Modern Politics and Administration: A Study of the Creative State

Modern Politics and Administration: A Study of the Creative State

Modern Politics and Administration: A Study of the Creative State

Modern Politics and Administration: A Study of the Creative State

Excerpt

"Governments have come to be engaged not merely in preventing wrong things from being done but in bringing it about that right things shall be done. A negative government requires only courage and consistency in its officials; but a positive government requires a constant supply of invention and suggestion."

--GRAHAM WALLAS

THE EXTENSIONS of governmental responsibility which are taking place all about us represent in the eyes of many of our compatriots novel and untried experiments in state activity. Some of them are; but for the most part the positive functions of government, which are the subject of so much remark and of no little perturbation, are merely the logical extension of developments which have progressed continuously over a considerable period of time. It is not the functions which are new; it is the realization that our political theories have not followed the actual progress of political and social evolution. As Thurman Arnold has said, "Government itself has not been quite as stationary as thinking about government has been." What is needed, therefore, is a realistic analysis of the changes in our economic life and in society which have produced the modern state, with its positive responsibilities and its emphasis upon service.

The nature of the state has been changing rapidly since the beginning of the present century. Government, which was once thought of primarily as restraint or control, is now chiefly characterized by assistance and service. The principal relationships of government today are to economics and to administration. It is essential, therefore, that an interpretation of present-day government should emphasize public administration and political economy. Most of the treatises on state activity written in the United States have stressed politics, to the almost utter disregard of public administration, the services of modern government, and the central importance of political economy. In this book, I have tried to lay equal emphasis on both.

The treatment is functional and analytical. Government is considered a response to the immediate wants and persistent desires of . . .

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