International Cartels

February 23, 1944

Report Outline
Cartelization vs. Free Competition
Place of Cartels in Prewar Economy
Place of Cartels in Postwar World

Cartelization vs. Free Competition

Conflicts of Opinion on Mertis of Cartels

International cartels have been condemned as breeders of war between nations, and have been praised as exemplars of international understanding and world cooperation. They have been accused of serving the political purposes of particular states, of serving no interest except their own, of usurping the sovereign functions of national governments. On the one hand it is asserted that they have enforced an economy of scarcity and exploited consumers everywhere; on the other hand, that they have regularized production, promoted full employment, and raised standards of living for millions of the world's population.

The cartel system has been looked upon by some governments with favor, by others with tolerance, by others with abhorrence. The Government of the United States has opposed the operations of international cartels within its territory, but the N. R. A. experiment of the middle 1930's was the most ambitious attempt to enforce cartelization of domestic industry ever made in a democratic state. By most American economists the cartel system is condemned as the negation of the American principle of free enterprise; by many European economists it is regarded as the only sound basis for reorganization of the world's economy after the war.

Recent Assaults on International Cartels

International cartels have been kept under steady attack during recent months by the Vice President of the United States who has accused them of seeking “to establish national and international fascism” and also of promoting isolationism.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World War II Aftermath
Dec. 2009  Rewriting History
Dec. 18, 1981  Europe's Postwar Generations
Apr. 06, 1949  Occupation Feeding
Jun. 12, 1946  Compromise
May 22, 1946  Treaties of Alliance
May 01, 1946  European Peace Settlements
Apr. 17, 1946  International Information
Nov. 10, 1945  Nationalization
Sep. 26, 1944  The Great Powers and the Dardanelles
Feb. 23, 1944  International Cartels
Sep. 04, 1942  World Organization After the War
Antitrust and Monopolies