A Modern French Republic

By Pierre Mendès-France; Anne Carter | Go to book overview

PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION

THIS BOOK was written with a French audience in mind, and it is particularly concerned with the problems which France is facing at the present time.

Nevertheless, I am delighted to know that it is to be published in America -- as it has been, or soon will be, in a number of other countries -- because the questions raised in it affect democratically minded people everywhere where there is a rapidly expanding economy creating a very different frame from that of the nineteenth century. This is especially true of those affluent societies which have been the subject of so many reflections and studies in America.

Naturally the problems dealt with in this book will present themselves in very different terms in the United States or Canada from those which apply in western Europe, and France in particular. But we all face the need for a fresh attitude to the problem of reconciling the ideals of freedom and democracy with an efficiently-run State.

The way in which political institutions should be related to organised economic and social forces; methods by which political organisations can deal with economic affairs formerly outside their jurisdiction; the representation of and the degree of personal intervention by the ordinary citizen who is also a producer, a worker, a consumer: nowadays these preoccupations belong equally to all people, in all countries, who

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