The Impasse of Democracy: A Study of the Modern Government in Action

The Impasse of Democracy: A Study of the Modern Government in Action

The Impasse of Democracy: A Study of the Modern Government in Action

The Impasse of Democracy: A Study of the Modern Government in Action

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to interpret the trends in government which are shared by all industrialized states. Beneath the veneer of ideologies -- democratic, fascist, communist -- there are strikingly similar changes taking place all over the world under the impact and interplay of technology and the psychological drives of man. In the search for these changes the concepts of social psychology, cultural anthropology, and sociology, as well as those of economics and political science, are fundamental and have proved fruitful tools of analysis. Those wishing to pursue this approach somewhat more fully are urged to read Appendices A and B in connection with Chapters II and III.

That the reader may not be burdened needlessly, the obvious and readily accessible factual material concerning the structure and history of the major governments of the world has been largely taken for granted. Those desiring to refresh their memory or systematize their knowledge concerning this factual material may find the necessary information in any good textbook on comparative government.

A word of explanation should be offered for the occasional excursions into the field of social philosophy. Social scientists as scientists may content themselves with observation and analysis. Once recommendations creep in, these scholars become not only social engineers but implicitly and inescapably social philosophers as well. Inasmuch as this book is frankly concerned with concrete recommendations, especially for the government of the United States, it is only fair to the reader to state my philosophy explicitly.

A preliminary draft of this work in mimeographed form was used as the basis of a seminar in the American University Graduate School. To my students in this seminar I owe a deep debt of gratitude for their penetrating criticisms of the material and their suggestions for its clarification.

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