Organic Interpretations Of Crises

Organic Interpretations Of Crises

Neither Robbins nor Nogaro has tried in connexion with the 1930 crisis to construct a theory of crises in general, or to provide an explana­tion of their "everlasting recurrence." They have undoubtedly rendered a signal service in concentrating their attention on all the aspects of a great and international event that marks an epoch in economic history. But the mystery of economic cycles and their evident regularity is too attractive not to have led certain thinkers once again, on the occasion of the twentieth-century crises, to search for the general mechanism of these cycles—or, if you prefer it, the hidden spring which, once discovered, could, they think, be manipu­lated or controlled by man's deliberate will. The most important of.

these attempts are associated with the names of Hawtrey, Aftalion, and Spiethoff, though many others deserve mention as well. But in such a matter an exhaustive account would distract the reader's attention too much. Each of these authors represents one important aspect of economic thought: Hawtrey by emphasizing the part played by credit, Aftalion the fluctuations of production, and Spiethoff (followed by Cassel) the role of saving. So we find in them the typical conceptions that need to be set forth in a history of economic doctrines—conceptions to which most other writers are more or less attached, though with slight variations.