The 1858 Charles Darwin's book 'Origin of Species' gave the world the first intelligible explanation of the biological past of mankind by revealing the laws that governed the evolution of the human body. The 1918 Oswald Spengler's book 'The Decline Of The West' gave the world the first analysis of its history comprehensive enough to enable a credible forecast of what the future would hold in store by revealing the laws that govern human society. 

In February 1932, H.R Knickerbocker spent 3 hours in Oswald Spengler's Munich home to interview him for the New York Evening Post. Oswald Spengler did not hold back: "This economic competition in which the world today (in 1932) is engaged can be called by no other name than war, and it is, in face only, a continuation of the conflict of 1914-18 (World War I), with the important difference that from 1914 to 1918 one group of nations was aligned against another group of nations, whereas today (in 1932), for the time being, every nation is aligned against every other nation. The alignment of the future is still obscure, but indications are not lacking that unless the United States takes advantage of the supreme opportunity it has now, the alignment may be something very much like the world against America. 

 * It was noted Herbert Hoover was America's 31st President from 1929 to 1933 

"The movement toward autocracy, toward the erection of customs and trade barriers that tend in the direction of making every nation completely independent and isolated from every other nation, is nothing but a form of warfare. If this warfare continues the nations that are taking part in it will be easy victims of those nations that have remained outside the conflict. I reckon these nations to be Japan and the Soviet Union. 

"If France ceases to get 1 billion gold francs a year she must reduce her armaments. This is the real key to the French attitude toward reparations. But 50% of French heavy industry is dependent upon the manufacture of armaments. French heavy industry controls the money bags. The French politicians are businessmen. Any French politician who voluntarily accepted cancellation would be forsaken by the financiers. These financiers of French heavy industry could tolerate the reparations moratorium because, if for example it were agreed that for 3 years Germany should pay no more reparation, the French government would issue an international loan to raise the equivalent of the reparations over those 3 years, and with this money continue to supply the French armament industry with orders. These loans would be, in effect, mortgages on the resumption of reparations payments after 3 years. 

"If the reparations were cancelled for good, this method of financing armament would not be feasible. Therefore no French politician could afford voluntarily to agree to the cancellation of reparations. But neither can they prevent it, for France cannot conquer Germany. France is not like England. England understands how to conquer peoples and convert them into colonies. France has never understood this. She would like to make a colony of Germany but the French army, once it gets outside France, becomes bored with the task. It is beyond them. Furthermore, it is probable that the French people as a whole would not approve the reoccupation of Germany. The small Frenchman, the average Frenchman, remembers only one thing from the Ruhr (industrial city of Germany) invasion (in 1923 to 1925). He remembers that as a consequence of it, there came inflation of the franc and he lost four-fifths of his savings. He did not relish this and it is very unlikely that he will tolerate a possibility of its repetition. 

"For you (the United States), it is important to remember that if France were to occupy Germany, the United States and all other foreign creditors would certainly lose their entire investments here (the capitalized value of inter-allied debts to America was about $US5.6 billion). The inevitable consequence of French occupation of Germany would be not only the inflation of the mark. And it makes no difference that your loans were in dollars. The collapse of German currency would make it technically impossible for us to meet our private obligations (the approximate value of American investment in Germany was about $US3 billion). 

"If reparations are cancelled and France does not occupy Germany there seems to me to be a possibility that we may be able to pay our private debts. This depends on other factors. Chief among them is the rate of wages. I consider 2 elements largely responsible for the catastrophic accentuation of the world economic crisis, which is a crisis that really began in 1830 and has been growing for 100 years to its present (the 1930s) culmination. These factors were reparations and the exorbitant level of wages. 

"The working class all over the world was the only real victor in the war. In Russia today (in 1932) they rule 100%. In Germany today (in 1932) they have two-thirds of the power, in England one-half, in the United States one-third. Until their control is broken and wages are reduced to the economic level, there can be no hope of recovery even if reparations are abolished. For Germany, at any rate, there is no chance of breaking their control except under dictatorship independent of the vote of the masses. For this reason in looking at the future we must not overlook the National Socialist Party. 

"Today (in 1932) it is a party without leaders, without program. Its leaders are agitating. I hold it improbable that they will be able to obtain a parliamentary majority. Thus does not exclude the outlook for their coming into power. Once in power in the Reich, with control of the Reichswehr, I should not be surprised if their present leaders call into consultation an economic authority, say some Hamburg businessman who, equipped with dictatorial powers, could achieve decisive changes. Only such power could break the stranglehold of economic unions on our economic life. 

"Meanwhile the Western world continues its fratricidal economic warfare and the front against the United States begins to assume form. Benito Mussolini took the initial step by demanding all around repudiations. I hold it not impossible that France will be supported by Japan at the League of Nations, with the ultimate purpose of conquering South China and, from French Indo-China as a base, dividing up the Chinese nation into 2 zones, the North for Japan and the South for France. This would deprive the United States of one of its most important markets. 

"The United States still has a chance to avoid an otherwise unavoidable fate. Today (in 1932) the American government could call a conference at Washington to achieve final regulations of debts, of the armament question, of the problem of individual overproduction and world trade, and to check the plunge toward autocracy. If the United States called such a conference she would immediately assume the leadership of the world and could virtually dictate the solution desired. If she does not take advantage of this opportunity, if she insists on leaving the initiative to Europe, Europe will take the initiative and the results will not be pleasant for America. All nations that owe the United States will get together and repudiate. America will gain nothing. 

"I am reminded of the situation of 1878, when Otto von Bismarck called the Congress of Berlin. Russia was warring against Turkey. Russia troops stood before Constantinople (former capital city of the Roman and Byzantine). England would regard it as a casus belli (Latin word for 'case for war'). If England had entered into war, Austria and France would have been compelled to follow, world war was on the threshold. Bismarck, head of the nation least directly interested, called a conference of all parties. As a result Europe had 30 years of peace and Germany had its great period of prosperity and leadership. The opportunity Bismarck seized in 1878 is the opportunity offered to America today (in 1932). If she refuses it she may never have it again. It is certain, at any rate, that if America refuses it she will have to suffer passively what she actively could have remedied.

* It was noted the 1929 stock market crash ushered in the Great Depression that needed World War II, and the massive level of armaments production taken on by the United States, to finally bring the country out of the Depression after a decade of suffering.

"The sort of conference I mean would have 3 chief aims: To prevent a latent state of war between France and Germany, to prevent the formation of an international debtors front against the United States and to check the threat of Russian assumption of dominance over the Western world. Leadership today (in 1932) is America's for asking. Tomorrow it may go to Europe and possibly to the Soviet Union. Opportunity seldom comes twice. The next 50 years (to the year 1982) will show which state is to be master. Today (in 1932) it could be the United States. Your chance is now (in 1932)."

Of interest: Filmed predominantly around Napa Valley in California, 'Falcon Crest' made its television debut in December 1981. Of the 75 programs on prime time that season, only 4 of the new programs could be considered hits. 'Falcon Crest' was watched by approximately 21% of the homes in America with television during that season. And of the homes with TV switched on between 10:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. on Friday nights, 37% were watching 'Falcon Crest'.

Lorenzo Lamas recalled, "We had 3 incredible pluses on our side going in. To start with, we had Jane Wyman heading our cast...Then, 'Falcon Crest' was the brainchild of Earl Hamner, so we were...on a par with his 'The Waltons'. And then CBS had the wisdom to schedule our series directly after 'Dallas' on Friday night. If we couldn't make it there...we couldn't make it anywhere."

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