nationalism of the underdeveloped countries is good and natural, and the West should not holler too much when Western property is expropriated or nationalized. The West should also set up industries in the poor countries and create markets for them in the rich countries. In this way, more money will flow out of the rich countries into the poor countries. (Perish the thought that the poor countries should do anything for themselves!) In his quaint Swedish accent, the Professor writes: ""The rich countries should make up their mind that they do not want to make money out of selling food to starving peoples."" Of course, along with all this generosity the West should undergo mass re-education so that it will be prepared for its new role in the Welfare World. Nowhere does Prof. Myrdal burden his thesis with some of the more complex and baffling aspects of human life, such as national ambition, religion, culture, masochism, or the death instinct. All of this seems to vanish to nothingness under the spell of that old black magic called economics. A book one would not expect from Myrdal.

Publisher: Yale University Press