THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF DEMO

THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF DEMO

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:26 am

THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF DEMOCRACIES TO THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION
by Michel J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, Joji Watanuki
© 1975 by the Trilateral Commission

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The Trilateral Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Western Europe, Japan, and North America to foster closer cooperation among these three regions on common problems. It seeks to improve public understanding of such problems, to support proposals for handling them jointly, and to nurture habits and practices of working together among these regions.

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Table of Contents

• Introductory Note
• The Authors
• Chapter 1: Introduction
1. The Current Pessimism About Democracy
2. The Challenges of Confronting Democratic Government
• Chapter 2: Western Europe
1. Are European Democracies Becoming Ungovernable?
1. The Overload of the Decision-Making Systems
2. Bureaucratic Weight and Civic Irresponsibility
3. The European Dimension
2. Social, Economic and Cultural Causes
1. The Increase of Social Interaction
2. The Impact of Economic Growth
3. The Collapse of Traditional Institutions
4. The Upsetting of the Intellectual World
5. The Mass Media
6. Inflation
3. The Role and Structure of Political Values
1. The Values Structure and the Problem of Rationality
2. Core Political Beliefs
3. The Impact of Social, Economic and Cultural Changes on the Principles of Rationality and on the Core Political Beliefs
4. Traditional Factors as a Counterweight
5. The Risks of Social and Political Regression
4. Conclusions: European Vulnerability
• Chapter 3: The United States
1. The Viability and Governability of American Democracy
2. The Expansion of Governmental Activity
3. The Decline in Governmental Authority
1. The Democratic Challenge to Authority
2. Decline in Public Confidence and Trust
3. The Decay of the Party System
4. The Shifting Balance Between Government and Opposition
4. The Democratic Distemper: Consequences
5. The Democratic Distemper: Causes
6. Conclusion: Toward a Democratic Balance
• Chapter 4: Japan
1. Japanese Democracy's Governability
1. External Conditions
2. Domestic Conditions and Capabilities
2. Changing Values, New Generations and Their Impact on the Governability of Japanese Democracy
1. Political Beliefs
2. Social and Economic Values
3. Consequences for and Future Perspectives on the Governability of Japanese Democracy
1. Time Lag
2. Decline of Leadership and Delay of Decisions
3. Vagaries of Urban, Educated Nonpartisans
4. The Place of the Communists in the Multiparty System
5. What Will Happen in the 1980s?
• Chapter 5: Conclusion
1. The Changing Context of Democratic Government
2. Consensus Without Purpose: The Rise of Anomic Democracy
3. The Dysfunctions of Democracy
1. The Delegitimation of Authority
2. The Overloading of Government
3. The Disaggregation of Interests
4. Parochialism in International Affairs
4. Variations Among Regions
• Appendices
o Appendix 1: Discussion of Study during Plenary Meeting of The Trilateral Commission-Kyoto, May 31, 1975
A. Arenas for Action
B. Excerpts of Remarks by Ralf Dahrendorf
C. Discussion of the Study
o Appendix 2: Canadian Perspectives on the Governability of Democracies -- Discussion in Montreal, May 16, 1975

"Fourth, rationality was always tempered by the limits of tradition and custom, and by the fragmentation of the problems. If limits disappear, if therefore rationality wins too much, if established authority—whether religious or social -- crumbles, rationality explodes; it becomes in a certain sense irrational.

If with this brief analysis of the crisis of modern rationality as a goal-structuring scheme we revert to our problems of governability of Western democracies, we can draw a first set of conclusions. There is no wonder that the concept of rationality has been put into question. Its own success was bound to make its contradictions explode. The cultural and moral breakdown of the late sixties therefore has expressed something important for the future. Whatever its vagaries and the dangerous threats it is presenting to the democratic way of government, it has above all exposed the illusions of traditional rationality and may help us learn a new kind of reasoning where professed values will not be the only guide for moral action.

The search for a broader kind of rationality, as well as the search for new kinds of social and organizational games that can embody it, is the major problem of Western societies. New social and psychological Utopias, such as the community drive, the encounter group philosophy, and the self-government dreams are useful tools for this search as well as dangerous illusions. Conversely, political reemphasis of local and regional ties may be as much a conservative "retro" fashion as a necessary axis for the renewal of governmental processes....

The communist parties have emerged more and more as the parties of order, whose leaders are the only ones able to make people work, and there has always been a very strong tendency to develop state socialism and public bureaucracy interference as the easy solution to manage the impossible, that is, to maintain order in the face of unmanageable conflicts....

The strength of the present communist parties of Western Europe does not lie, however, either in their revolutionary appeal or in their electoral capabilities. They must have enough of them certainly. But their unique superiority is their organizational one. They are the only institutions left in Western Europe where authority is not questioned, where a primitive but very efficient chain of command can manipulate a docile workforce, where there is a capacity to take hard decisions and adjust quickly, and where goods can be delivered and delays respected.

Authority may be heavy-handed in these parties and the close atmosphere they have maintained over their people has certainly been a brake to their development. Turnover has always been considerable. But granted these costs, their machine has remained extraordinarily efficient and its superiority has tremendously increased when other major institutions have begun to disintegrate. There is now no other institution in Europe, not even the state bureaucracies, that can match the communist parties' capabilities in this domain.

True enough, as long as the problem of order does not become central, they are out of the game; but if chaos should develop for a long enough time following a greater economic depression, they can provide the last solution....

For some of the Western countries the idea of nationalization, after years of oblivion and little ideological appeal, has become an issue again. In time of political chaos and economic depression it may appear as the last recourse to save employment and to equalize sacrifices. The communist parties are certainly better trained to administer the resulting confusion and to restore order to leaderless organizations. They will win then not because of their appeal but by default because the communists are the only ones capable of filling the void.

They have already shown proof of their capabilities. For instance they have shown remarkable efficiency in administering various cities in Italy and France; they have helped to restore order in Italian, French, and even German universities; and they have shown everywhere, even in Britain, how to influence key trade unions by using minority control devices. Their potential, therefore, is much higher at that level than it is at the electoral level or at the revolutionary level. And because of this potential they can attract experts and professionals of high caliber and also increase their capabilities on the technical side.

Nevertheless, the communists do have problems. The most pressing one is the danger of being contaminated by the general trends of the societies in which they have to operate, that is, to be unable to prevent the disintegration of their model of authority. This is why they take such great care to maintain their revolutionary identity. They have been protected by their minority ghetto-like status and as long as they can maintain it, their hard core membership has so deeply internalized their so far successful practices that they can stand the pressure of the environment for quite a long time.

They have a difficult game to play, nevertheless. They must be enough in to be present when high stakes are at issue, while remaining sufficiently out to maintain their organizational capacity. Their basic weakness lies in their difficulty in respecting the freedom-from belief and their incapacity to accept dualism. Can they govern and control societies whose core political beliefs are alien to them? Wouldn't they trigger an extremely strong backlash? It is a difficult question to answer because these societies are in the midst of a deep cultural transformation which affects, with the principles of rationality, the basis of their political strategy.

Let us just suggest that if the takeover would be sudden, an anticommunist backlash would be likely; but if the breakdown would be intensive and profound but also gradual, the communists coming to power could be very difficult to question.

-- Michel Crozier, "Are European Democracies Becoming Ungovernable?

***

[T]he signs of party decomposition could be interpreted as presaging not simply a realignment of parties within an ongoing system but rather a more fundamental decay and potential dissolution of the party system. In this respect, it could be argued that the American party system emerged during the Jacksonian years of the mid-nineteenth century, that it went through realignments in the 1850s, 1890s, and 1930s, but that it reached its peak in terms of popular commitment and organizational strength in the last decades of the nineteenth century, and that since then it has been going through a slow, but now accelerating, process of disintegration. To support this proposition, it could be argued that political parties are a political form peculiarly suited to the needs of industrial society and that the movement of the United States into a post-industrial phase hence means the end of the political party system as we have known it. If this be the case, a variety of critical issues must be faced. Is democratic government possible without political parties? If political participation is not organized by means of parties, how will it be organized? If parties decline, will not popular participation also drop significantly? In less developed countries, the principal alternative to party government is military government. Do the highly developed countries have a third alternative?...

Finally, a government which lacks authority and which is committed to substantial domestic programs will have little ability, short of a cataclysmic crisis, to impose on its people the sacrifices which may be necessary to deal with foreign policy problems and defense. In the early 1970s, as we have seen, spending for all significant programs connected with the latter purposes was far more unpopular than spending for any major domestic purpose. The U.S. government has given up the authority to draft its citizens into the armed forces and is now committed to providing the monetary incentives to attract volunteers with a stationary or declining percentage of the Gross National Product. At the present time, this would appear to pose no immediate deleterious consequences for national security. The question necessarily arises, however, of whether in the future, if a new threat to security should materialize, as it inevitably will at some point, the government will possess the authority to command the resources and the sacrifices necessary to meet that threat.

The implications of these potential consequences of the democratic distemper extend far beyond the United States. For a quarter-century the United States was the hegemonic power in a system of world order. The manifestations of the democratic distemper, however, have already stimulated uncertainty among allies and could well stimulate adventurism among enemies. If American citizens don't trust their government, why should friendly foreigners? If American citizens challenge the authority of American government, why shouldn't unfriendly governments? The turning inward of American attention and the decline in the authority of American governing institutions are closely related, as both cause and effect, to the relative downturn in American power and influence in world affairs. A decline in the governability of democracy at home means a decline in the influence of democracy abroad.....

Al Smith once remarked that "the only cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy." Our analysis suggests that applying that cure at the present time could well be adding fuel to the flames. Instead, some of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy—an "excess of democracy" in much the same sense in which David Donald used the term to refer to the consequences of the Jacksonian revolution which helped to precipitate the Civil War. Needed, instead, is a greater degree of moderation in democracy.

In practice, this moderation has two major areas of application. First, democracy is only one way of constituting authority, and it is not necessarily a universally applicable one. In many situations the claims of expertise, seniority, experience, and special talents may override the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority. During the surge of the 1960s, however, the democratic principle was extended to many institutions where it can, in the long run, only frustrate the purposes of those institutions. A university where teaching appointments are subject to approval by students may be a more democratic university but it is not likely to be a better university. In similar fashion, armies in which the commands of officers have been subject to veto by the collective wisdom of their subordinates have almost invariably come to disaster on the battlefield. The arenas where democratic procedures are appropriate are, in short, limited.

Second, the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups. In the past, every democratic society has had a marginal population, of greater or lesser size, which has not actively participated in politics. In itself, this marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic, but it has also been one of the factors which has enabled democracy to function effectively. Marginal social groups, as in the case of the blacks, are now becoming full participants in the political system. Yet the danger of overloading the political system with demands which extend its functions and undermine its authority still remains. Less marginality on the part of some groups thus needs to be replaced by more self-restraint on the part of all groups.

The Greek philosophers argued that the best practical state would combine several different principles of government in its constitution. The Constitution of 1787 was drafted with this insight very much in mind. Over the years, however, the American political system has emerged as a distinctive case of extraordinarily democratic institutions joined to an exclusively democratic value system. Democracy is more of a threat to itself in the United States than it is in either Europe or Japan where there still exist residual inheritances of traditional and aristocratic values. The absence of such values in the United States produces a lack of balance in society which, in turn, leads to the swing back and forth between creedal passion and creedal passivity. Political authority is never strong in the United States, and it is peculiarly weak during a creedal passion period of intense commitment to democratic and egalitarian ideals. In the United States, the strength of democracy poses a problem for the governability of democracy in a way which is not the case elsewhere.

The vulnerability of democratic government in the United States thus comes not primarily from external threats, though such threats are real, nor from internal subversion from the left or the right, although both possibilities could exist, but rather from the internal dynamics of democracy itself in a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society. "Democracy never lasts long, " John Adams observed. "It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." That suicide is more likely to be the product of overindulgence than of any other cause. A value which is normally good in itself is not necessarily optimized when it is maximized. We have come to recognize that there are potentially desirable limits to economic growth. There are also potentially desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy. Democracy will have a longer life if it has a more balanced existence.

-- Samuel P. Huntington, "The United States"

***

Although it depends on the definition of governability, in any understanding of governability as a synthetic capability relating the governing and the governed, the quality of bureaucracy, as the governing framework or as an intermediary between the governing and the governed or as an autonomous third force, has special significance. In this respect, the Japanese bureaucracy seems to deserve some attention. Historically, the Japanese bureaucracy was formed after the Prussian model, legacies of which remain even today in formalistic legalism and alleged neutralism which does not, however, prevent the high bureaucrats from committing themselves to partisan stands of the governing party, as representing the interest of the state. Many high-level bureaucrats, after retirement, have joined the LDP and, after their successful election, have become key figures in the governing party. The bureaucrats on duty are, however, fairly autonomous under the control of administrative vice-ministers, and the elite bureaucratic corps has a high degree of esprit de corps, similar to the British Civil Service. During the recent period of economic growth, mainly in the Ministries of Finance and of International Trade and Industry, and in the Economic Planning Agency, technocrats, consisting primarily of economic specialists, have been gaining power, and in this predominance of technocrats, Japanese bureaucracy can be compared with the French bureaucracy.

Thus, the capability of Japanese bureaucracy can be evaluated as rather high. The members of the elite bureaucratic corps, consisting of those who passed the higher civil service examination—whose number is still limited to 400 or so annually in this age of expansion of higher education with 1.5 million university students, are really elite both in terms of their initial caliber and the opportunities for training and accumulation of administrative experience given to them during their careers. This elite bureaucratic corps of about 10,000 is still prepared today to work twenty-four hours per day and seven days a week if necessary, because of its privileged position of good care and faster promotion and the prevailing ethos of diligence and self-sacrifice in the elite.

-- Joji Watanuki, "Japan"

***

If ever there was a democratic success story, it was written by the Trilateral societies during the quarter-century following World War II. The components of that success included: generally positive and broad-gauged political leadership within individual countries and by the United States for the community of democratic nations; sustained and, for some countries, spectacular economic growth; widespread social and economic amelioration, involving a lessening of class conflict and the assimilation of substantial portions of the population to middle-class values, attitudes, and consumption patterns; and successful resistance, on a collective and individual basis, to the challenges posed externally by Soviet military might and internally by communist party strength.

During these years democratic institutions, mostly of a parliamentary nature, demonstrated their viability in all the Trilateral societies; liberal, conservative, social democratic, and Christian democratic parties competed with each other in regular elections and shared the responsibilities of government and the opportunities for opposition; individual citizens and organized groups participated more actively in the politics of their societies than they had previously; the rights of the citizen against the state became more firmly guaranteed and protected; and new institutions for international collaboration among democratic societies emerged in Europe for economic and political purposes, between North America and Europe for military purposes, and among Europe, North America, and Japan for economic purposes.

This happy congruence of circumstances for democracy has come to an end. The challenges which democratic governments now face are the products of these past successes as well as of the changes in past trends. The incorporation of substantial elements of the population into the middle classes has escalated their expectations and aspirations, thereby causing a more intense reaction if these are not met in reality. Broadened political participation has increased the demands on government. Widespread material well-being has caused a substantial portion of the population, particularly among the young and the "intellectual" professional classes, to adopt new life-styles and new social-political values. Internationally, confrontation has given way to detente, with a resultant relaxation of constraints within societies and of the impetus to collaborate among societies. There has been a substantial relative decline in American military and economic power, and a major absolute decline in American willingness to assume the burdens of leadership. And most recently, the temporary slowdown in economic growth has threatened the expectations created by previous growth, while still leaving existent the "post-bourgeois" values which it engendered among the youth and intellectuals....

Quite apart from the substantive policy issues confronting democratic government, many specific problems have arisen which seem to be an intrinsic part of the functioning of democracy itself. The successful operation of democratic government has given rise to tendencies which impede that functioning.

(1) The pursuit of the democratic virtues of equality and individualism has led to the delegitimation of authority generally and the loss of trust in leadership.

(2) The democratic expansion of political participation and involvement has created an "overload" on government and the imbalanced expansion of governmental activities, exacerbating inflationary tendencies in the economy.

(3) The political competition essential to democracy has intensified, leading to a disaggregation of interests and the decline and fragmentation of political parties.

(4) The responsiveness of democratic government to the electorate and to societal pressures encourages nationalistic parochialism in the way in which democratic societies conduct their foreign relations.....

For well over 200 years in Western societies, a struggle has been underway to defend the freedom of the press to investigate, to criticize, to report, and to publish its findings and opinions against the efforts by government officials to curb that freedom. Freedom of the press is absolutely essential to the effective working of democratic government. Like any freedom, however, it is a freedom which can be abused. Recent years have seen an immense growth in the scope and power of the media. In many countries, in addition, either as a result of editorial direction or as a result of the increasing influence of the journalists vis-a-vis owners and editors, the press has taken an increasingly critical role towards government and public officials. In some countries, traditional norms of "objectivity" and "impartiality" have been brushed aside in favor of "advocatory journalism." The responsibility of the press should now be increased to be commensurate with its power; significant measures are required to restore an appropriate balance between the press, the government, and other institutions in society.

These recent changes in the press-government relationship are perhaps most clearly marked in the United States. The increase in media power is not unlike the rise of the industrial corporations to national power at the end of the nineteenth century. Just as the corporations enveloped themselves in the constitutional protection of the due process clause, the media now defend themselves in terms of the First Amendment. [i] In both cases, there obviously are important rights to be protected, but broader interests of society and government are also at stake. In due course, beginning with the Interstate Commerce Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act, [ii] measures had to be taken to regulate the new industrial centers of power and to define their relations to the rest of society. Something comparable appears to be now needed with respect to the media. Specifically, there is a need to insure to the press its right to print what it wants without prior restraint except in most unusual circumstances. But there is also the need to assure to the government the right and the ability to withhold information at the source. In addition, there is no reason for denying to public officials equal protection of the laws against libel, and the courts should consider moving promptly to reinstate the law of libel as a necessary and appropriate check upon the abuses of power by the press. Journalists should develop their own standards of professionalism and create mechanisms, such as press councils, for enforcing those standards on themselves. The alternative could well be regulation by the government...

The 1960s saw a tremendous expansion in higher education throughout the Trilateral societies....The result of this expansion, however, can be the overproduction of people with university education in relation to the jobs available for them, the expenditure of substantial sums of scarce public monies and the imposition on the lower classes of taxes to pay for the free public education of the children of the middle and upper classes. The expansion of higher education can create frustrations and psychological hardships among university graduates who are unable to secure the types of jobs to which they believe their education entitles them, and it can also create frustrations and material hardships for nongraduates who are unable to secure jobs which were previously open to them.

In the United States, some retrenchment in higher education is already underway as a result of slower growth in enrollments and new ceilings on resources. What seems needed, however, is to relate educational planning to economic and political goals. Should a college education be provided generally because of its contribution to the overall cultural level of the populace and its possible relation to the constructive discharge of the responsibilities of citizenship? If this question is answered in the affirmative, a program is then necessary to lower the job expectations of those who receive a college education. If the question is answered in the negative, then higher educational institutions should be induced to redesign their programs so as to be geared to the patterns of economic development and future job opportunities.

-- Conclusion

-- The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, by Michael J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, Joji Watanuki
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:28 am

INTRODUCTORY NOTE

Is democracy in crisis? This question is being posed with increasing urgency by some of the leading statesmen of the West, by columnists and scholars, and—if public opinion polls are to be trusted—even by the publics. In some respects, the mood of today is reminiscent of that of the early twenties, when the views of Oswald Spengler regarding "The Decline of the West" were highly popular. This pessimism is echoed, with obvious Schadenfreude, by various communist observers, who speak with growing confidence of "the general crisis of capitalism" and who see in it the confirmation of their own theories.

The report which follows is not a pessimistic document. Its authors believe that, in a fundamental sense, the democratic systems are viable. They believe, furthermore, that democracies can work provided their publics truly understand the nature of the democratic system, and particularly if they are sensitive to the subtle interrelationship between liberty and responsibility. Their discussion of "The Crisis of Democracy" is designed to make democracy stronger as it grows and becomes more and more democratic. Their conclusions -- doubtless in some respects provocative -- are designed to serve that overriding objective.

The Trilateral Commission decided to undertake this project because it has felt, rightly in my view, that the vitality of our political systems is a central precondition for the shaping of a stable international order and for the fashioning of more cooperative relations among our regions. Though very much concerned with issues pertaining to foreign affairs, trilateral as well as East-West and North-South, the Trilateral Commission has promoted the study which follows in the belief that at this juncture it is important for the citizens of our democracies to reexamine the basic premises and the workings of our systems. This rethinking can contribute, it is our hope, to the promotion of the central purposes of the democratic system of government: the combination of personal liberty with the enhancement of social progress.

This report has been prepared for the Trilateral Commission and is released under its auspices. The Commission is making the report available for wider distribution as a contribution to informed discussion and handling of the issues treated. The report was discussed at the Trilateral Commission meetings in Kyoto, Japan, on May 30-31, 1975. The authors, who are experts from North America, Western Europe and Japan, have been free to present their own views.

The report is the joint responsibility of the three rapporteurs of the Trilateral Commission's Task Force on the Governability of Democracies, which was set up in the spring of 1974 and which submitted its report in the spring of 1975. The chapter on Japan is the work of Joji Watanuki. The chapter on Western Europe is the work of Michel Crozier. The chapter on the United States is the work of Samuel P. Huntington.

Although only the three authors are responsible for the analysis and conclusions, they were aided in their task by consultations with experts from the trilateral regions. In each case, consultants spoke for themselves as individuals and not as representatives of any institutions with which they are associated. Those consulted included the following:

Robert R. Bowie, Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Director, The Trilateral Commission

James Cornford, Professor of Politics, University of Edinburgh

George S. Franklin, North American Secretary, The Trilateral Commission

Donald M. Fraser, United States House of Representatives

Karl Kaiser, Director, Research Institute of the German Society for Foreign Policy

Seymour Martin Lipset, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

John Meisel, Professor of Political Science, Queen's University

Erwin Scheuch, Professor of Political Science, University of Cologne

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Professor of Humanities, The City University of New York

Gerard C. Smith, North American Chairman, The Trilateral Commission

Yasumasa Tanaka, Professor of Political Science, Gakushuin University

Tadashi Yamamoto, Japanese Secretary, The Trilateral Commission

In the course of its work, the task force held a number of joint meetings:

April 20-21, 1974—Rapporteurs and Brzezinski met in Palo Alto, California, to develop general outline of report.

November 11-12, 1974—Rapporteurs and Brzezinski met in London to consider first drafts of regional chapters and establish more precise outline of study.

February 22-23, 1975—Rapporteurs met with experts from Trilateral regions in New York City, considered second drafts of regional chapters and draft of Introduction.

May 31, 1975—Full draft of study debated in plenary meeting of The Trilateral Commission in Kyoto.

I would like to express our appreciation for the energy and dedication shown by Charles Heck and Gertrude Werner in preparing this book for publication.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
Director
The Trilateral Commission

THE AUTHORS

MICHEL CROZIER is the founder and director of the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations in Paris and Senior Research Director of the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique. Born in 1922 in northern France, Professor Crozier received his higher education at the University of Paris. He has been a regular consultant to the French government on matters of economic planning, education, and public administration. He has lectured and taught at a number of North American universities, including three years at Harvard (1966-67, 1968- 70) and two years at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (1959-60, 1973-74). Among the books which Professor Crozier has written are The Bureaucratic Phenomenon (1964) and The Stalled Society (1970). He was President of the French Sociological Association in 1970-72.

SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON is Frank G. Thomson Professor of Government at Harvard University and Associate Director of Harvard's Center for International Affairs. He is also a founder and editor of the quarterly journal, Foreign Policy. Born in 1927 in New York City, Professor Huntington was educated at Yale University (B.A., 1946), the University of Chicago (M.A., 1949), and Harvard University (Ph.D., 1951). He taught at Harvard University from 1950 to 1958, then was Associate Director of the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University from 1959 to 1962, when he returned to Harvard. Professor Huntington has been a consultant to the Policy Planning Council of the Department of State, the Agency for International Development, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and other organizations. Among the books which he has written are Political Order in Changing Societies (1968) and The Common Defense: Strategic Programs in National Politics (1961).

He is coauthor with Zbigniew Brzezinski of Political Power: USA/USSR (1964).

JOJI WATANUKI is Professor of Sociology at Sophia University (Tokyo), where he is associated with the Institute of International Relations for Advanced Studies on Peace and Development in Asia. Born in 1931, in Los Angeles, Professor Watanuki received his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Tokyo. He taught in the Department of Sociology of the University of Tokyo from 1960 to 1971, when he joined the Sophia University faculty. Professor Watanuki has spent a number of years teaching and doing research at universities in the United States. He was at Princeton University in 1962-63 (Rockefeller Foundation Fellow and Visiting Fellow) and at the University of California at Berkeley in 1963-64 (Research Associate at Institute of International Studies). He was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa in 1969-70, and a Senior Scholar in the Communications Institute of the East-West Center in Honolulu in 1973. Professor Watanuki has written numerous articles and books. Among the latter are Gendai Seiji to Shakai Hendo [Contemporary Politics and Social Change] (1962) and Nihon no Seiji Shakai [Japanese Political Society] (1967).
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:43 am

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

1. THE CURRENT PESSIMISM ABOUT DEMOCRACY


For almost a quarter-century the Trilateral countries have shared a tripartite interest in military security, economic development, and political democracy. They have coordinated their efforts to provide for their common defense. They have cooperated together in the tasks of economic reconstruction, industrial development, and the promotion of trade, investment, and welfare within a framework of common international economic institutions. They have brought the comforts— and the anxieties—of middle-class status to a growing majority of their peoples. In somewhat parallel fashion, they have, also, each in its own way, developed and consolidated their own particular forms of political democracy, involving universal suffrage, regular elections, party competition, freedom of speech and assembly. After twenty-five years, it is not surprising that earlier assumptions and policies relating to military security need to be reviewed and altered in the light of the changed circumstances. Nor is it surprising that the policies and institutions of the postwar economic system based on the preeminence of the dollar are in need of a drastic overhaul. Governments, after all, have traditionally existed to deal with problems of security and economics, and, individually and collectively, to adapt their policies in these areas to changing environments.

What is much more disturbing, because it is more surprising, is the extent to which it appears that the process of reconsideration must extend not only to these familiar arenas of governmental policy but also to the basic institutional framework through which governments govern. What are in doubt today are not just the economic and military policies but also the political institutions inherited from the past. Is political democracy, as it exists today, a viable form of government for the industrialized countries of Europe, North America, and Asia? Can these countries continue to function during the final quarter of the twentieth century with the forms of political democracy which they evolved during the third quarter of that century?

In recent years, acute observers on all three continents have seen a bleak future for democratic government. Before leaving office, Willy Brandt was reported to believe that "Western Europe has only 20 or 30 more years of democracy left in it; after that it will slide, engineless and rudderless, under the surrounding sea of dictatorship, and whether the dictation comes from a politburo or a junta will not make that much difference." If Britain continues to be unable to resolve the seemingly unresolvable problems of inflation-cum-prospective depression, observed one senior British official, "parliamentary democracy would ultimately be replaced by a dictatorship." "Japanese democracy will collapse," warned Takeo Miki in his first days in office, unless major reforms can be carried out and "the people's confidence in politics" be restored. [1] The image which recurs in these and other statements is one of the disintegration of civil order, the breakdown of social discipline, the debility of leaders, and the alienation of citizens. Even what have been thought to be the most civic of industrialized societies have been held to be prey to these disabilities, as observers speak of the Vietnamization of America and the Italianization of Britain.

This pessimism about the future of democracy has coincided with a parallel pessimism about the future of economic conditions. Economists have rediscovered the fifty-year Kondratieff cycle, according to which 1971 (like 1921) should have marked the beginning of a sustained economic downturn from which the industrialized capitalist world would not emerge until close to the end of the century. The implication is that just as the political developments of the 1920s and 1930s furnished the ironic—and tragic—aftermath to a war fought to make the world safe for democracy, so also the 1970s and 1980s might furnish a similarly ironic political aftermath to twenty years of sustained economic development designed in part to make the world prosperous enough for democracy.

Social thought in Western Europe and North America tends to go through Pollyanna and Cassandra phases. The prevalence of pessimism today does not mean that this pessimism necessarily is well founded. That such pessimism has not been well founded in the past also does not mean that it is necessarily ill founded at present. A principal purpose of this report is to identify and to analyze the challenges confronting democratic government in today's world, to ascertain the bases for optimism or pessimism about the future of democracy, and to suggest whatever innovations may seem appropriate to make democracy more viable in the future.

2. THE CHALLENGES CONFRONTING DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT

The current pessimism seems to stem from the conjunction of three types of challenges to democratic government.

First, contextual challenges: arise autonomously from the external environments in which democracies operate and are not directly a product of the functioning of democratic government itself. The Czechoslovak government, for instance, is less democratic today than it might otherwise be not because of anything over which it had any control. A severe reversal in foreign relations, such as either a military disaster or diplomatic humiliation, is likely to pose a challenge to regime stability. Defeat in war is usually fatal to any system of government, including a democratic one. (Conversely, the number of regimes in complex societies which have been overthrown in circumstances not involving foreign defeat is extremely small: all regimes, including democratic ones, benefit from a Law of Political Inertia which tends to keep them functioning until some external force interposes itself.) So, also, worldwide depression or inflation may be caused by factors which are external to any particular society and which are not caused directly by the operation of democratic government; and yet they may present serious problems to the functioning of democracy. The nature and seriousness of the contextual challenges may vary significantly from one country to another, reflecting differences in size, history, location, culture, and level of development. In combination, these factors may produce few contextual challenges to democracy, as was generally the case, for instance, in nineteenth-century America, or they may create an environment which makes the operation of democracy extremely difficult, as for instance in Weimar Germany.

Changes in the international distribution of economic, political, and military power and in the relations both among the Trilateral societies and between them and the Second and Third Worlds now confront the democratic societies with a set of interrelated contextual challenges which did not exist in the same way a decade ago. The problems of inflation, commodity shortages, international monetary stability, the management of economic interdependence, and collective military security affect all the Trilateral societies. They constitute the critical policy issues on the agenda for collective action. [2] At the same time* however, particular issues pose special problems for particular countries. With the most active foreign policy of any democratic country, the United States is far more vulnerable to defeats in that area than other democratic governments, which, attempting less, also risk less. Given the relative decline in its military, economic, and political influence, the United States is more likely to face serious military or diplomatic reversal during the coming years than at any previous time in its history. If this does occur, it could pose a traumatic shock to American democracy. The United States is, on the other hand, reasonably well equipped to deal with many economic problems which would constitute serious threats to a resource-short and trade-dependent country like Japan.

These contextual challenges would pose major issues of policy and institutional innovation in the best of circumstances. They arise, however, at a time when democratic governments are also confronted with other serious problems stemming from the social evolution and political dynamics of their own societies. The viability of democracy in a country clearly is related to the social structure and social trends in that country. A social structure in which wealth and learning were concentrated in the hands of a very few would not be conducive to democracy; nor would a society deeply divided between two polarized ethnic or regional groups. In the history of the West, industrialization and democratization moved ahead in somewhat parallel courses, although in Germany, democratization lagged behind industrialization. Outside the West, in Japan, the lag was also considerable. In general, however, the development of cities and the emergence of the bourgeoisie diversified the sources of power, led to the assertion of personal and property rights against the state, and helped to make government more representative of the principal groups in society. The power of traditional aristocratic groups hostile to democracy tended to decline. Subsequently, democratic trends were challenged, in some cases successfully, by the rise of fascist movements appealing to the economic insecurities and nationalistic impulses of lower-middle-class groups, supported by the remaining traditional authoritarian structure. Japan also suffered from a reactionary military establishment, against which the bourgeoisie found itself too weak to struggle and to be able to coexist. In addition, in many countries, communist parties developed substantial strength among the working class, advocating the overthrow of "bourgeois democracy" in the name of revolutionary socialism. The political and organizational legacy of this phase still exists in France and Italy, although it is by no means as clear as it once was that communist participation in the government of either country would necessarily be the prelude to the death of democracy there. Thus, at one time or another, threats to the viability of democratic government have come from the aristocracy, the military, the middle classes, and the working class. Presumably, as social evolution occurs, additional threats may well arise from other points in the social structure.

At the present time, a significant challenge comes from the intellectuals and related groups who assert their disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of democratic government to "monopoly capitalism." The development of an "adversary culture" among intellectuals has affected students, scholars, and the media. Intellectuals are, as Schumpeter put it, "people who wield the power of the spoken and the written word, and one of the touches that distinguish them from other people who do the same is the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs." [3] In some measure, the advanced industrial societies have spawned a stratum of value-oriented intellectuals who often devote themselves to the derogation of leadership, the challenging of authority, and the unmasking and delegitimation of established institutions, their behavior contrasting with that of the also increasing numbers of technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals. In an age of widespread secondary school and university education, the pervasiveness of the mass media, and the displacement of manual labor by clerical and professional employees, this development constitutes a challenge to democratic government which is, potentially at least, as serious as those posed in the past by the aristocratic cliques, fascist movements, and communist parties.

In addition to the emergence of the adversary intellectuals and their culture, a parallel and possibly related trend affecting the viability of democracy concerns broader changes in social values. In all three Trilateral regions, a shift in values is taking place away from the materialistic work-oriented, public-spirited values toward those which stress private satisfaction, leisure, and the need for "belonging and intellectual and esthetic self-fulfillment." [4] These values are, of course, most notable in the younger generation. They often coexist with greater skepticism towards political leaders and institutions and with greater alienation from the political processes. They tend to be privatistic in their impact and import. The rise of this syndrome of values is presumably related to the relative affluence in which most groups in the Trilateral societies came to share during the economic expansion of the 1960s. The new values may not survive recession and resource shortages. But if they do, they pose an additional new problem for democratic government in terms of its ability to mobilize its citizens for the achievement of social and political goals and to impose discipline and sacrifice upon its citizens in order to achieve those goals.

Finally, and perhaps most seriously, there are the intrinsic challenges to the viability of democratic government which grow directly out of the functioning of democracy. Democratic government does not necessarily function in a self-sustaining or self-correcting equilibrium fashion. It may instead function so as to give rise to forces and tendencies which, if unchecked by some outside agency, will eventually lead to the undermining of democracy. This was, of course, a central theme in de Tocqueville's forebodings about democracy; it reappeared in the writings of Schumpeter and Lippmann; it is a key element in the current pessimism about the future of democracy.

The contextual challenges differ, as we have seen, for each society. Variations in the nature of the particular democratic institutions and processes in each society may also make some types of intrinsic challenges more prominent in one society than in another. But, overall, the intrinsic threats are general ones which are in some degree common to the operation of all democratic systems. The more democratic a system is, indeed, the more likely it is to be endangered by intrinsic threats. Intrinsic challenges are, in this sense, more serious than extrinsic ones. Democracies may be able to avoid, moderate, or learn to live with contextual challenges to their viability. There is deeper reason for pessimism if the threats to democracy arise ineluctably from the inherent workings of the democratic process itself. Yet, in recent years, the operations of the democratic process do indeed appear to have generated a breakdown of traditional means of social control, a delegitimation of political and other forms of authority, and an overload of demands on government, exceeding its capacity to respond.

The current pessimism about the viability of democratic government stems in large part from the extent to which contextual threats, societal trends, and intrinsic challenges have simultaneously manifested themselves in recent years. A democratic system which was not racked by intrinsic weaknesses stemming from its own performance as a democracy could much more easily deal with contextual policy challenges. A system which did not have such significant demands imposed upon it by its external environment might be able to correct the deficiencies which arose out of its own operations. It is, however, the conjunction of the policy problems arising from the contextual challenges, the decay in the social base of democracy manifested in the rise of oppositionist intellectuals and privatistic youth, and the imbalances stemming from the actual operations of democracy itself which make the governability of democracy a vital and, indeed, an urgent issue for the Trilateral societies.

This combination of challenges seems to create a situation in which the needs for longer-term and more broadly formulated purposes and priorities, for a greater overall coherence of policy, appear at the same time that the increasing complexity of the social order, increasing political pressures on government, and decreasing legitimacy of government make it more and more difficult for government to achieve these goals.

The demands on democratic government grow, while the capacity of democratic government stagnates. This, it would appear, is the central dilemma of the governability of democracy which has manifested itself in Europe, North America, and Japan in the 1970s.

_______________

Notes:

1 See The New York Times, October 7, 1974; The Economist, March 23, 1974, p. 12; Geoffrey Barraclough, "The End of an Era," New York Review of Books, June 27, 1974, p. 14.

2 Many of these issues have been dealt with in the reports of other Trilateral Commission task forces. See particularly Triangle Papers nos. 1-7, embodying reports on the world monetary system, international cooperation, North-South economic relations, world trade, and energy.

3 Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (New York: Harper & Bros., 2d ed., 1947), p. 147.

4 See Ronald Inglehart, "The Silent Revolution in Europe: Intergenerational Change in Postindustrial Societies," American Political Science Review, 65 (December 1971), pp. 991 ff.
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:48 am

PART 1 OF 2

CHAPTER 2: WESTERN EUROPE

Michel Crozier

1. ARE EUROPEAN DEMOCRACIES BECOMING UNGOVERNABLE?

The vague and persistent feeling that democracies have become ungovernable has been growing steadily in Western Europe. The case of Britain has become the most dramatic example of this malaise, not because it is the worst example but because Britain, which had escaped all the vagaries of continental politics, had always been considered everywhere as the mother and the model of democratic processes. Its contemporary troubles seem to announce the collapse of these democratic processes or at least their incapacity to answer the challenges of modern times.

Certainly appearances remain safe in most West European countries but almost everywhere governing coalitions are weak and vulnerable while alternative coalitions seem to be as weak and possibly even more contradictory. At the same time decisions have to be taken whose consequences may be far-reaching while the governing processes, because of the conjunction of contradictory pressures, seem to be capable of producing only erratic results.

These difficulties are compounded by the existence of Europe as a problem. The whirlpool of each national governing system has more and more restrained the margin of freedom on which progress in European unification can be built. The European bureaucracy, which had been for a time a useful protective device for making rational solutions more acceptable, has now lost its role. Contradictions at the governing level therefore tend to grow while governments are forced to be much more nation-centered and much less reliable.

Each country, of course, is substantially different. The main characteristic of Western Europe is its diversity. But across the widely different practices and rationalizations, two basic characteristics hold true about the basic problem of governability:

• The European political systems are overloaded with participants and demands, and they have increasing difficulty in mastering the very complexity which is the natural result of their economic growth and political development.

• The bureaucratic cohesiveness they have to sustain in order to maintain their capacity to decide and implement tends to foster irresponsibility and the breakdown of consensus, which increase in turn the difficulty of their task.

1. The Overload of the Decision-Making Systems

The superiority of democracies has often been ascribed to their basic openness. Open systems, however, give better returns only under certain conditions. They are threatened by entropy if they cannot maintain or develop proper regulations. European democracies have been only partially and sometimes theoretically open. Their regulations were built on a subtle screening of participants and demands; and if we can talk of overload, notwithstanding the progress made in handling complexity, it is because this traditional model of screening and government by distance has gradually broken down to the point that the necessary regulations have all but disappeared.

There are a number of interrelated reasons for this situation. First of all, social and economic developments have made it possible for a great many more groups and interests to coalesce. Second, the information explosion has made it difficult if not impossible to maintain the traditional distance that was deemed necessary to govern. Third, the democratic ethos makes it difficult to prevent access and restrict information, while the persistence of the bureaucratic processes which had been associated with the traditional governing systems makes it impossible to handle them at a low enough level. Because of the instant information model and because of this lack of self-regulating subsystems, any kind of minor conflict becomes a governmental problem.

These convergences and contradictions have given rise to a growing paradox. While it has been traditionally believed that the power of the state depended on the number of decisions it could take, the more decisions the modern state has to handle, the more helpless it becomes. Decisions do not only bring power; they also bring vulnerability. The modern European state's basic weakness is its liability to blackmailing tactics.

Another series of factors tending to overload all industrial or post- industrial social systems develops from the natural complexity which is the result of organizational growth, systemic interdependence, and the shrinking of a world where fewer and fewer consequences can be treated as acceptable externalities. European societies not only do not escape this general trend, they also do not face it with the necessary increase of governing capacities. Politicians and administrators have found it easier and more expedient to give up to complexity. They tend to accommodate to it and even to use it as a useful smoke screen. One can give access to more groups and more demands without having to say no and one can maintain and expand one's own freedom of action or, in more unpleasant terms, one's own irresponsibility. [1]

Beyond a certain degree of complexity, however, nobody can control the outcomes of one system; government credibility declines; decisions come from nowhere; citizens' alienation develops and irresponsible blackmail increases, thus feeding back into the circle: One might argue that the Lindblom model of partisan mutual adjustment would give a natural order to this chaotic bargaining, but this does not seem to be the case because the fields are at the same time poorly structured and not regulated. [2]

One might also wonder why European nations should suffer more complexity and more overload than the United States, which obviously has a more complex system open to more participants. But overload and complexity are only relative to the capacity to handle them, and the present weakness of the European nations comes from the fact that their capacity is much lower because their tradition has not enabled them to build decision-making systems based on these premises. This judgment about the European nation-states' decision-making capabilities may be surprising since European countries, like Britain and France, pride themselves in having the best possible elite corps of professional decision-makers, in many ways better trained or at least better selected than their American counterparts. The seeming paradox can be understood if one accepts the idea that decision-making is not done only by top civil servants and politicians but is the product of bureaucratic processes taking place in complex organizations and systems. If these processes are routine-oriented and cumbersome, and these organizations and systems overly rigid, communications will be difficult, no regulation will prevent blackmail, and poor structure will increase the overload. For all their sophistication, modern decision-making techniques do not seem to have helped very much yet because the problem is political or systemic and not a technical one.

One of the best examples of their failure has been shown in a recent comparative study of the way two similar decisions were made in Paris in the 1890s and in the 1960s: the decision to build the first Parisian subway and the decision to build the new regional express transit system. This comparison shows a dramatic decline in the capacity to take rational decisions between the two periods. The 1890s decision gave rise to a very difficult but lively political debate and was a slow decision-making sequence, but it was arrived at on sound premises financially, economically, and socially. The 1960s decision was made in semisecret, without open political debate, but with a tremendous amount of lobbying and intrabureaucratic conflict. Its results, when one analyzes the outcomes, were strikingly poorer in terms of social, economic, and financial returns. It seems that the elite professional decision-makers backed up with sophisticated tools could not do as well as their less brilliant predecessors, while the technical complexity of the decision was certainly not greater. The only striking difference is the tremendous increase in the level of complexity of the system and its dramatic overload due to its confusing centralization. [3]

It is true that there are many differences among the European countries in this respect and one should not talk too hastily of common European conditions. There is quite a strong contrast, for example, between a country like Sweden, which has developed an impressive capability for handling complex problems by relieving ministerial staffs of the burden of administrative and technical decisions and by allocating considerable decision-making powers to strengthened local authorities, and a country like Italy, where a very weak bureaucracy and an unstable political system cannot take decisions and cannot facilitate the achievement of any kind of adjustment. Nevertheless, the majority of European countries are somewhat closer to the Italian model and Sweden seems to be, for the moment, a striking exception. This exception does not seem to be due to the size or type of problems since small countries, like Belgium or even the Netherlands and Denmark, are also victims of overload and complexity due to the rigidity and complexity of group allegiances and to the fragmentation of the polity.

2. Bureaucratic Weight and Civic Irresponsibility

The governability of West European nations is hampered by another set of related problems which revolve around the general emphasis on bureaucratic rule, the lack of civic responsibility, and the breakdown of consensus.

A basic problem is developing everywhere: the opposition between the decision-making game and the implementation game. Completely different rationales are at work at one level and at the other. In the decision-making game, the capacity to master a successful coalition for a final and finite agreement is a function of the nature and rules of the game in which the decision is one outcome. Since the same participants are playing the same game for quite a number of crucial decisions, the nature of their game, the participants' resources, and the power relationships between them may have as much validity in predicting outcomes as the substance of the problem and its possible rational solution. In the implementation game, however, completely different actors appear whose frames of reference have nothing to do with national decision-making bargaining and whose game is heavily influenced by the power structure and modes of relationship in the bureaucracy on one hand, and in the politico-administrative system in which the decision is to be implemented on the other. It is quite frequent that the two games work differently and may even be completely at odds. A gap can therefore exist between the rationality of the decision-makers and the outcomes of their activity, which means that collective regulation of human activities in a complex system is basically frustrating. Such a situation is reproduced and exemplified at the upper political level where all modern democratic systems suffer from a general separation between an electoral coalition and the process of government. A completely different set of alliances is necessary to get an electoral majority and to face the problems of government. The United States and Japan also have these problems, but they are especially acute in West European countries because of the fragmentation of social systems, the great difficulties of communication, and the barriers between different subsystems which tend to close up and operate in isolation.

Two different models, however, are predominant in Western Europe. One model, which has worse consequences for governability, is the bureaucratic model associated with a lack of consensus. This is the model exemplified especially by countries like France and Italy, where a very sizable part of the electorate will always vote for extremist parties, of the left and to some extent of the right, that do not accept the minimum requirements of the democratic system. In these countries social control is imposed on the citizens by a state apparatus which is very much isolated from the population. Politico-administrative regulations work according to a basic vicious circle: bureaucratic rule divorced from the political rhetoric and from the needs of the citizens fosters among them alienation and irresponsibility which form the necessary context for the breakdown of consensus that has developed. Lack of consensus in its turn makes it indispensable to resort to bureaucratic rule, since one cannot take the risk of involving citizens who do not accept the minimum rules of the game. Generally, when social control has been traditionally achieved by strong bureaucratic pressure, democratic consensus has not developed fully and consensual breakdowns are endemic possibilities. All European countries retain some of these traditional control mechanisms.

However, an alternative model is exemplified by the countries of northwestern Europe where a broad consensus has been achieved early enough and constantly reinforced, thus preventing the state bureaucracy from dominating too exclusively. Sweden, with its strong local decision-making system, with its consensual labor-management bargaining system, and with its ombudsman grievance procedures against the bureaucracy, is the best example of such a model.

Nevertheless, a general drift toward alienation, irresponsibility, and breakdown of consensus also exists in these countries and even in Sweden. In time, group bargaining has become more and more routinized, that is, more and more bureaucratic, and workers, if not citizens generally, have also tended to feel as alienated as those in revolutionary Europe. In Denmark, the Netherlands, and Britain, the social democratic consensus is breaking down while the relationships between groups have become so complex and erratic that citizens are more and more frustrated. Politics become divorced from the citizens' feelings and even from reality. Vicious circles therefore tend to develop which bring these countries much closer than they ever were to the countries of continental Europe. Even Sweden has been affected [1], at least in its labor relations. [4]

3. The European Dimension

All these problems are certainly multiplied by the new dimension of international problems which has made the European national state a somewhat obsolete entity. One could obviously conceive of a federal European system which could rely on strong decentralized local and regional decision-making systems, thus reducing the overload on the top, the bureaucratic nature of the intermediary processes, and the citizens' alienation. But efforts at unification have tended to reinforce the national bureaucratic apparatuses as if these traditional nervous centers of European affairs could not help but harden again. Thus, Western Europe faces one of its most impossible dilemmas. Its problems are more and more European in nature, but its capacity to face them relies on institutional instruments of a national and bureaucratic nature that are more and more inadequate but that tend at the same time to harden their hold on the system.

Personalization of power in Western Europe also has been used in national and international affairs to fight the bureaucratic entanglements and to foster citizens' identification when participation could not work. Its results, however, are always disappointing. Leaders become prisoners of their image and are too vulnerable to act. They become public relations figures, thus creating a credibility gap and broadening the misunderstanding between citizens and their decision-making system.

One should not, however, overemphasize the general drift toward irresponsibility and impotence in individual European states and in Europe as a whole. Problems are threatening, the capacity to handle them seems to have diminished, but there are still many areas where government performances are satisfactory compared with those of past governments, those of other Trilateral areas, and those of the rest of the world. European societies are still very civilized societies whose citizens are well-protected and whose amenities and possibilities of enjoyment have not only been maintained but extended to a great many more people. In addition Europe suffers less from social disruption and crime than the United States.

There are growing areas, nevertheless, where governments' capacity to act and to meet the challenge of citizens' demands has been drastically impaired. Almost everywhere secondary education and the universities are affected as well as, frequently, metropolitan government, land use, and urban renewal. This impairment of capacities is becoming prevalent in more countries in bargaining among groups, income redistribution, and the handling of inflation.

2. SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND CULTURAL CAUSES

In order to better understand these general features of the socio-political systems of Western Europe, and to be able to suggest general orientations for the discussion of possible change, we should first try to concentrate on the social, economic, and cultural causes of the present crises. Causes and consequences, however, are basically interrelated, and it is impossible to disentangle them. Therefore, we will try to focus successively on some of the major problem areas which can be used for a better understanding of the present situation.

First of all, we will try to assess the general socio-economic context, which can be characterized sociologically by the explosion of social interaction and economically by the disruptive effect of continuous growth. We will then try to analyze the general collapse of traditional institutions, which may be the immediate background of the crisis. We will then move on to the problem of cultural institutions, focusing especially on the intellectuals, education, and the media. We will conclude by reviewing a last circumstantial problem which has had an accelerating impact — the problem of inflation.

1. The Increase of Social Interaction

In every developed country man has become much more a social animal than before. There has been an explosion of human interaction and correlatively a tremendous increase of social pressure. The social texture of human life has become and is becoming more and more complex and its management more difficult. Dispersion, fragmentation, and simple ranking have been replaced by concentration, interdependence, and a complex texture. Organized systems have become tremendously more complex, and they tend to prevail, in a much more composite and complex social system, over the more simple forms of yesterday. Because of the basic importance of the contemporary complex social texture, its management has a crucial importance, which raises the problem of social control over the individual.

Europe is in a very special situation because it has a long record of traditional social control imposed upon the individual by collective authorities, especially the state, and by hierarchical religious institutions. Certainly these authorities and institutions had been liberalized over the centuries since the time of absolutism. Nevertheless, a strong association between social control and hierarchical values still persists, which means that a basic contradiction tends to reappear. Citizens make incompatible claims. Because they press for more action to meet the problems they have to face, they require more social control. At the same time they resist any kind of social control that is associated with the hierarchical values they have learned to discard and reject. The problem may be worldwide, but it is exacerbated in Europe, where social discipline is not worshipped as it still is in Japan, and where more indirect forms of social control have not developed as in North America.

European countries, therefore, have more difficult problems to overcome to go beyond a certain level of complexity in their politico-administrative, social, and even economic systems. There are differences in each country, each one having maintained a very distinctive collective system of social control. But each one of these systems now appears to be insufficient to solve the problems of the time. This is as true for Britain, which was considered to have mastered forever the art of government, as it is for Italy, which could have been an example of stable "nongovernment." France, also, has a centralized apparatus less and less adequate to manage modern complex systems and becomes therefore more vulnerable. To some extent Germany benefits from the deep trauma of nazism, which has forced more basic change in the management of its social texture, but it is nevertheless under the same kind of strains.

2. The Impact of Economic Growth

The impact of economic growth can be better understood in view of these basic strains. It was believed in the fifties and early sixties that the achievement of economic growth was the great problem for European nations. If only their GNP could grow for long enough, most of their troubles as divided and nonconsensual polities would gradually disappear. This fact was so overwhelmingly accepted that for a long time the official line of the communist parties was to deny the reality of the material progress of the working class and to argue that capitalist development had brought not only a relative but also an absolute decline of workers' income. However, certain facts had to be finally faced: namely, the tremendous economic gains made during the past twenty years by all groups and especially the workers. But the consequences of this were to be the opposite of what had been expected. Instead of appeasing tensions, material progress seems to have exacerbated them.

Image
Nonfarm Business Sector: Labor Share (PRS85006173)
Source: U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
2011research.stlouisfed.org

Three main factors seem necessary to account for the paradox. First, as it happens everywhere, change produces rising expectations which cannot be met by its necessarily limited outcomes. Once people know that things can change, they cannot accept easily anymore the basic features of their condition that were once taken for granted. Europe has been especially vulnerable since its unprecedented economic boom had succeeded a long period of stagnation with pent-up feelings of frustration. Moreover, its citizens have been more sophisticated politically and especially vulnerable to invidious comparisons from category to category.

Definition of INVIDIOUS
1: tending to cause discontent, animosity, or envy
2: envious
3a : of an unpleasant or objectionable nature : obnoxious b : of a kind to cause harm or resentment


A second factor has to be taken into consideration: the special role played by radical ideology in European working-class politics. At a simple level, the European revolutionary and nonconsensual ideologies of working-class parties and trade unions were associated with the economic and cultural lag that did not allow the working people a fair share in society's benefits. But ideology is only partially a consequence of frustration; it is also a weapon for action. And in the European context, it remains the most effective available instrument for mobilization. When ideology declines, the capacity of the unions to achieve results also declines. The processes of orderly collective bargaining, even when they bring results, tend to be also so complex and bureaucratic that they produce disaffection. Rank-and-file workers do not recognize themselves in such a bureaucratic process and they tend to drift away, which means that the more trade unions and working-class parties accept regular procedures, the weaker they become in their capacity to mobilize their followers and to put real pressure on the system. Thus, they have to rediscover radicalism. This is much more true for the Latin countries, which had never achieved a satisfactory bargaining system, but radical drift has also been very strong in northwest Europe. Generally, even if workers have become better integrated in the overall social system, they nevertheless remain basically frustrated with the forms of bargaining which do not allow them much participation. Therefore, a radical ideology is necessary to enable them to commit themselves to the social game. This situation is especially strong in many countries where it can be argued that working-class groups have not benefited from prosperity as greatly as they should or could have. Conversely, those countries where blue-collar-workers' progress has been comparatively the greatest and the steadiest, such as Germany, are also those whose resistance to inflation and to the ideological drift is the strongest.

A third factor may be more fundamental. This is the most disruptive consequence of accelerated change. It is true enough that change often brings greater material results and that people have been able to recognize and appreciate their gains, although they might have denied them for a long time. But accelerated change is extremely costly in terms of disruption. It means that many branches and enterprises decline and even disappear while others undergo tremendous growth. People are forced to be mobile geographically and occupationally, which can be accounted for in terms of psychological costs. They have had to face a new form of uncertainty and are likely to compare their fates more often to the fates of other groups. Tensions, therefore, are bound to increase.

Moreover, these processes have had a direct and profound impact on the modes of social control operating in society. And this is where Europe has been much more vulnerable than either the United States or Japan. In a society where social control had traditionally relied on fragmentation, stratification, and social barriers to communication, the disruptive effect of change which tends to destroy these barriers, while forcing people to communicate, makes it more and more difficult to govern. The problem has never been so acute in North America, which has always been on the whole a much more open society; and it is still not yet as developed in Japan, which has been able up to now to maintain its forms of social control while undergoing even more economic change.

Wide differences of course persist between the very diverse European nations. Italy and to some extent France have been less directly perturbed because they have remained more hierarchical in their social texture. [5] Throughout the world individuals have lost a great deal of their traditional frames of reference and have not found substitutes in their relationships with the collective group. Everywhere anomie has increased for young people; groups are more volatile and social control is much weaker. At the same time, the direct effect of economic and geographical disruptions requires proper handling; it requires the imposition of collective disciplines which these disruptions make it impossible to generate. [6]

A no-growth economy is, of course, no solution, as Britain has clearly shown. No country can isolate itself from general change. British society may have suffered less disruption than the continental countries, but it is now, in counterpart, the victim of its poor economic performance. British people may still be individually less tense than people on the continent, but they are becoming collectively demoralized. Egalitarianism and mass participation pressures have increased as they did elsewhere and the gap between promises and expectations has widened even more, leading to repeated and frustrating clashes between the bureaucracy and various sectors of the general public, to poorer and poorer government performances, and to widespread feelings of political alienation.

3. The Collapse of Traditional Institutions

The contradiction regarding social control has been amplified by the near collapse of the traditional authority structure which was buttressing social control processes. The collapse is partly due to the disruptive effect of change, but it can also be viewed as the logical outcome of a general evolution of the relationship of the individual to society.

Everywhere in the West the freedom of choice of the individual has increased tremendously. With the crumbling of old barriers everything seems to be possible. Not only can people choose their jobs, their friends, and their mates without being constrained by earlier conventions, but they can drop these relationships more easily. People whose range of opportunities is greater and whose freedom of change also is greater can be much more demanding and cannot accept being bound by lifelong relationships. This is, of course, much more true for young people. It has further been compounded by the development of sexual freedom and by the questioning of woman's place in society. In such a context traditional authority had to be put into question. Not only did it run counter to the tremendous new wave of individual assertion, but at the same time it was losing the capacity which it had maintained for an overly long time to control people who had no alternatives.

The late sixties have been a major turning point. The amount of underlying change was dramatically revealed in the political turmoil of the period which forced a sort of moral showdown over a certain form of traditional authority. Its importance has been mistaken inasmuch as the revolt seemed to be aiming at political goals. What was at stake appears now to be moral much more than political authority—churches, schools, and cultural organizations more than political and even economic institutions.

In the short space of a few years, churches seem to have been the most deeply upset. In most of Europe, a basic shift was accelerated which deprived them of their political and even moral authority over their flocks and within society at large. The Catholic church has been hit the hardest because it had remained more authoritarian. Yet as opinion polls have shown, religious feelings and religious needs persist. They may even have been reactivated by the anxieties of our time so that eventually churches will be able to regain some of the ground they have lost. In order to succeed they will have to open up and abandon what remains of their traditional principles.

This may have been already achieved since the authoritarian pattern is vanishing. The crisis is much more apparent within the hierarchy than among the laity. Priests are leaving the churches at an increasing rate; they cannot be replaced, and those who stay do not accept the bureaucratic authority of their superiors and the constraints of the dogma as obediently as before. They are in a position to exact a much better deal, and they get it. Conversely, they feel less capable of exerting the traditional moral authority they maintained over laymen. It may be exaggerated to pretend that the age-old system of moral obligations and guidance that constituted the church has crumbled; it is still alive, but it has changed more in the last decade than during the last two centuries. Around this change the new effervescence that has developed may be analyzed as a proof of vitality. New rationales may emerge around which the system will stabilize. But it seems clear enough already that the traditional model, which had been for so long one of the main ideological strongholds of European societal structures, has disintegrated. This is certainly a major change for European societies. Such a model provided a basic pattern for the social order and was used as a last recourse for buttressing social control, even in the so-called laicist countries like France where the Catholic church was supposed to have only a minor influence. The impact of the basic shift of values will be widespread. Even the nonreligious milieus, which had maintained similar models of social control despite their opposition to the Catholic principles, will not be able to resist change any better even if at first glance they seem less directly affected.

Education as a moral establishment is faced with the same problem and may be the first example of this corresponding similarity between opposing traditions. Whatever philosophical influences were exerted over it in particular countries, education is in trouble all over Western Europe. It has lost its former authority. Teachers cannot believe anymore in their "sacred" mission and their students do not accept their authority as easily as they did before. Along with the religious rationale for the social order, educational authority does not hold firm anymore. Knowledge is widely shared. Teachers have lost their prestige within society, and the closed hierarchical relations that made them powerful figures in the classroom have disappeared. Routine makes it possible for the system to work and the sheer necessity and weight of its functions will maintain it in operation. But the malaise is deep. The dogmatic structure disintegrates; no one knows how to operate without a structure and new forms do not seem to be emerging. We are still in the process of destructuration where generous Utopias still seem to be the only constructive answers to the malaise.

Higher education, which has had a more spectacular revolution, may have been partly revived, but in many countries and in many disciplines it is still in chaos. European universities do not offer any kind of institutional leadership. They are not real institutions for their students. Very few teachers will be able to propose positive and non-ideological models of commitment to values which can be acceptable to students. Consequently, the universities' potential cannot be used as a stimulant for change in society and young people's energies are easily diverted toward meaningless and negative struggles.

Other institutions are also, if less severely, perturbed by this collapse of moral authority. Among them the army, at least in its roles as training school for organizational disciplines and symbol and embodiment of patriotic values, has lost its moral and psychological appeal. Defense may be more and more entrusted to professional armies that may remain reliable. But the conscript army as a school for the citizen and as a model of authority is on the wane. It has lost all sense of purpose. It is really isolated from the mainstream of human relationships. Thus, another stronghold of the moral fabric of Western societies disappears.

Curiously enough the problem of authority in economic organizations, which had always been considered the most difficult battlefield of industrial society, seems comparatively less explosive. Difficulties have been reactivated during the upheaval of the late sixties. Economic sanctions and the visibility of results, however, give participants some acceptable rationale for collective endeavor. Nevertheless, European enterprises are weaker as institutions, on the whole, than their American or Japanese counterparts. They lack consensus over the system of authority as well as over the system of resources allocation, and they even often lack enough agreement regarding the rules of the game in conflict situations.

The problems are more difficult when the social system has maintained some of the rigid features of a former class society and when authority is supposed to be imposed from above. The situation is considerably more touchy in Italy and to some extent also in France than in Scandinavia and Germany, where discipline has long been internalized. [7] Nevertheless, the problem remains more acute in Europe than in the United States, where people have gradually learned newer forms of social control, or in Japan, where older forms of social control persist and readjust to present requirements in a very active fashion.

Two important series of consequences are derived from this institutional weakness. First, the integration of the working class into the social game is only partial, especially in the Latin countries and in France. Second, the weight of the organizational middle classes of middle executives and supervisors constitutes a conservative, eventually paralyzing force.

The lack of integration of the working class not only prevents direct bargaining and understanding, which makes the European enterprise more vulnerable, but it is at the root of the widespread reluctance of young people to accept the humiliating, underpaid lower-blue-collar jobs. European entrepreneurs have found an easy solution to the workforce problem by turning to migrant workers from Southern Europe and North Africa. However, this policy, which had been highly successful for a while and which has fed the industrial development of Western Europe during its boom years, has brought new and difficult problems in the community life of West European cities. Gradually another factor of instability has developed since foreign workers have begun to question their place and range of opportunities in the social and economic system.

Efforts at promoting working-class jobs and upgrading and integrating blue-collar jobs into the mainstream of industrial development have usually failed because of the weight of the hierarchy. And the middle- most hierarchical categories have slowed down the modernization of the institutional fabric of economic organizations. Their attitudes, furthermore, help maintain in these European organizations the rigidity of social control that prevents modernization and growth.

Indeed, if European enterprises look more healthy than European churches and schools, this is also because they still rely more on the old model of social control. One may surmise that economic organizations will have to follow suit after the others, which probably means disruption. Differences between countries remain considerable. Sweden, for instance, is well ahead in the development of a new model while Italy is in a stage of partial disruption.

4. The Upsetting of the Intellectual World

Another basic source of disruption of Western societies comes from the intellectual world. Daniel Bell has rightly pointed out the basic importance of culture in the coming of post-industrial society. Knowledge tends to become the basic resource of humanity. Intellectuals as a social group are pushed into the forefront of sociopolitical struggles and the relationships of the intellectual world to society change radically. But neither Daniel Bell nor any other futurologist has foreseen the importance and the painfulness of such an ongoing process of change. There is no reason to believe that the contemporary cultural revolution will be more peaceful than the industrial revolutions of the past.

We seem to be, as a matter of fact, in a cultural crisis which may be the greatest challenge that confronts Western societies, inasmuch as our incapacity to develop appropriate decision-making mechanisms—the ungovernability of our societies—is a cultural failure. Europe, in this respect, is the most troubled and the most vulnerable of the three Trilateral areas, primarily because the strength and centrality of its intellectual tradition makes it more difficult to develop new models.

The first element of the crisis is the problem of numbers. The coming of a post-industrial society means a tremendous increase in the numbers of intellectuals, would-be intellectuals, and para-intellectuals. Not only do older intellectual professions develop, but newer ones appear, and many nonintellectual jobs become professional. But the more intellectuals there are, the less prestige there is for each. Here again we come to the real paradox: The more central a profession becomes, the less prestige and influence its average member will have as an individual. There would not be any problem if the socialization and training process would be geared to the new state of affairs. But people continue to be trained in the traditional aristocratic ethos of the prestigious roles of yesterday. They are thus prepared to expect a completely different pattern of activities and relationships with the outside world than is actually the case. Moreover, the cumulative effects of their individual endeavors to promote and modernize their roles tend to diminish and routinize them.

A new stratification thus develops between those persons who can really play a leading role and those who have to accept a humbler status. But this stratification is in turn a factor in the malaise because in many countries, particularly France and Britain, the happy few acquire and maintain their positions by restrictive monopolistic practices.

Another factor of discontent comes from the importance of the aristocratic tradition in Western Europe's cultural world. According to that tradition, intellectuals are romantic figures who naturally get a position of prominence through a sort of aristocratic exaltation. This attitude is still very much alive and dominant at a subconscious level. Yet intellectuals as agents of change and moral guides in a period of fast changes should be and are effectively in the vanguard of the fight against the old aristocratic tradition. Thus not only are they working to destroy the privileges that they unconsciously crave, but many of them undergo a moral crisis for which a radical stand is often an easy solution.

The internal upsetting of the traditional intellectual roles, whose new occupants discover that they do not meet the expectations which had prompted their own personal commitments, is increased, if not multiplied, because of the existence of a very strong displacement within the intellectual world itself. While a long tradition had given the humanities an honored position, the new trend favors the new intellectual professions that may be of more practical use. The more post-industrial society becomes intellectualized, the more it tends to displace traditional value-oriented intellectual disciplines to the benefit of action-oriented ones, that is, those disciplines that can play a direct role in policy-making.

Value-oriented intellectuals do not disappear or even decline, however. They find new and rapidly-developing openings in the fields of communications. But such a reorientation may be morally painful since it can be viewed as somewhat debasing. In any case, the opposition of the two cultures, described by C.P. Snow, has shifted greatly. It has become a battle between those persons who play the audience, even if it is a protest type, and those who contribute to the process of decision- making. Thus, the basic crisis of the intellectual world is a crisis of identity in a rapidly changing world where the basic mechanisms of regulation have been put severely into question.

Many other factors, of course, are at work. The cultural world may be considered as a sounding board for the other forms of malaise of Western societies. But one should emphasize that this sounding board plays a very important, autonomous role of its own, first of all because it reinforces the uncertainties and driving anxieties it is expressing and, second, because it projects on the whole of society the crises of identity its members are experiencing.

Notwithstanding the many differences between countries, one can clearly recognize a general drift in the art and literary worlds toward a protest and even revolutionary posture. It has clearly shaped the cultural context in which the younger generations move.

The importance of such a trend should not be underestimated. True enough, one can correctly dismiss its immediate political influence and recognize the superficiality of its fashionable aspects. But it has a meaning and an influence at a deeper level. It is an expression of a basic weakening of Western Europe's sense of purpose, capacity to lead, and to govern itself. Above all, it is the source of a profound divorce between the ruling people and the young talents.

Even if it does not affect the general public, which tends to react against highbrow pessimism, the overall mood of Western societies is shaped by a general cultural tendency. West European values are not rejuvenated in a convincing way. No model of civilization emerges from the present- day drifting culture, no call for reform and pioneering. Ritualism and self-pity remain the basic undercurrent behind the arrogant radical criticism that prevails on the surface. Vague Utopias certainly do not counterbalance the stronger apocalyptic nihilism that forms the texture of our vanguard culture. On the other hand, there is no possible dialogue between the ruling elite and the new generation. Fragmentation and stratification, which were stifling traditional class society, seem to perpetuate themselves through new cultural cleavages. Other regulatory mechanisms which we cannot distinguish yet may be at work. A new blossoming may well follow this long hibernating process. But we must face the fact that we are now in the most vulnerable part of the cycle of change or, to put it a better way, of the process of transition to post-industrial society.
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:48 am

PART 2 OF 2

5. The Mass Media

The vulnerability of the cultural world and its importance for the whole of society is compounded because of the central role it plays in two basic subsystems of modern societies: education and the media.

Education exemplifies some of the same basic contradictions as the world of culture. The prestige of teachers has decreased with the tremendous increase of their numbers while their expectations are still greatly influenced by the traditional liberal flavor of their calling. And they are, even more than other intellectuals, directly confronted with the revolution in human relations that perturbs their traditional mode of social control. At the same time, with its cultural drift society has lost the stimulating moral guidance it requires. As a consequence the transmission of social, political, and cultural norms has been very deeply perturbed, thus feeding back into society as a whole. Already research results show the extent of intellectual breakdown and disorientation that prevails in many sectors of the population. People's behavior is not touched, really, but they can no longer rely on a coherent rationalization of its context, and they feel at a loss to find out how they relate to society. Anomic rebellion, estrangement from society, and alienation certainly have dangerously progressed because of this cultural void.

The media are not in as great a crisis as education is. However, they have been transformed by the explosion and expansion of communications and the new role played by value-intellectuals. The media's influence on politics and governability is much more direct than that of education, and the media play a most decisive role in the present drift of Western societies. They are a very important source of disintegration of the old forms of social control inasmuch as they contribute to the breakdown of old barriers to communication. Television, particularly, has played a major role in this respect. It has made it impossible to maintain the cultural fragmentation and hierarchy that was necessary to enforce traditional forms of social control. Its impact has been more recent and more difficult than in the United States or Japan because of the much stronger resistance of fragmented and stratified European societies. Its use is still more differentiated according to social categories or classes. Nevertheless, the strength of the appeal of television is such that it has forced a complete change of public and social life, and has also indirectly helped the press to restructure itself. The main impact of these changes, of course, is visibility. The only real event is the event that is reported and seen. Thus, journalists possess a crucial role as gatekeepers of one of the central dimensions of public life.

The media have thus become an autonomous power. It is not new to talk about the Fourth Estate. But we now are witnessing a crucial change when the profession tends to regulate itself in such a way as to resist pressure from financial or governmental interests. Television, which is heavily influenced in many countries by governmental control, works much less openly than newspapers; self-regulation, however, is everywhere on the increase. This could be viewed as tremendous progress. But at the same time these mechanisms of self-regulation of the media tend to be strongly biased. If journalists can create events, they have a structuring impact on public and social life. And if their basic logic in creating events is to reach the widest possible audience, they will tend to bias the social game in such a way that public figures will have to play for this audience much more than for real outcomes. This has many consequences:

First, the media become a tremendous sounding board for the difficulties and tensions of society. Movements and fashions take broader proportions. It is much more difficult to escape the whirlpool of public relations events and to concentrate on more basic problems. Second, the media deprive governments and to some extent also other responsible authorities of the time lag, tolerance, and trust that make it possible to innovate and to experiment responsibly.

Third, the pressure of the media makes it extremely difficult to solve a basic dilemma of modern complex systems, which has been brought to light as the counterintuitive effect. [8] Systems operate in such a way that very often the general outcome of individual action runs counter to the will of the actors and to the general intuition one may have in advance. Thus it is imperative to give much more importance to systems analyses than to the immediate and apparent views of the actors, which is evidently the bias of the media. The more this sounding board emphasizes the emotional appeal of the actors' "life experience," especially as biased by the techniques of the media, the less easy it is to force a real analysis of the complex game on which political leaders must act. Finally, the emphasis on direct evidence appears to be as loaded with ideology and manipulation as old style oratory. Journalists' autonomy does not lead necessarily to transparency and truth but may distort the perception of reality.

Here we find the problem of journalists as value-oriented intellectuals who tend to be governed by the game of catching the audience's attention and are responsible therefore for the acceleration of the cultural drift. In the long run, this problem may be much more important than the problems of financial and government interference in the media, which are everywhere tending to recede.

In politics, however, the public relations effect is quite different from the North American one since the ruling elite and the educated audience play a major role as an important screen. They constitute the primary audience of the highbrow publications, which in turn tend to structure the problems that will finally reach the broader audience. Public relations of a public figure will be conditioned by the existence of these two levels. This means that there is a very serious buffer against too immediate reactions. But this does not mean a suppression of the public relations distortion, only a transformation of its conditions. At any rate the pressure for change that is against secrecy and protection of leaders seems to be more on the increase. The only ready answer to counterbalance it is the use of bureaucracy for real action, which means that the gap between the decision-making system, distorted by public relations problems, and the implementation system, protected but also bound and biased by bureaucratic machine-regulating mechanisms, will tend to increase, thus triggering constant new waves of frustration and anger and diminishing the amount of trust people will give to their leadership.

6. Inflation

Inflation can be considered a direct result of the ungovernability of Western democracies. It is an easy answer to the tensions of growth. The less a society is capable of facing them, the readier it is to accept inflation as a less painful solution. At the same time it is an independent source of disruption which exacerbates conflicts and still diminishes the capacity of groups and societies to act. Present-day inflation, therefore, ought to be considered, even if very briefly, as another independent variable to be analyzed as a supplementary cause of disruption.

It is no wonder that the countries whose social fabric is the weakest, those whose model of social control is still based on hierarchy, fragmentation, and distance, have always been much more vulnerable to inflation. In the 1960s, however, a reasonable sort of equilibrium had been found according to which the anticipation of growth was reasonably matched with actual growth while Keynesian policies were stabilizing the system. The golden age of economics, however, was shorter in Europe, Germany excepted, than in North America. In any case, no country can now resist the tremendous pressure of the new turbulence in the world.

Present-day large-scale inflation has been for a time remarkably well accepted. It has had a strong distorting effect on the economic and social position of individuals and groups. But its impersonal operation prevents direct complaint. Furthermore, the groups which usually speak the loudest are those which are likely to benefit from the process. One can even claim that the combination of public feeling, trade union pressure, and governmental intervention has tended to operate in favor of low salaries. Thus, professional salaried middle classes, which were certainly privileged, have lost some of their advantages. It is not as unfair an outcome as one would immediately tend to believe.

The problems of inflation, however, change their nature when the so- called double-digit numbers seem to become a stable feature of the economic picture. The costs seem then more and more unbearable. Not only do distortions appear, but social relationships become unstable. Lack of trust prevents the necessary regulation of large and small economic and social subsystems. More people, moreover, anticipate a crisis, and the governments' margin of freedom is reduced to the lowest level. We can observe this in Britain and in Italy. Between unemployment and inflation there does not seem any middle way. Basically, governments appear to be unable to induce groups which are in strategic positions to accept sacrifices. European unity is not much of a real help since it is much easier for any government to dump on the outside world the consequences of its own weaknesses. European countries' foreign economic policies tend to be, on the whole, not only uncoordinated but even erratic.

There are, however, some positive elements in the picture: Germany's understanding that it cannot retain its prosperity alone; France's surprisingly better economic results; and Franco-German cooperation. While these factors may not yet be inspiring for the presently weaker countries, they may be a new point of departure and, if some success develops, they will play a very important symbolic role for the development of the new capacities Europe requires.

Inflation and its twin evil depression finally make the problem of governability an immediate and practical one. And the basic question is: Are the European countries ready to meet the challenge of the new situation, to develop in time of crisis the institutional capacity they could not develop in time of prosperity? To make an educated guess on this very crucial problem, one must now focus more closely on the role and structure of political values in present-day Western Europe.

3. THE ROLE AND STRUCTURE OF POLITICAL VALUES

1. The Values Structure and the Problem of Rationality


Behind all these governability problems of modern Western societies lie some more basic problems of values. Participation, people's consent, equality, the right of the collectivity to intervene in personal affairs, and the possible acceptance of authority seem to be the preliminary questions to debate before giving a reasonable diagnosis and proposing possible solutions.

The relationship of values to behavior and especially to institutionalized behavior is much more complex than is usually believed, which makes the interpretation of opinion polls highly questionable. Above all, there is a wide discrepancy between professed values—what we can get through opinion polls and even attitude surveys—and actual behavior— what people will eventually do when problems force them to choose. Not only is there a discrepancy but the nature, importance, and even direction of this discrepancy are difficult to understand and therefore to predict. For instance, shortly before the French students' revolt in May 1968, opinion polls gave an almost idyllic representation of students' docility, conformism, and even satisfied apathy.

However, at an unconscious level, we can surmise that there is a rationale in people's behavior which is buttressing the maintenance of the social games and their social and cultural characteristics, and these rationales can be considered as more stable and meaningful value orientations. These value orientations, however, cannot be easily made evident. It will be a task for new generations of social scientists to set these problems in more operational terms. For the moment, we can only present some hypotheses that cannot be supported by data and represent only educated guesses which have been elaborated by confronting the problems to be solved -- governability problems -- with the institutional patterns and what we know of their evolution and the professed values of people about them.

In this perspective, the first and most central hypothesis concerns the concept of rationality and its relationship to the structure of values. Western Europe, as the Western world generally, has lived during the last two or three centuries with a certain model of rationality which has had a decisive influence on values, at least by giving them the basic structure within which they could be expressed. This kind of rationality, which can be considered as the most powerful tool humanity had discovered for managing collective action, is founded upon a clear distinction between ends and means and an analytical fragmentation of problems within a world that could be considered infinite. Within such a framework people can define goals according to their preferences (i.e., their values). Society's technical knowledge could then provide them with the necessary (and sufficient) means to implement their goals. Every problem can be redefined in such a way that ends and means may be clearly separate and so that a rational solution could easily be found. Of course, collective action implies several participants with different orders of preferences. But in the economic sphere analytical structuring will help sort out single deciders to whom others will be linked by definite contracts (into which they will enter according to their orders of preference). And in the political sphere democratic procedures organized around the twin concepts of general will and sovereignty give the rationale for the same logic.

Of course difficulties can arise with this model of rationality, and they may be (reluctantly) recognized. It will be necessary, therefore, to resort to manipulation, compromise, and even coercion in order to arrive at a decision. For the elaboration of decisions, democracy can be viewed as both the least evil and most ideal embodiment of rationality. In order to achieve implementation of these decisions, bureaucratic means are supposed to insure accurate and impersonal compliance. Conflict over means may be another worry, but good leadership and energy will finally overcome the obstacles. If there are failures, they are due to the weakness of human nature and have to be tolerated as such.

As a general consequence a stable dichotomy has always persisted between the ideal objectives which pertain to the logic of values and the muddy, messy world of reality, which is the realm of unsavory "political" deals. But the discrepancy, although perturbing, does not shake this fundamental model of reasoning. On the contrary, the more ideals may be compromised in practice, the more idealized and the more worshiped they will remain in the domain of values.

The system has worked well enough as long as societal change was slow, the intervention of public authorities rather limited, and the fragmentation and stratification of society strong enough to insure a pragmatic acceptance of social order and established authority. But once the explosion of communication and social interaction has disturbed the necessary barriers that made societies more simple and therefore more manageable, this basic pattern of rationality disintegrates.

First, there is no way to order goals either rationally or democratically. Furthermore, the quality and authenticity of preferences and goals becomes questionable. It is all very well to say that people should choose according to their preferences. But where do these preferences come from? The context of influences that is exerted over them appears to be determinant. Manipulation becomes a sort of basic fear which pervades the democratic creed. At the same time, social sciences begin to question this preference model by showing how people do not have a priori wants but discover goals from their experience; that is, they learn what they want by trial and error and implementation schemes. Finally, ends develop only through means.

Second, ends do not appear in a vacuum. They are part of structured universes which also encompass means. Furthermore, they are interrelated and conflictual. None of them can be pushed very far without interfering with other ends. Finally what are ends for one individual or one group are means for other individuals or groups.

Third, the breakdown of barriers means that people participate in very large structured sets where this unilateral, rationality scheme becomes terribly oppressive. If means, according to the logic of this scheme, are the domain of inescapable rational techniques, the 95 percent or 99 percent of human beings whose universe does not go beyond these means do not have the possibility to participate in a meaningful way in the government of their daily lives. If rational techniques can provide the one best solution, they cannot even discuss the relevance of their experience for the common good.

Fourth, rationality was always tempered by the limits of tradition and custom, and by the fragmentation of the problems. If limits disappear, if therefore rationality wins too much, if established authority—whether religious or social -- crumbles, rationality explodes; it becomes in a certain sense irrational.

If with this brief analysis of the crisis of modern rationality as a goal-structuring scheme we revert to our problems of governability of Western democracies, we can draw a first set of conclusions. There is no wonder that the concept of rationality has been put into question. Its own success was bound to make its contradictions explode. The cultural and moral breakdown of the late sixties therefore has expressed something important for the future. Whatever its vagaries and the dangerous threats it is presenting to the democratic way of government, it has above all exposed the illusions of traditional rationality and may help us learn a new kind of reasoning where professed values will not be the only guide for moral action.

The search for a broader kind of rationality, as well as the search for new kinds of social and organizational games that can embody it, is the major problem of Western societies. New social and psychological Utopias, such as the community drive, the encounter group philosophy, and the self-government dreams are useful tools for this search as well as dangerous illusions. Conversely, political reemphasis of local and regional ties may be as much a conservative "retro" fashion as a necessary axis for the renewal of governmental processes.

European societies, and U.S. society as well, are engaged in this impossible search. European societies start, however, with a handicap, inasmuch as they are still much more involved in the former model of rationality, while the rapidity of change is destroying the customary protections that were counterbalancing its rigid use. These difficulties are closely linked with social stratification problems, especially the social gap between the world of decision and the world of execution and the parallel but nonidentical gap between the educated and the noneducated classes.

2. Core Political Beliefs

If we distinguish core political beliefs from principles of action, we discover a rather paradoxical situation which may be emphasized as one basic characteristic of our contemporary scene. While those principles of action that seemed formerly immutable appear to be deeply shaken, forcing people to open up to existential bewilderment about the meaning of their action and their social identity, core political beliefs about which changes had been always hypothesized remain much more stable.

While people commonly feel that the usual way to achieve goals is not acceptable any more (one cannot order people around even if one pretends one can or even does), and while community feelings seem much more important for young people than the real content of any goal, the basic tenets of the democratic and Christian creed are still very much alive and color revolutionary as well as conservative enterprises. In this respect four clusters of values seem to me as predominant now as they have been for a long time.

First, the freedom of the individual is the cardinal value which is not only unanimously shared but seems to be rediscovered again by any kind of new movement whether extremely radical or conservatively religious. It will be immediately argued that these movements have widely different conceptions of freedom. But this is not so certain if one remains at the level of values or core political beliefs. The only fundamental distinction one can see at this point is the opposition between the European conception of freedom— which is a sort of freedom-from, that is, emphasizing the inalienable right of the individual not to be interfered with—and the American one—which is rather a freedom-to, that is, the inalienable right to take initiatives and to lead others if they so wish. European freedom-from antedates political democracy and has deep Christian roots. It has different forms according to the European country, with some orientation of the more Protestant countries toward the freedom-to concept; but, on the whole, there is much more convergence than one would think across countries and across class barriers and political groupings.

Second, equality, whatever its ambiguity and possible threats, remains a dominant value orientation all over Western Europe. European egalitarianism, however, shows again a difference from the American variety. It is still a stratified kind of egalitarianism. People may require equality with their peers most punctiliously while they may accept inequality between statuses and strata. Contrary to North Americans, they might be shocked by differences of treatment that do not recognize people's status while they would not mind the differences between statuses per se.

Order and efficiency may be more surprising items to put among the core political beliefs of West Europeans. One cannot escape being struck, however, with the importance of these kinds of values in the political process. Whenever the development of freedom threatens to bring chaos, the demand for order is immediate, even violent. It is not a lost or dwindling part of core political beliefs whatever the possible evolution of its forms in the direction of more tolerance. The special West European form of order, however, has a more social and less juridical connotation than in the United States. Things (and people) have to be put in their proper place for society to operate. Due process is not the cardinal element of this belief. Furthermore, efficiency may be added to it inasmuch as it has a legitimating connotation. Order is the way to achieve efficiency, which is the condition of a well-functioning society. West Europeans still value the good "efficient" scheme more than the concrete results. Order is the burden of the white man; efficiency may be the demonstration of it in a modern rationalized society.

Finally, I would emphasize dualism as a fourth cluster of core political beliefs. Contrary to Eastern countries, West Europeans never had a unitary conception of legitimacy. Church and State opposition antedates modern left-right conflicts. Group cooperation may be dreamed of as a possible unanimous harmony, but it has never been practiced without the due protection of dualism. Free choice can be preserved only if the existence of an opposition preserves the independence of individuals who could be otherwise too dependent on the predominant power to be able to assert their rights. All situations where such an opposition disappears have to be avoided as paternalistic, feudalistic, and oppressive. Conflict may be handled most painfully through such dualism. Real conflicts may be stifled and distorted, but one feels that the price is worth paying since prior harmony is always suspect. This core belief, which is completely foreign to Japan, is widely shared in North America, but the American form of it emphasizes checks and balances more than conflict and dualism. Absolute power in this conception is evil and must therefore be checked, but this does not necessarily imply the division of the citizens. In Europe this division is the center of the game, and one can tolerate a greater abuse of governmental prerogatives since government will be paralyzed by the division of society.

3. The Impact of Social, Economic, and Cultural Changes on the Principles of Rationality and on the Core Political Beliefs

Political behavior and political changes do not depend directly on political values but on the possible learning people can do within the constraints of the core political beliefs they adhere to and the principles of rationality they apply. What then may be, more precisely, the impact of social, economic, and cultural changes on these two kinds of societal dimensions?

All over Western Europe the development of social interaction, the disruptive effects of cumulative change, the cultural drift, and the exposure of government to media publicity have made it more and more difficult to maintain social control and to answer the demands of the citizens. Traditional rationality, therefore, disintegrates. But values or core political beliefs are not affected. They may even be reinforced.

The urge for freedom does not level off. On the contrary, it may be intensified by the helplessness of uprooted individuals within a too complex world and their concomitant blackmailing power over weakened institutions. Not only is the demand for freedom exacerbated, but it does not shift from a freedom-from to a freedom-to orientation. The traditional posture still pays off.

The drive for equality, of course, develops; it may progress from a narrow categorical frame of reference to a broader one. But basically the tightness of the social and political game is such that no significant shift can be expected in a near enough future. Conversely, the need for order is reactivated by the chaotic aspect of a generalized blackmailing game. And it is of a more regressive than progressive kind. No learning seems to take place. As usual people ask for freedom for themselves and order for the others. Even dualism may be reinforced inasmuch as the breakdown of rationality and the weakness of government leave the field open for the game of division and opposition.

What is at stake, therefore, is not the democratic creed and the Christian ethos, which are less directly threatened than they were for example in the thirties, [9] but the contradiction between these core political beliefs and the principles of action that could make it possible to implement them.

Earlier democratic processes had been built on the separation of groups and classes. They relied as much on institutionalized non-communication as on democratic confrontation. Authority was worshiped as an indispensable means for achieving order although it was rejected as a dangerous interference with freedom. Such a model could not stand structural changes that destroy barriers, force people to compete outside traditional limits, and suppress the distance that protected traditional authority. A profound contradiction therefore develops. People tend to try different and more open practices or are being forced into them, but they cannot stand the tensions these practices bring. Since they cannot also stand the authority that could moderate these tensions and bring back order over them, a very resilient vicious circle develops. Little real learning takes place, and authority hides behind public relations and complexity but becomes more vulnerable because it does not dare to assert itself. And the more vulnerable it becomes, the more it generates blackmailing group pressures, the less margin it retains for more responsible longer-term action and the less chance it stands to regain legitimacy.

New patterns of tolerance and mutual adjustment have to be learned and are in fact being learned to deal with these growing tensions and the chaotic consequences they can have if the easy solution of inflation is not available. But this cannot take place yet at the level of values or the core belief system. We can only hope that action will anticipate beliefs, that is, that people will learn from experience instead of obeying already existing motivations. This kind of learning is perfectly compatible with the core belief system although it implies some shift from the freedom- from concept to the freedom-to concept and the extension of the traditional narrow egalitarianism to broader domains. Nevertheless, it would mean the appearance of new beliefs alongside the core system. If such learning does not develop quickly enough, however, there is a growing risk of crisis and regression.

4. Traditional Factors As a Counterweight

European societies still live on a series of traditional adjustments that are not called into question because they are taken for granted: the persistence of old forms of patronage networks which allow due consideration to forgotten human factors; symbiotic adjustments between opposed social and economic partners according to which conflicts and tensions are maintained at a workable level; implicit bargaining arrangements between groups that cannot face each other squarely; implicit consensus on some sort of professional or work ethic, and so on.

There is, moreover, a longing and a search for earlier community practices to be rediscovered and revived, a longing and search which testify to the need of finding more roots at a time when the acceleration of change destroys the support as well as the constraints around which humanity could find meaning. On the whole, however, Western Europe seems to be worse off than either Japan or North America. Japan still benefits from the existence of a huge capital of collective capacity upon which it can rely. North America does not have this capital of tradition; but even if it suffers from some of the same problems Western Europe has to face, it has had more time to learn, and it benefits from more slack in its social and economic system which allows it to experiment more easily. Western Europe has used up a lot more of its own reserves than Japan and does not have the learning experience and the learning capacity of the United States. It should, therefore, be much more careful with whatever resources is has and invest as much as it can to develop them and learn new patterns of adjustment. It does not have time to wait; it must learn and learn as quickly as possible. A purely defensive strategy would be suicidal because the risk of regression is a very concrete one.

5. The Risks of Social and Political Regression

Western Europe has known already a tragic period of regression when the chaotic and effervescent world born out of World War I could not face its tensions, especially those of the depression, and when its needs for order were met by recourse to the fascist and Nazi regressions. Fascism and Nazism can be analyzed as a return to older forms of authority to restore or impose the indispensable order. This was associated with a sudden shift in patterns of behavior reactivating those which were closer to earlier types.

Can Western Europe suffer another such setback?

Certainly not in the same form and in the same direction. There is little left in the present core beliefs in which to find support. There is no strong will, no sense of mission, no real dedication to fight for the restoration of an earlier moral order; there is not so much will to fight for capitalism or even for free enterprise as such. No strong movement can be expected therefore from a right-wing "reactionary" background.

But regression can come also from the left for two converging reasons: The communist parties have emerged more and more as the parties of order, whose leaders are the only ones able to make people work, and there has always been a very strong tendency to develop state socialism and public bureaucracy interference as the easy solution to manage the impossible, that is, to maintain order in the face of unmanageable conflicts.

These affirmations may seem paradoxical. The communist parties generally have lost ground or leveled off almost everywhere in Western Europe. Their ideology does not have the same appearance any more. It looks very much like a routinized church whose charisma has at least partially disappeared. Why should such sedate and moderate parties be a threat to democracy just at the time they are beginning to respect its basic tenets?

The strength of the present communist parties of Western Europe does not lie, however, either in their revolutionary appeal or in their electoral capabilities. They must have enough of them certainly. But their unique superiority is their organizational one. They are the only institutions left in Western Europe where authority is not questioned, where a primitive but very efficient chain of command can manipulate a docile workforce, where there is a capacity to take hard decisions and adjust quickly, and where goods can be delivered and delays respected.

Authority may be heavy-handed in these parties and the close atmosphere they have maintained over their people has certainly been a brake to their development. Turnover has always been considerable. But granted these costs, their machine has remained extraordinarily efficient and its superiority has tremendously increased when other major institutions have begun to disintegrate. There is now no other institution in Europe, not even the state bureaucracies, that can match the communist parties' capabilities in this domain.

True enough, as long as the problem of order does not become central, they are out of the game; but if chaos should develop for a long enough time following a greater economic depression, they can provide the last solution. Most European countries have always had a very strong tradition of state control and bureaucratic procedures to substitute for their political systems' weaknesses. While bureaucracy may be anathema for the majority of people in opinion polls, it is still the easy solution for any kind of problem. This, of course, may be more true for France and Britain, but it is also true in the smaller countries and Germany, which, while it has moved away from state socialism, still has a strong tradition to which one can appeal.

For some of the Western countries the idea of nationalization, after years of oblivion and little ideological appeal, has become an issue again. In time of political chaos and economic depression it may appear as the last recourse to save employment and to equalize sacrifices. The communist parties are certainly better trained to administer the resulting confusion and to restore order to leaderless organizations. They will win then not because of their appeal but by default because the communists are the only ones capable of filling the void.

They have already shown proof of their capabilities. For instance they have shown remarkable efficiency in administering various cities in Italy and France; they have helped to restore order in Italian, French, and even German universities; and they have shown everywhere, even in Britain, how to influence key trade unions by using minority control devices. Their potential, therefore, is much higher at that level than it is at the electoral level or at the revolutionary level. And because of this potential they can attract experts and professionals of high caliber and also increase their capabilities on the technical side.

Nevertheless, the communists do have problems. The most pressing one is the danger of being contaminated by the general trends of the societies in which they have to operate, that is, to be unable to prevent the disintegration of their model of authority. This is why they take such great care to maintain their revolutionary identity. They have been protected by their minority ghetto-like status and as long as they can maintain it, their hard core membership has so deeply internalized their so far successful practices that they can stand the pressure of the environment for quite a long time.

They have a difficult game to play, nevertheless. They must be enough in to be present when high stakes are at issue, while remaining sufficiently out to maintain their organizational capacity. Their basic weakness lies in their difficulty in respecting the freedom-from belief and their incapacity to accept dualism. Can they govern and control societies whose core political beliefs are alien to them? Wouldn't they trigger an extremely strong backlash? It is a difficult question to answer because these societies are in the midst of a deep cultural transformation which affects, with the principles of rationality, the basis of their political strategy.

Let us just suggest that if the takeover would be sudden, an anticommunist backlash would be likely; but if the breakdown would be intensive and profound but also gradual, the communists coming to power could be very difficult to question.

4. CONCLUSIONS: EUROPEAN VULNERABILITY

This review of some of the major problems of governability in Western Europe may suffer from an overly pessimistic overtone. By focusing on the more intractable problems one is easily led to overemphasize contradictions and to give the misleading impression that breakdowns are soon likely to occur.

To present a more balanced conclusion, we would put these analyses in a more general perspective. The problems of European societies are difficult to solve but they are not intractable, and European societies, whatever their weaknesses, do still possess a lot of resources that can be mobilized when wanted. They have already shown during the contemporary period considerable resilience and an unexpected capacity to adapt, to adjust, and to invent. Right now they still manage to maintain democratic stability against very difficult odds. And during the past twenty years they have carried through a very impressive mutation that few observers would have trusted them to accomplish. If there was no external constraint, there would be no reason to believe they could not accomplish the second mutation that seems necessary now.

The basic situation, therefore, that should concern us is not so much the intractability of the problems and the incapacity of the European societies to meet the challenge; it is the vulnerability of Europe. Indeed, all European nations have to live through the same impossible situation: They have to carry through a basic mutation in their model of government and their mode of social control while facing at the same time a crisis from within and a crisis from without.

European nations have different capacities and some of them at first glance seem more likely to succeed than others. But none of them has the leeway and resources of the United States or the collective capacity of action of Japan. Furthermore, they are so interdependent that, while they can help and emulate each other strongly, they are partially dependent on the vulnerability of the weakest link in the chain.

The crisis from within revolves, of course, basically around economic and social instability. Inflation at the rate it has reached increases the tensions it had alleviated formerly. Its disruptive effects undermine the basis of the social bond because of the loss of trust and the impossibility to plan ahead. But too much deflation would force an impossible reallocation of resources and/or raise unemployment to an unacceptable level. Countries are therefore in an impossible vicious circle, which it is very difficult for them to break without entering a deeper depression, and whose risks seem impossible to accept in view of the fragility of their social fabric.

Managing such a crisis imposes the need to give priority to short-term considerations and makes it all the more difficult to meet the more basic challenge of the necessary mutation of social controls.

This is, of course, compounded by the consequences of the crisis from without which is not only the crisis of energy and the crisis of the balance of payments but the relative situation of weakness of the European nations whose welfare is for the first time directly dependent on outside pressures from non-Western powers. Here again the failure of one or two countries can be managed with the help of the strongest, but if France, for example, would follow, the whole European system would crumble.

In such a difficult situation, state socialism may appear to be the easiest solution for some countries, especially the Latin ones, since it would give workers guarantees and help spread out employment. But such a course of action, a possibility which must be taken very seriously, would trigger a period of social chaos in which the communist parties would play a decisive role because they would be the only ones capable of bringing back order and efficiency. This scenario, of course, could not apply to the whole of Europe, but it could quickly spread to Italy, France, and Spain and put unbearable pressure on Germany. At that time Finlandization would appear as the least evil.

Such a disastrous drifting of Western Europe is not inevitable. It is not even likely, but the fact that the possibility must be taken seriously is a measure of the present vulnerability of Europe. To prevent it, European nations should try to go beyond their present dire constraints and face at the same time the challenges of the future.

First, they should try to accelerate the shift away from their old model of fragmentation, stratification, secrecy, and distance, which produced an acceptable balance between democratic processes, bureaucratic authority, and some aristocratic tradition, and experiment with more flexible models that could produce more social control with less coercive pressure. Such experimentation, which is bound to succeed in the long run, looks dangerous in the present vulnerable situation when we hesitate naturally to jeopardize what remains of the old means of social control as long as one is not sure of the quality of the new means. Innovation, nevertheless, seems to be absolutely indispensable. It has to be careful innovation but it is the only possible answer to Europe's dilemma.

European nations should at the same time try to reorient the trend of economic growth. They badly need to maintain growth to prevent unemployment and an exacerbation of social conflicts, but they cannot maintain the type of growth of preceding years which has brought more and more costly disruptions and can be considered one of the important causes of inflation. A new emphasis on quality, on collective amenities, on a more careful allocation of space is not impossible. New goals for facing the future can be given priority: modernizing the education process; improving community and regional decision-making; establishing more responsible information systems; radically changing working conditions and restoring the status of manual work; developing income maintenance programs; making public bureaucracies responsible to the citizens and private bureaucracies to the consumers.

The diverse background and history of the different European nations can be viewed as an asset for such endeavors since there exists among them a tremendous reservoir of experience and of capable talents. European interdependence, on the other hand, forces European nations to face the impossible problem of unity. A united Europe was for a long time the ideal dream to help maintain the drive to overcome the outdated modes of government that prevailed in the national state systems. But the advocates of European unity have stumbled too long on the obstacle of the central states' nodal power, which the present crises have reinforced even more, to maintain hope for the near future.

Investments in a European common capacity remain nevertheless indispensable not only for Europe's sake but for each country's capacity to overcome its own narrow determinisms. Can they be made in view of the present pressure? This may be the most difficult question. It may certainly be helped in any case by a better appreciation in the two other regions of the difficulty of their partners' problem and by their willingness to help solve it.

_______________

Notes:

1. When asked what to do with a difficult problem a famous contemporary French politician well known for his skillful use of the system used to sum up this practice by saying, "Let's muddle it up a little more."

2. This seems to be one basic weakness of the Lindblom model in The Intelligence of Democracy: it does not give due attention to the way the field in which adjustments take place is structured and regulated. Sensible partisan mutual adjustments take place only within fields which a minimum of structure and regulation has neutralized. Chaos will only bring chaos. Good "partisan mutual adjustment" systems are a construct, as is any kind of market.

3. See Alain Cottereau, "L'agglomeration parisienne au debut du, siecle," Sociologie du Travail, 4, 1969, pp. 342-65.

4. To some extent Switzerland might be an interesting exception, which is a lasting testimony to the exceptional strength of its decentralized local decision-making system.

5. This proposition is very difficult to substantiate since each country may rate differently on the diverse categories of a very complex social universe. One can argue that class differences are still stronger in Britain and Germany than in France. It seems however that French institutions and organizational systems still rely more on hierarchical mechanisms that their counterparts in Britain and Germany. The crumbling of social barriers in any case has been more spectacular in France and Italy in one of the key areas of modern change, the universities. The influx of students in these two countries has been much higher in the sixties than in Britain and Germany, with a concomitant breakdown of social control.

6. This is certainly one of the reasons for the development of inflation, which is the consequence of the disruption of traditional social regulation as much as it is a cause of it.

7. One should, of course, add that the economic gains of blue-collar workers in these countries have been comparatively much higher, but there is no point opposing the two series of causes, which are intertwined and do reinforce each other.

8. James Forrester was the first to use this formulation.

9. One may argue that they are eroded, but I personally feel that they have fewer defenders because nobody attacks them and even more because everybody agrees so much that they are taken for granted.
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:50 am

PART 1 OF 3

CHAPTER 3: THE UNITED STATES [i]

Samuel P. Huntington

[*]1. THE VITALITY AND GOVERNABILITY OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

The 1960s witnessed a dramatic renewal of the democratic spirit in America. The predominant trends of that decade involved the challenging of the authority of established political, social, and economic institutions, increased popular participation in and control over those institutions, a reaction against the concentration of power in the executive branch of the federal government and in favor of the reassertion of the power of Congress and of state and local government, renewed commitment to the idea of equality on the part of intellectuals and other elites, the emergence of "public interest" lobbying groups, increased concern for the rights of and provision of opportunities for minorities and women to participate in the polity and economy, and a pervasive criticism of those who possessed or were even thought to possess excessive power or wealth.[ii] The spirit of protest, the spirit of equality, the impulse to expose and correct inequities were abroad in the land. The themes of the 1960s were those of the Jacksonian Democracy and the muckraking Progressives; they embodied ideas and beliefs which were deep in the American tradition but which usually do not command the passionate intensity of commitment that they did in the 1960s. That decade bore testimony to the vitality of the democratic idea. It was a decade of democratic surge and of the reassertion of democratic egalitarianism.

This democratic surge manifested itself in an almost endless variety of ways. Consider, for instance, simply a few examples of this surge in terms of the two democratic norms of participation and equality. Voting participation, which had increased during the 1940s and 1950s, declined during the 1960s, reaching lows of 55.6 percent in the 1972 presidential election and of 38 percent in the 1974 midterm election. Almost all other forms of political participation, however, saw a significant increase during the 1950s and continuing into the 1960s. An index of campaign activity (representing the mean number of campaign acts performed each year) rose from a low of .58 in the 1952 election to a peak of .83 in the 1960 election; thereafter, it declined somewhat and leveled off, registering .69 in 1962, .77 in 1964, .73 in 1968, returning to its previous high of .83 in 1970, and then dropping to .73 in 1972. [l] The overall picture is one of a sharp increase in campaign activity in the 1950s following which it remained on a high plateau in the 1960s. The Goldwater, McCarthy, Wallace, and McGovern candidacies mobilized unprecedented numbers of volunteer campaign workers. In addition, the Republicans in 1962 and the Democrats subsequently launched a series of major efforts to raise a substantial portion of their campaign funds from large numbers of small givers. In 1972 Nixon and McGovern each collected $13 million to $15 million in small amounts from over 500, 000 contributors.

The 1960s also saw, of course, a marked upswing in other forms of citizen participation, in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and "cause" organizations (such as Common Cause, Nader groups, and environmental groups.) The expansion of participation throughout society was reflected in the markedly higher levels of self-consciousness on the part of blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students, and women — all of whom became mobilized and organized in new ways to achieve what they considered to be their appropriate share of the action and of the rewards. The results of their efforts were testimony to the ability of the American political system to respond to the pressures of newly active groups, to assimilate those groups into the political system, and to incorporate members of those groups into the political leadership structure. Blacks and women made impressive gains in their representation in state legislatures and Congress, and in 1974 the voters elected one woman and two Chicano governors. In a similar vein, there was a marked expansion of white- collar unionism and of the readiness and willingness for clerical, technical, and professional employees in public and private bureaucracies to assert themselves and to secure protection for their rights and privileges. Previously passive or unorganized groups in the population now embarked on concerted efforts to establish their claims to opportunities, positions, rewards, and privileges, which they had not considered themselves entitled to before.

In a related and similar fashion, the 1960s also saw a reassertion of the primacy of equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life. The meaning of equality and the means, of achieving it became central subjects of debate in intellectual and policy-oriented circles. What was widely hailed as the major philosophical treatise of the decade (Rawls, A Theory of Justice) defined justice largely in terms of equality. Differences in wealth and power were viewed with increased skepticism. The classic issue of equality of opportunity versus equality of results was reopened for debate. The prevailing preoccupation with equality was well revealed in the titles of books produced by social theorists and sociologists over the course of three or four years. [2] This intellectual concern over equality did not, of course, easily transmit itself into widespread reduction of inequality in society. But the dominant thrust in political and social action was all clearly in that direction.

The causes of this democratic surge of the 1960s could conceivably be: (a) either permanent or transitory; (b) either peculiar to the United States or more generally pervasive throughout the advanced industrialized world. The surge might, for instance, be the result of long-term social, economic, and cultural trends which were producing permanent changes in American society (often subsumed under the heading of the "emergence of post-industrial society") and which would in due course equally affect other advanced industrialized countries. Or it could have been the product of rapid social and cultural change or upheaval in the 1960s which in itself was transitory and whose political consequences would hence eventually fade, that is, it could have been the product of a transitory process of change rather than the product of the lasting results of change (e.g., the rapid expansion of higher education enrollments in the 1960s rather than the resulting high level of enrollment in higher education). In addition, given the similarities which appeared to exist between the political temper and movements of the 1960s and earlier periods in American history, it is possible that the surge could have reflected a peculiarly American dynamic working itself out on a recurring or cyclical basis. On the other hand, it is also possible that the sources for the democratic surge were in a transient yet general crisis of the industrialized world which manifested itself in comparable if different ways in other Trilateral countries. Or, of course, most probable in fact and least satisfying in theory, the surge could be the product of a mixture of factors, permanent and transitory, specific and general.

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, " observed James Madison in The Federalist, no. 51, "the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." To assume that there is no conflict between these two requirements is sheer self-delusion. To assume that it is impossible to reach a rough balance between these two requirements is unrealistic pessimism. The maintenance of that balance is, indeed, what constitutional democracy is all about. Over the centuries, the United States has probably been more successful than any other government in combining governmental authority and limits on that authority in an effective manner appropriate to the environment, domestic and external, in which that government has operated. Views as to what constitutes the precise desirable balance between power and liberty, authority and democracy, government and society obviously differ. In fact, the actual balance shifts from one historical period to another. Some fluctuation in the balance is not only acceptable but may be essential to the effective functioning of constitutional democracy. At the same time, excessive swings may produce either too much government or too little authority. The democratic surge of the 1960s raised once again in dramatic fashion the issue of whether the pendulum had swung too far in one direction.

The consequences of that surge will be felt for years to come. The analysis here focuses on the immediate -- and somewhat contradictory -- effects of the democratic surge on government. The basic point is this: The vitality of democracy in the United States in the 1960s produced a substantial increase in governmental activity and a substantial decrease in governmental authority. By the early 1970s Americans were progressively demanding and receiving more benefits from their government and yet having less confidence in their government than they had a decade earlier. And paradoxically, also, this working out of the democratic impulse was associated with the shift in the relative balance in the political system between the decline of the more political, interest-aggregating, "input" institutions of government (most notably, political parties and the presidency), on the one hand, and the growth in the bureaucratic, regulating and implementing, "output" institutions of government, on the other. The vitality of democracy in the 1960s raised questions about the governability of democracy in the 1970s. The expansion of governmental activities produced doubts about the economic solvency of government; the decrease in governmental authority produced doubts about the political solvency of government. The impulse of democracy is to make government less powerful and more active, to increase its functions, and to decrease its authority. The questions to be discussed are: How deep are these trends? How can these seemingly contradictory courses be reconciled within the framework of the existing political system? If a balance is to be restored between governmental activity and governmental authority, what are the consequences of this restoration for the democratic surge and movement of the 1960s? Does an increase in the vitality of democracy necessarily have to mean a decrease in the governability of democracy?

2. THE EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITY

The structure of governmental activity in the United States — in terms of both its size and its content — went through two major changes during the quarter-century after World War II. The first change, the Defense Shift, was a response to the external Soviet threat of the 1940s; the second change, the Welfare Shift, was a response to the internal democratic surge of the 1960s. The former was primarily the product of elite leadership; the latter was primarily the result of popular expectations and group demands.

The year 1948 is an appropriate starting point for the analysis of these changes in the structure of governmental activity. [iii] By that time governmental activity had adjusted from its wartime levels and forms; demobilization had been completed; the nation was setting forth on a new peacetime course. In that year, total governmental expenditures (federal, state, and local) amounted to 20 percent of GNP; national defense expenditures were 4 percent of GNP; and governmental purchases of goods and services were 12 percent of GNP. During the next five years these figures changed drastically. The changes were almost entirely due to the onslaught of the Cold War and the perception eventually shared by the top executives of the government — Truman, Acheson, Forrestal, Marshall, Harriman, and Lovett — that a major effort was required to counter the Soviet threat to the security of the West. The key turning points in the development of that perception included Soviet pressure on Greece and Turkey, the Czech coup, the Berlin blockade, the communist conquest of China, the Soviet atomic explosion, and the North Korean attack on South Korea. In late 1949, a plan for major rearmament to meet this threat was drawn up within the executive branch. The top executive leaders, however, felt that neither Congress nor public opinion was ready to accept such a large-scale military buildup. These political obstacles were removed by the outbreak of the Korean war in June 1950. [3]

The result was a major expansion in the U.S. military forces and a drastic reshaping of the structure of governmental expenditures and activity. By 1953 national defense expenditures had gone up from their 1948 level of $10.7 billion to $48.7 billion. Instead of 4 percent of GNP, they now constituted over 13 percent of GNP. Nondefense expenditures remained stable at 15 percent of GNP, thus making overall governmental expenditures 28 percent of GNP (as against 20 percent in 1948) and government purchases of goods and services 22 percent of GNP (as against 12 percent in 1948). The governmental share of the output of the American economy, in short, increased by about 80 percent during these five years, virtually all of it in the national defense sector.

With the advent of the Eisenhower administration and the end of the Korean war, these proportions shifted somewhat and then settled into a relatively fixed pattern of relationships, which remained markedly stable for over a decade. From 1954 to 1966, governmental expenditures were usually about 27 percent or 28 percent of GNP; governmental purchases of goods and services varied between 19 percent and 22 percent; and defense expenditures, with the exception of a brief dip in 1964 and 1965, were almost constantly stable at 9 percent to 10 percent of GNP. The basic pattern for this period was in effect:

Table 1: Governmental Spending in Relation to GNP

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In the mid-1960s, however, the stability of this pattern was seriously disrupted. The Vietnam war caused a minor disruption, reversing the downward trend in the defense proportion of GNP visible in 1964 and 1965 and temporarily restoring defense to 9 percent of GNP. The more significant and lasting change was the tremendous expansion of the nondefense activities of government. Between 1965 and 1974, total governmental expenditures rose from 27 percent to 33 percent of GNP; governmental purchases of goods and services, on the other hand, which had also increased simultaneously with total expenditures between 1948 and 1953, changed only modestly from 20 percent in 1965 to 22 percent in 1974. This difference meant, of course, that a substantial proportion of the increase in governmental spending was in the form of transfer payments; for example, welfare and social security benefits, rather than additional governmental contributions to the Gross National Product. Nondefense expenditures, which had been 20 percent of GNP in 1965, were 25 percent of GNP in 1971 and an estimated 27 percent of GNP in 1974. Defense spending went down to 7 percent of GNP in 1971 and 6 percent in 1974. Back in 1948, defense spending had been less than 20 percent of total governmental spending. At the peak of the defense build-up in 1953 it amounted to 46 percent of the total, and during the long period of stable relationships in the 1950s and 1960s, defense accounted for about 33 percent of total governmental spending. Under the impact of the Welfare Shift of the late 1960s, however, the defense proportion of total governmental spending again dropped down to less than one-fifth of total governmental spending, that is, to the relationship which had prevailed in 1948 before the military implications of the Cold War had become evident.

The extent of the Welfare Shift in the scope and substance of governmental activity can also be seen by comparing the changes in governmental expenditures during the two decades of the 1950s and 1960s. Between 1950 and 1960, total governmental expenditures rose by $81.0 billion, of which $29.1 billion or roughly 36 percent was for defense and international relations. Between 1960 and 1971, governmental expenditures increased by $218.1 billion, of which, however, only $33.4 billion or roughly 15 percent were accounted for by defense and international relations, while expenditures for domestic programs grew by $184.7 billion. This growth in domestic spending is also reflected in a change in the relative shares of federal, state, and local governments in total governmental expenditures. In 1960 the federal government share of total government spending, 59.7 percent, was virtually identical with what it had been ten years earlier, 60.3 percent. By 1971, the relative growth in state and local spending had dropped the federal share of governmental expenditures down to 53.8 percent of total governmental expenditures. [4]

Table 2: Governmental Revenues and Expenditures for Major Functions (billions of dollars)

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Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1974 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1974), p. 246.
The major increases in government spending during the 1960s occurred in education, social security and related insurance benefits, public welfare, interest on the public debt, health, and hospitals. In 1960, government at all levels in the United States spent about 125 percent more for defense than it did for education; in 1972 it spent less than 15 percent more. In 1960, defense spending was about four-and-a-half times that for social security; in 1972 it was less than twice as much. In 1960 ten times as much was spent on defense as on welfare; in 1972 the ratio was less than four to one. Even in terms of federal government spending alone, the same trends were visible. In FY 1960, total foreign affairs spending accounted for 53.7 percent of the federal budget, while expenditures for cash income maintenance accounted for 22.3 percent. In FY 1974, according to Brookings Institution estimates, almost equal amounts were spent for both these purposes, with foreign affairs taking 33 percent and cash income maintenance 31 percent of the federal budget.5 Across the board, the tendency was for massive increases in governmental expenditures to provide cash and benefits for particular individuals and groups within society rather than in expenditures designed to serve national purposes vis-a-vis the external environment.

The Welfare Shift, like the Defense Shift before it, underlined the close connection between the structure of governmental activity and the trend of public opinion. During the 1940s and early 1950s, the American public willingly approved massive programs for defense and international affairs. When queried on whether the military budget or the size of the armed forces should be increased, decreased, or remain about the same, the largest proportions of the public almost consistently supported a greater military effort. In March 1950, for instance, before the Korean war and the NSC 68 rearmament effort, 64 percent of the public thought defense spending should be increased, 7 percent thought it should be decreased and 24 percent thought it should remain about the same. These figures were typical results of the early years of the Cold War. During the middle and later 1950s, after defense spending had in fact expanded greatly, support for still further expansion eased somewhat. But even then, only a small minority of the public supported a decrease, with the largest group approving the existing level of defense effort. Popular support for other government programs, including all domestic programs and foreign aid, almost always was substantially less than support for defense spending. [6]

During the mid-1960s, at the peak of the democratic surge and of the Vietnam war, public opinion on these issues changed drastically. When asked in 1960, for instance, how they felt about current defense spending, 18 percent of the public said the United States was spending too much on defense, 21 percent said too little, and 45 percent said the existing level was about right. Nine years later, in July 1969, the proportion of the public saying that too much was being spent on defense had zoomed up from 18 percent to 52 percent; the proportion thinking that too little was being spent on defense had dropped from 21 percent to 8 percent and the proportion approving the current level had declined from 45 percent to 31 percent. This new pattern of opinion on defense remained relatively stable during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Simultaneously, public opinion became more favorable to governmental spending for domestic programs. When polled in 1974, for instance, on whether spending should be increased, decreased, or remain about the same for some twenty-three governmental programs, the composite scores (where 50 represents maintaining the existing level) for domestic programs were all in favor of an increase, ranging from a score of 51 for welfare programs for low income families up to scores of 84 and 86 for helping the elderly and developing greater self-sufficiency in energy. All five foreign affairs programs rated much lower than any domestic program, with their scores ranging from 39 for total defense spending down to 20 for military aid for allies. For every foreign affairs program, the weight of opinion was thus in favor of reduced rather than higher spending. The overall average score for domestic programs was 70, and for foreign policy and defense programs it was only 29.7 During the 1960s, a dramatic and large-scale change thus took place in public opinion with respect to governmental activity.

So far, our analysis has focused on the relations between governmental expenditures and GNP and between different types of expenditures. The growth in expenditures, however, also raises important issues concerning the relation between expenditures and revenues. After the Defense Shift, during the 1950s and early 1960s, governmental expenditures normally exceeded governmental revenue, but with one exception (1959, when the deficit was $15 billion), the gap between the two was not large in any single year. In the late 1960s, on the other hand, after the fiscal implications of the Welfare Shift had been felt, the overall governmental deficit took on new proportions. In 1968 it was $17 billion and in 1971 $27 billion. The cumulative deficit for the five years from 1968 through 1971 was $43 billion. The federal government was, of course, the principal source of the overall government deficit. In nine of the ten fiscal years after 1965 the federal budget showed a deficit; the total deficit for those ten years came to an estimated $111.8 billion, of which $74.6 billion came in the five years for FY 1971 through FY 1975. [8]

The excess of expenditures over revenues was obviously one major source of the inflation which plagued the United States, along with most other industrial countries, in the early 1970s. Inflation was, in effect, one way of paying for the new forms of government activity produced by the Welfare Shift. The extent of the fiscal gap, its apparent inevitability and intractableness, and its potentially destabilizing effects were sufficiently ominous for the existing system to generate a new variety of Marxist analysis of the inevitable collapse of capitalism. "The fiscal crisis of the capitalist state," in James O'Connor's words, "is the inevitable consequence of the structural gap between state expenditures and revenues." As Daniel Bell suggests, in effect, the argument represents a neo-neo-Marxism: The original Marxism said the capitalist crisis would result from anarchical competition; neo-Marxism said it would be the result of war and war expenditures, the garrison state; now, the most recent revision, taking into consideration the Welfare Shift, identifies the expansion of social expenditures as the source of the fiscal crisis of capitalism. [9] What the Marxists mistakenly attribute to capitalist economics, however, is, in fact, a product of democratic politics.

The Defense Shift involved a major expansion of the national effort devoted to military purposes followed by slight reduction and stabilization of the relation of that activity to total national product. The Welfare Shift has produced a comparable expansion and redirection of governmental activity. The key question is: To what extent will this expansion be limited in scope and time, as was the defense expansion, or to what extent will it be an open-ended, continuing phenomenon? Has nondefense governmental spending peaked at about 27 percent of GNP? Or will it increase further or, conceivably, decrease? The beneficiaries of governmental largesse coupled with governmental employees constitute a substantial portion of the public. Their interests clearly run counter to those groups in the public which receive relatively little in cash benefits from the government but must contribute taxes to provide governmental payments to other groups in society. On the one hand, history suggests that the recipients of subsidies, particularly producer groups, have more specific interests, are more self-conscious and organized, and are better able to secure .access to the political decision points than the more amorphous, less well-organized, and more diffuse taxpaying and consumer interests. On the other hand, there is also some evidence that the conditions favorable to large-scale governmental programs, which existed in the 1960s, may now be changing significantly. The political basis of the Welfare Shift was the expansion in political participation and the intensified commitment to democratic and egalitarian norms which existed in the 1960s. Levels of political participation in campaigns have leveled off, and other forms of political participation would appear to have declined. Some polls suggest that the public has become more conservative in its attitudes towards government generally and more hostile towards the expansion of governmental activity. In 1972, for instance, for the first time, as many liberals as conservatives agreed with the proposition that government is too big. At the same time, liberals continued to be heavily in favor of new government programs, such as national health insurance, which conservatives opposed. If, however, the general skepticism about what government can accomplish remains a significant component of public opinion, the pattern of governmental activity which the Welfare Shift produced by the early 1970s could well remain relatively stable for the immediate future.
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:52 am

PART 2 OF 3

3. THE DECLINE IN GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY

1. The Democratic Challenge to Authority


The essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private. In one form or another, this challenge manifested itself in the family, the university, business, public and private associations, politics, the governmental bureaucracy, and the military services. People no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents. Within most organizations, discipline eased and differences in status became blurred. Each group claimed its right to participate equally—and perhaps more than equally—in the decisions which affected itself. More precisely, in American society, authority had been commonly based on organizational position, economic wealth, specialized expertise, legal competence, or electoral representativeness. Authority based on hierarchy, expertise, and wealth all, obviously, ran counter to the democratic and egalitarian temper of the times, and during the 1960s, all three came under heavy attack. In the university, students who lacked expertise, came to participate in the decision-making process on many important issues. In the government, organizational hierarchy weakened, and organizational subordinates more readily acted to ignore, to criticize, or to defeat the wishes of their organizational superiors. In politics generally, the authority of wealth was challenged and successful efforts made to introduce reforms to expose and to limit its influence. Authority derived from legal and electoral sources did not necessarily run counter to the spirit of the times, but when it did, it too was challenged and restricted. The commandments of judges and the actions of legislatures were legitimate to the extent that they promoted, as they often did, egalitarian and participatory goals. "Civil disobedience," after all, was the claim to be morally right in disobeying a law which was morally wrong. It implied that the moral value of law-abiding behavior in a society depended upon what was in the laws, not on the procedural due process by which they were enacted. Finally, electoral legitimacy was, obviously, more congruent with the democratic surge, but even so, it too at times was questioned, as the value of "categorical" representativeness was elevated to challenge the principle of electoral representativeness.

The questioning of authority pervaded society. In politics, it manifested itself in a decline in public confidence and trust in political leaders and institutions, a reduction in the power and effectiveness of political institutions such as the political parties and presidency, a new importance for the "adversary" media and "critical" intelligentsia in public affairs, and a weakening of the coherence, purpose, and self-confidence of political leadership.

2. Decline in Public Confidence and Trust

In a democracy, the authority of governmental leaders and institutions presumably depends in part on the extent to which the public has confidence and trust in those institutions and leaders. During the 1960s that confidence and trust declined markedly in the United States. That decline can, in turn, be related back to a somewhat earlier tendency towards ideological and policy polarization which, in turn, had its roots in the expansion of political participation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The democratic surge involved a more politically active citizenry, which developed increased ideological consistency on public issues, and which then lost its confidence in public institutions and leaders when governmental policies failed to correspond to what they desired. The sequence and direction of these shifts in public opinion dramatically illustrates how the vitality of democracy in the 1960s (as manifested in increased political participation) produced problems for the governability of democracy in the 1970s (as manifested in the decreased public confidence in government).

During the 1960s public opinion on major issues of public policy tended to become more polarized and ideologically structured, that is, people tended to hold more consistent liberal or conservative attitudes on public policy issues. Between 1956 and 1960, for instance, an index of ideological consistency for the average American voter hovered about .15; in 1964 it more than doubled to .40 and remained at similar levels through 1972. [10] Thus, the image of American voters as independently and pragmatically making up their minds in ad hoc fashion on the merits of different issues became rather far removed from actuality.

This pattern of developing polarization and ideological consistency had its roots in two factors. First, those who are more active in politics are also more likely to have consistent and systematic views on policy issues. The increase in political participation in the early 1960s was thus followed by heightened polarization of political opinion in the mid-1960s. The increase in polarization, in turn, often involved higher levels of group consciousness (as among blacks) which then stimulated more political participation (as in the white backlash).

Second, the polarization was clearly related to the nature of the issues which became the central items on the political agenda of the mid-1960s. The three major clusters of issues which then came to the fore were: social issues, such as use of drugs, civil liberties, and the role of women; racial issues, involving integration, busing, government aid to minority groups, and urban riots; military issues, involving primarily, of course, the war in Vietnam but also the draft, military spending, military aid programs, and the role of the military-industrial complex more generally. All three sets of issues, but particularly the social and racial issues, tended to generate high correlations between the stands which people took on individual issues and their overall political ideology. On more strictly economic issues, on the other hand, ideology was a much less significant factor. Thus, to predict positions of individuals on the legalization of marijuana or school integration or the size of the defense budget, one would want to ask them whether they considered themselves liberals, moderates, or conservatives. To predict their stand on federally financed health insurance, one should ask them whether they were Democrats, Independents, or Republicans. [11]

The polarization over issues in the mid-1960s in part, at least, explains the major decline in trust and confidence in government of the later 1960s. Increasingly, substantial portions of the American public took more extreme positions on policy issues; those who took more extreme positions on policy issues, in turn, tended to become more distrustful of government. [12] Polarization over issues generated distrust about government, as those who had strong positions on issues became dissatisfied with the ambivalent, compromising policies of government. Political leaders, in effect, alienated more and more people by attempting to please them through the time-honored traditional politics of compromise.

At the end of the 1950s, for instance, about three-quarters of the American people thought that their government was run primarily for the benefit of the people and only 17 percent thought that it primarily responded to what "big interests" wanted. These proportions steadily changed during the 1960s, stabilizing at very different levels in the early 1970s. By the latter half of 1972, only 38 percent of the population thought that government was "run for the benefit of all the people" and a majority of 53 percent thought that it was "run by a few big interests looking out for themselves." (See Table 3.) In 1959, when asked what they were most proud of about their country, 85 percent of Americans (as compared to 46 percent of Britons, 30 percent of Mexicans, 7 percent of Germans, and 3 percent of Italians, in the same comparative survey) mentioned their "political institutions." By 1973, however, 66 percent of a national sample of Americans said that they were dissatisfied by the way in which their country was governed. [13] In similar fashion, in 1958, 71 percent of the population felt that they could trust the government in Washington to do what was right "all" or "most" of the time, while only 23 percent said that they could trust it only "some" or "none" of the time. By late 1972, however, the percentage which would trust the national government to do what was right all or most of the time had declined to 52 percent, while that which thought it would do what was right only some or none of the time had doubled to 45 percent. (See Table 4.) Again, the pattern of change shows a high level of confidence in the 1950s, a sharp decline of confidence during the 1960s, and a leveling off at much reduced levels of confidence in the early 1970s.

Table 3: Government Run by Few Big Interests or for Benefit of All

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The precipitous decline in public confidence in their leaders in the latter part of the 1960s and the leveling off or partial restoration of confidence in the early 1970s can also be seen in other data which permit a comparison between attitudes towards government and other major institutions in society. Between 1966 and 1971 the proportion of the population having a "great deal of confidence" in the leaders of each of the major governmental institutions was cut in half. (See Table 5.) By 1973, however, public confidence in the leadership of the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the military had begun to be renewed from the lows of two years earlier. Confidence in the leadership of the executive branch, on the other hand, was— not surprisingly—at its lowest point. These changes of attitudes toward governmental leadership did not occur in a vacuum but were part of a general weakening of confidence in institutional leadership. The leadership of the major nongovernmental institutions in society who had enjoyed high levels of public confidence in the mid-1960s—such as large corporations, higher educational institutions and medicine—also suffered a somewhat similar pattern of substantial decline and partial recovery. Significantly, only the leadership of the press and television news enjoyed more confidence in 1973 than they had in 1966, and only in the case of television was the increase a substantial and dramatic one. In 1973, the institutional leaders in which the public had the greatest degree of confidence were, in declining order of confidence: medicine, higher education, television news, and the military.

Table 4: Trust in the National Government

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The late 1960s and early 1970s also saw a significant decline from the levels of the mid-1960s in the sense of political efficacy on the part of large numbers of people. In 1966, for instance, 37 percent of the people believed that what they thought "doesn't count much anymore"; in 1973 a substantial majority of 61 percent of the people believed this. Similarly, in 1960 42 percent of the American public scored "high" on a political efficacy index developed by the Michigan Survey Research Center and only 28 percent of the population scored "low." By 1968, however, this distribution had changed dramatically, with 38 percent of the people scoring "high" and 44 percent of the population scoring "low." [14] This decline in political efficacy coincided with and undoubtedly was closely related to the simultaneous decline in the confidence and trust which people had in government. As of the early 1970s, however, the full impact of this change in political efficacy upon the overall level of political participation had only partially begun to manifest itself.

In terms of traditional theory about the requisites for a viable democratic polity, these trends of the 1960s thus end up as a predominantly negative but still mixed report. On the one side, there is the increasing distrust and loss of confidence in government, the tendencies towards the polarization of opinion, and the declining sense of political efficacy. On the other, there is the early rise in political participation over previous levels. As we have suggested, these various trends may well all be interrelated. The increases in participation first occurred in the 1950s; these were followed by the polarization over racial, social, and military issues in the mid-1960s; this, in turn, was followed by the decrease in confidence and trust in government and individual political efficacy in the late 1960s. There is reason to believe that this sequence was not entirely accidental. [15] Those who are active in politics are likely to have more systematic and consistent views on political issues, and those who have such views are, as we have shown above, likely to become alienated if government action does not reflect their views. This logic would also suggest that those who are most active politically should be most dissatisfied with the political system. In the past, exactly the reverse has been the case: the active political participants have had highly positive attitudes towards government and policies. Now, however, this relationship seems to be weakening, and those who have low trust in government are no more likely to be politically apathetic than those with high trust in government. [16]

Table 5: Proportion of Public Expressing "Great Deal of Confidence' in Leadership of Institutions

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(1) Increased political participation leads to increased policy polarization within society;

(2) Increased policy polarization leads to increasing distrust and a sense of decreasing political efficacy among individuals;

(3) A sense of decreasing political efficacy leads to decreased political participation.

In addition, change in the principal issues on the political agenda could lead to decreasing ideological polarization. The fire has subsided with respect to many of the heated issues of the 1960s, and, at the moment, they have been displaced on the public agenda by overwhelming preoccupation with economic issues, first inflation and then recession and unemployment. The positions of people on economic issues, however, are not as directly related to their basic ideological inclinations as their positions on other issues. In addition, inflation and unemployment are like crime; no one is in favor of them, and significant differences can only appear if there are significantly different alternative programs for dealing with them. Such programs, however, have been slow in materializing; hence, the salience of economic issues may give rise to generalized feelings of lack of confidence in the political system but not to dissatisfaction rooted in the failure of government to follow a particular set of policies. Such generalized alienation could, in turn, reinforce tendencies towards political passivity engendered by the already observable decline in the sense of political efficacy. This suggests that the democratic surge of the 1960s could well generate its own countervailing forces, that an upsurge of political participation produces conditions which favor a downswing in political participation.

3. The Decay of the Party System

The decline in the role of political parties in the United States in the 1960s can be seen in a variety of ways.

(a) Party identification has dropped sharply, and the proportion of the public which considers itself Independent in politics has correspondingly increased. In 1972 more people identified themselves as Independent than identified themselves as Republican, and among those under thirty, there were more Independents than Republicans and Democrats combined. Younger voters always tend to be less partisan than older voters. But the proportion of Independents among this age group has gone up sharply. In 1950, for instance, 28 percent of the twenty-one to twenty-nine-year-old group identified themselves as Independent; in 1971, 43 percent of this age group did. [18] Thus, unless there is a reversal of this trend and a marked upswing in partisanship, substantially lower levels of party identification among the American electorate are bound to persist for at least another generation.

(b) Party voting has declined, and ticket-splitting has become a major phenomenon. In 1950 about 80 percent of the voters cast straight party ballots; in 1970 only 50 percent did. [19] Voters are thus more inclined to vote for the candidate than to vote for the party, and this, in turn, means that candidates have to campaign primarily as individuals and sell themselves to the voters in terms of their own personality and talents, rather than joining with the other candidates of their party in a collaborative partisan effort. Hence they must also raise their own money and create their own organization. The phenomenon represented at the extreme by CREEP and its isolation from the Republican National Committee in the 1972 election is being duplicated in greater or lesser measure in other electoral contests.

(c) Partisan consistency in voting is also decreasing, that is, voters are more likely to vote Republican in one election and Democratic in the next. At the national level, there is a growing tendency for public opinion to swing generally back and forth across the board, with relatively little regard to the usual differences among categorical voting groups. Four out of the six presidential elections since 1952 have been landslides. This phenomenon is a product of the weakening of party ties and the decline of regionalism in politics. In 1920 Harding received about the same percentage of the popular vote that Nixon did in 1972, but Harding lost eleven states while Nixon lost only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. [20] In a similar vein, the fact that the voters cast 60 percent of their votes for Nixon in 1972 did not prevent them from reelecting a Democratic Congress that year and then giving the Democrats an even more overwhelming majority in Congress two years later.

As the above figures suggest, the significance of party as a guide to electoral behavior has declined substantially. In part, but only in part, candidate appeal took its place. Even more important was the rise of issues as a significant factor affecting voting behavior. Previously, if one wanted to predict how individuals would vote in a congressional or presidential election, the most important fact to know about them was their party identification. This is no longer the case. In 1956 and 1960, party identification was three or four times as important as the views of voters on issues in predicting how they would vote. In the 1964 and subsequent elections, this relationship reversed itself. Issue politics has replaced party politics as the primary influence on mass political behavior. [21] This is true, also, not only with respect to the public and electoral behavior but also with respect to members of Congress and legislative behavior. Party is no longer as significant a guide as it once was to how members of Congress will vote. In the House of Representatives, for instance, during Truman's second term (1949-52), 54.5 percent of the roll call votes were party unity votes, in which a majority of one party opposes a majority of the other party. This proportion has declined steadily to the point where in Nixon's first term (1969 [iv]72), only 31 percent of the roll call votes were party unity votes. [22]

The decline in the salience of party for the mass public is also, in some measure, reflected in the attitudes of the public toward the parties as institutions. In 1972, the public was asked which of the four major institutions of the national government (President, Congress, Supreme Court, and political parties) had done the best job and the worst job in the past few years and which was most powerful and least powerful. On both dimensions, the differences among the three formal branches of the national government were, while clearly observable, not all that great. Not one of the others, however, came close to the political parties as the voters' choice for doing the worst job and being the least powerful. (See Table 6.) While these data could conceivably be interpreted in a variety of ways, when they are viewed in the context of the other evidence on the decline of partisan loyalty, they strongly suggest that the popular attitude towards parties combines both disapproval and contempt. As might be expected, these attitudes are particularly marked among those under twenty-five years of age. In 1973, for instance, 61 percent of college youth and 64 percent of noncollege youth believed that political parties needed to be reformed or to be eliminated; in comparison, 54 percent of the college youth and 45 percent of the noncollege youth believed big business needed to be reformed or eliminated. [23]

Table 6: Attitudes Towards Governmental Institutions, 1972

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Not only has the mass base of the parties declined but so also has the coherence and strength of party organization. The political party has, indeed, become less of an organization, with a life and interest of its own, and more of an arena in which other actors pursue their interests. In some respects, of course, the decline of party organization is an old and familiar phenomenon. The expansion of government welfare functions beginning with the New Deal, the increased pervasiveness of the mass media, particularly television, and the higher levels of affluence and education among the public have all tended over the years to weaken the traditional bases of party organization. During the 1960s, however, this trend seemed to accelerate. In both major parties, party leaders found it difficult to maintain control of the most central and important function of the party: the selection of candidates for public office. In part, the encroachment on party organization was the result of the mobilization of issue constituencies by issue-oriented candidates, of whom Goldwater, McCarthy, Wallace, and McGovern were the principal examples on the national level. In part, however, it was simply a reaction against party politics and party leaders. Endorsements by party leaders or by party conventions carried little positive weight and were often a liability. The "outsider" in politics, or the candidate who could make himself or herself appear to be an outsider, had the inside road to political office. In New York in 1974, for instance, four of five candidates for statewide office endorsed by the state Democratic convention were defeated by the voters in the Democratic primary; the party leaders, it has been aptly said, did not endorse Hugh Carey for governor because he could not win, and he won because they did not endorse him. The lesson of the 1960s was that American political parties were extraordinarily open and extraordinarily vulnerable organizations, in the sense that they could be easily penetrated, and even captured, by highly motivated and well-organized groups with a cause and a candidate.

The trends in party reform and organization in the 1960s were all designed to open the parties even further and to encourage fuller participation in party affairs. In some measure, these reforms could conceivably mitigate the peculiar paradox in which popular participation in politics was going up, but the premier organization designed to structure and organize that participation, the political party, was declining. At the same time, the longer-term effect of the reforms could be very different from that which was intended. In the democratic surge during the Progressive era at the turn of the century, the direct primary was widely adopted as a means of insuring popular control of the party organization. In fact, however, the primary reinforced the power of the political bosses whose followers in the party machine always voted in the primaries. In similar fashion, the reforms of the 1970s within the Democratic party to insure the representation of all significant groups and viewpoints in party conventions appeared likely to give the party leaders at the national convention new influence over the choice of the presidential nominee.

As we have indicated, the signs of decay in the American party system have their parallels in the party systems of other industrialized democratic countries. In addition, however, the developments of the 1960s in the American party system can also be viewed in terms of the historical dynamics of American politics. According to the standard theory of American politics, a major party realignment occurs, usually in conjunction with a "critical election," approximately every twenty-eight to thirty-six years: 1800, 1828, 1860, 1898, 1932. [24] In terms of this theory, such a realignment was obviously due about 1968. In fact, many of the signs of party decay which were present in the 1960s have also historically accompanied major party realignments: a decline in party identification, increased electoral volatility, third party movements, the loosening of the bonds between social groups and political parties, and the rise of new policy issues which cut across the older cleavages. The decay of the old New Deal party system was clearly visible, and the emergence of a new party system was eagerly awaited, at least by politicians and political analysts. Yet neither in 1968 nor in 1972 did a new coalition of groups emerge to constitute a new partisan majority and give birth to a new party alignment. Nor did there seem to be any significant evidence that such a realignment was likely in 1976—by which time it would be eight to sixteen years overdue according to the "normal" pattern of party system evolution.

Alternatively, the signs of party decomposition could be interpreted as presaging not simply a realignment of parties within an ongoing system but rather a more fundamental decay and potential dissolution of the party system. In this respect, it could be argued that the American party system emerged during the Jacksonian years of the mid-nineteenth century, that it went through realignments in the 1850s, 1890s, and 1930s, but that it reached its peak in terms of popular commitment and organizational strength in the last decades of the nineteenth century, and that since then it has been going through a slow, but now accelerating, process of disintegration. To support this proposition, it could be argued that political parties are a political form peculiarly suited to the needs of industrial society and that the movement of the United States into a post-industrial phase hence means the end of the political party system as we have known it. If this be the case, a variety of critical issues must be faced. Is democratic government possible without political parties? If political participation is not organized by means of parties, how will it be organized? If parties decline, will not popular participation also drop significantly? In less developed countries, the principal alternative to party government is military government. Do the highly developed countries have a third alternative?

4. The Shifting Balance Between Government and Opposition

The governability of a democracy depends upon the relation between the authority of its governing institutions and the power of its opposition institutions. In a parliamentary system, the authority of the cabinet depends upon the balance of power between the governing parties and the opposition parties in the legislature. In the United States, the authority of government depends upon the balance of power between a broad coalition of governing institutions and groups, which includes but transcends the legislature and other formal institutions of government, and the power of those institutions and groups which are committed to opposition. During the 1960s the balance of power between government and opposition shifted significantly. The central governing institution in the political system, the presidency, declined in power; institutions playing opposition roles in the system, most notably the national media and Congress, significantly increased their power.

"Who governs?" is obviously one of the most important questions to ask concerning any political system. Even more important, however, may be the question: "Does anybody govern?" To the extent that the United States was governed by anyone during the decades after World War II, it was governed by the president acting with the support and cooperation of key individuals and groups in the Executive Office, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, and the more important businesses, banks, law firms, foundations, and media, which constitute the private establishment. In the twentieth century, when the American political system has moved systematically with respect to public policy, the direction and the initiative have come from the White House. When the president is unable to exercise authority, when he is unable to command the cooperation of key decision-makers elsewhere in society and government, no one else has been able to supply comparable purpose and initiative. To the extent that the United States has been governed on a national basis, it has been governed by the president. During the 1960s and early 1970s, however, the authority of the president declined significantly, and the governing coalition which had, in effect, helped the president to run the country from the early 1940s down to the early 1960s began to disintegrate.

These developments were, in some measure, a result of the extent to which all forms of leadership, but particularly those associated with or tainted by politics, tended to lose legitimacy in the 1960s and early 1970s. Not only was there a decline in the confidence of the public in political leaders, but there was also a marked decline in the confidence of political leaders in themselves. In part, this was the result of what were perceived to be significant policy failures: the failure "to win" the war in Indochina; the failure of the Great Society's social programs to achieve their anticipated results; and the intractability of inflation. These perceived failures induced doubts among political leaders of the effectiveness of their rule. In addition, and probably more importantly, political leaders also had doubts about the morality of their rule. They too shared in the democratic, participatory, and egalitarian ethos of the times, and hence had questions about the legitimacy of hierarchy, coercion, discipline, secrecy, and deception—all of which are, in some measure, inescapable attributes of the process of government. [iv]

Probably no development of the 1960s and 1970s has greater import for the future of American politics than the decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency. The effects of the weakening of the presidency will be felt throughout the body politic for years to come. The decline of the presidency manifests itself in a variety of ways.

No one of the last four presidents has served a full course of eight years in office. One President has been assassinated, one forced out of office because of opposition to his policies, and another forced out because of opposition to him personally. Short terms in office reduce the effectiveness of the president in dealing with both enemies and allies abroad and bureaucrats and members of Congress at home. The greatest weakness in the presidency in American history was during the period from 1848 to 1860, during which twelve years four presidents occupied the office and none of them was reelected.

At present, for the first time since the Jacksonian revolution, the United States has a president and a vice-president who are not the product of a national electoral process. Both the legitimacy and the power of the presidency are weakened to the extent that the president does not come into office through an involvement in national politics which compels him to mobilize support throughout the country, negotiate alliances with diverse economic, ethnic, and regional groups and defeat his adversaries in intensely fought state and national electoral battles. The current president is a product of Grand Rapids and the House—not of the nation. The United States has almost returned, at least temporarily, to the relations between Congress and president which prevailed during the congressional caucus period in the second decade of the nineteenth century.

Since Theodore Roosevelt, at least, the presidency has been viewed as the most popular branch of government and that which is most likely to provide the leadership for progressive reform. Liberals, progressives, intellectuals have all seen the presidency as the key to change in American politics, economics, and society. The great presidents have been the strong presidents, who stretched the legal authority and political resources of the office to mobilize support for their policies and to put through their legislative program. In the 1960s, however, the tide of opinion dramatically reversed itself: those who previously glorified presidential leadership now warn of the dangers of presidential power.

While much was made in the press and elsewhere during the 1960s about the dangers of the abuses of presidential power, this criticism of presidential power was, in many respects, evidence of the decline of presidential power. Certainly the image which both Presidents Johnson and Nixon had of their power was far different, and probably more accurate, if only because it was self-fulfilling, than the images which the critics of the presidency had of presidential power. Both Johnson and Nixon saw themselves as isolated and beleaguered, surrounded by hostile forces in the bureaucracy and the establishment. Under both of them, a feeling almost of political paranoia pervaded the White House: a sense that the president and his staff were "an island" in a hostile world. On the one hand, these feelings of suspicion and mistrust led members of the president's staff to engage in reckless, illegal, and self-defeating actions to counter his "enemies"; on the other hand, these feelings also made it all the more difficult for them to engage in the political compromises and to exercise the political leadership necessary to mobilize his supporters.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Congress and the courts began to impose a variety of formal restrictions on presidential power, in the form of the War Powers Act, the budgetary reform act, the limits on presidential impoundment of funds, and similar measures.

At the same time, and more importantly, the effectiveness of the president as the principal leader of the nation declined also as a result of the decline in the effectiveness of leadership at other levels in society and government. The absence of strong central leadership in Congress (on the Rayburn-Johnson model, for instance) made it impossible for a president to secure support from Congress in an economical fashion. The diffusion of authority in Congress meant a reduction in the authority of the president. There was no central leadership with whom he could negotiate and come to terms. The same was true with respect to the cabinet. The general decline in the status of cabinet secretaries was often cited as evidence of the growth in the power of the presidency on the grounds that the White House office was assuming powers which previously rested with the cabinet. But in fact the decline in the status of cabinet secretaries made it more difficult for the president to command the support and cooperation of the executive bureaucracy; weak leadership at the departmental level produces weakened leadership at the presidential level.

To become president a candidate has to put together an electoral coalition involving a majority of voters appropriately distributed across the country. He normally does this by: (1) developing an identification with certain issues and positions which bring him the support of key categorical groups—economic, regional, ethnic, racial, and religious; and (2) cultivating the appearance of certain general characteristics—honesty, energy, practicality, decisiveness, sincerity, and experience—which appeal generally across the board to people in all categorical groups. Before the New Deal, when the needs of the national government in terms of policies, programs, and personnel were relatively small, the president normally relied on the members of his electoral coalition to help him govern the country. Political leaders in Congress, in the state houses, and elsewhere across the country showed up in Washington to run the administration, and the groups which comprised the electoral coalition acted to put through Congress the measures in which they were interested.

Since the 1930s, however, the demands on government have grown tremendously and the problems of constituting a governing coalition have multiplied commensurately. Indeed, once he is elected president, the president's electoral coalition has, in a sense, served its purpose. The day after his election the size of his majority is almost—if not entirely -- irrelevant to his ability to govern the country. What counts then is his ability to govern the country. What counts then is his ability to mobilize support from the leaders of the key institutions in society and government. He has to constitute a broad governing coalition of strategically located supporters who can furnish him with the information, talent, expertise, workforce, publicity, arguments, and political support which he needs to develop a program, to embody it in legislation, and to see it effectively implemented. This coalition, as we have indicated, must include key people in Congress, the executive branch, and the private establishment. The governing coalition need have little relation to the electoral coalition. The fact that the president as a candidate put together a successful electoral coalition does not insure that he will have a viable governing coalition.

For twenty years after World War II presidents operated with the cooperation of a series of informal governing coalitions. Truman made a point of bringing a substantial number of nonpartisan soldiers, Republican bankers, and Wall Street lawyers into his administration. He went to the existing sources of power in the country to get the help he needed in ruling the country. Eisenhower in part inherited this coalition and was in part almost its creation. He also mobilized a substantial number of midwestern businessmen into his administration and established close and effective working relationships with the Democratic leadership of Congress. During his brief administration, Kennedy attempted to recreate a somewhat similar structure of alliances. Johnson was acutely aware of the need to maintain effective working relations with the Eastern establishment and other key groups in the private sector, but, in effect, in 1965 and 1966 was successful only with respect to Congress. The informal coalition of individuals and groups which had buttressed the power of the three previous presidents began to disintegrate.

Both Johnson and his successor were viewed with a certain degree of suspicion by many of the more liberal and intellectual elements which might normally contribute their support to the administration. The Vietnam war and, to a lesser degree, racial issues divided elite groups as well as the mass public. In addition, the number and variety of groups whose support might be necessary had increased tremendously by the 1960s. Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers. By the mid-1960s, the sources of power in society had diversified tremendously, and this was no longer possible.

The most notable new source of national power in 1970, as compared to 1950, was the national media, meaning here the national TV networks, the national news magazines, and the major newspapers with national reach such as the Washington Post and the New York Times. [v] There is, for instance, considerable evidence to suggest that the development of television journalism contributed to the undermining of governmental authority. The advent of the half-hour nightly news broadcast in 1963 led to greatly increased popular dependence on television as a source of news. It also greatly expanded the size of the audience for news. At the same time, the themes which were stressed, the focus on controversy and violence, and, conceivably, the values and outlook of the journalists, tended to arouse unfavorable attitudes towards established institutions and to promote a decline in confidence in government, "Most newsmen," as Walter Cronkite put it, "come to feel very little allegiance to the established order. I think they are inclined to side with humanity rather than with authority and institutions." [25] And, in fact, public opinion surveys show that, even with controls for education and income, increased reliance on television for news is associated with low political efficacy, social distrust, cynicism, and weak party loyalty. [26] Television news, in short, functions as a "dispatriating" agency, one which portrays the conditions in society as undesirable and as getting worse. In the 1960s, the network organizations, as one analyst put it, became "a highly creditable, never-tiring political opposition, a maverick third party which never need face the sobering experience of governing." [27]

Less dramatic but somewhat parallel changes also occurred in the political role of newspapers. It is a long-established and familiar political fact that within a city and even within a state, the power of the local press serves as a major check on the power of the local government. In the early twentieth century, the United States developed an effective national government, making and implementing national policies. Only in recent years, however, has there come into existence a national press with the economic independence and communications reach to play a role with respect to the president that a local newspaper plays with respect to a mayor. This marks the emergence of a very significant check on presidential power. In the two most dramatic domestic policy conflicts of the Nixon administration—the Pentagon Papers and Watergate—organs of the national media challenged and defeated the national executive. The press, indeed, played a leading role in bringing about what no other single institution, group, or combination of institutions and groups, had done previously in American history: forcing out of office a president who had been elected less than two years earlier by one of the largest popular majorities in American history. No future president can or will forget that fact.

The 1960s and early 1970s also saw a reassertion of the power of Congress. In part, this represented simply the latest phase in the institutionalized constitutional conflict between Congress and president; in part, also, of course, it reflected the fact that after 1968 president and Congress were controlled by different parties. In addition, however, these years saw the emergence, first in the Senate and then in the House, of a new generation of congressional activists willing to challenge established authority in their own chambers as well as in the presidency.

The new power of the media and the new assertiveness of Congress also had their impact on the relations between the executive branch and the president. During the Johnson and Nixon administrations the White House attitude toward executive branch agencies often seemed to combine mistrust of them, on the one hand, and the attempt to misuse them, on the other. In part, no doubt, the poisoning of the relationship between White House and executive agencies reflected the fact that not since Franklin Roosevelt has this country had a chief executive with any significant experience as a political executive. The record to date of former legislators and generals in the presidency suggests they do not come to that office well equipped to motivate, energize, guide, and control their theoretical subordinates but actual rivals in the executive branch agencies. The growth in the power of the press and of Congress inevitably strengthens the independence of bureaucratic agencies vis-a-vis the president. Those agencies are secondary contributors to the decline of presidential power but primary beneficiaries of that decline.

The increased power of the national opposition, centered in the press and in Congress, undoubtedly is related to and is perhaps a significant cause of the critical attitudes which the public has towards the federal as compared to state and local government. While data for past periods are not readily available, certainly the impression one gets is that over the years the public has often tended to view state and local government as inefficient, corrupt, inactive, and unresponsive. The federal government, on the other hand, has seemed to command much greater confidence and trust, going all the way from early childhood images of the "goodness" of the president to respect for the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies having an impact on the population as models of efficiency and integrity. It would now appear that there has been a drastic reversal of these images. In 1973, a national sample was asked whether it then had more or less confidence in each of the three levels of government than it had five years previously. Confidence in all three levels of government declined more than it rose, but the proportion of the public which reported a decline in confidence in the federal government (57 percent) was far higher than those reporting a decline in confidence in state (26 percent) or local (30 percent) government. Corroborating these judgments, only 11 percent and 14 percent, respectively, thought that local and state government had made their life worse during the past few years, while 28 percent and 27 percent of the population thought that local and state government had improved their life. In contrast, only 23 percent of the population thought that the federal government had improved their lives, while a whopping 37 percent thought it had made their lives worse. As one would expect, substantial majorities also went on record in favor of increasing the power of state government (59 percent) and of local government (61 percent). But only 32 percent wanted to increase the power of the federal government, while 42 percent voted to decrease its power. [28] The shift in the institutional balance between government and opposition at the national level thus corresponds neatly to the shift in popular attitudes towards government at the national level.

The balance between government and opposition depends not only on the relative power of different institutions, but also on their roles in the political system. The presidency has been the principal national governing institution in the United States; its power has declined. The power of the media and of Congress has increased. Can their roles change? By its very nature, the media cannot govern and has strong incentives to assume an oppositional role. The critical question consequently concerns Congress. In the wake of a declining presidency, can Congress organize itself to furnish the leadership to govern the country? During most of this century, the trends in Congress have been in the opposite direction. In recent years the increase in the power of Congress has outstripped an increase in its ability to govern. [vi] If the institutional balance is to be redressed between government and opposition, the decline in presidential power has to be reversed and the ability of Congress to govern has to be increased.
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:53 am

PART 3 OF 3

4. THE DEMOCRATIC DISTEMPER: CONSEQUENCES

The vigor of democracy in the United States in the 1960s thus contributed to a democratic distemper, involving the expansion of governmental activity, on the one hand, and the reduction of governmental authority, on the other. This democratic distemper, in turn, had further important consequences for the functioning of the political system. The extent of these consequences was, as of 1974, still unclear, depending, obviously, on the duration and the scope of the democratic surge.

The expansion of governmental activity produced budgetary deficits and a major expansion of total governmental debt from $336 billion in 1960 to $557 billion in 1971. These deficits contributed to inflationary tendencies in the economy. They also brought to the fore in the early 1970s the entire question of the incidence of the tax burden and the issues of tax reform. The major expansion of unionism in the public sector combined with the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of measuring productivity or efficiency for many bureaucratic activities made the salary and wage determinations for governmental employees a central focus of political controversy. Unionization produced higher wages and more vigorous collective bargaining to secure higher wages. Strikes by public employees became more and more prevalent: in 1961, only twenty-eight strikes took place involving governmental workers; in 1970, there were 412 such strikes. [29] Governmental officials were thus caught between the need to avoid the disruption of public services from strikes by governmental employees for higher wages and the need to avoid imposing higher taxes to pay for the higher wages which the governmental employees demand. The easiest and obviously most prevalent way of escaping from this dilemma is to increase wages without increasing taxes and thereby to add still further to governmental deficits and to the inflationary spiral which will serve as the justification for demands for still higher wages. To the extent that this process is accompanied by low or negative rates of economic growth, tax revenues will be still further limited and the whole vicious cycle still further exacerbated.

At the same time that the expansion of governmental activity creates problems of financial solvency for government, the decline in governmental authority reduces still further the ability of government to deal effectively with these problems. The imposition of "hard" decisions imposing constraints on any major economic group is difficult in any democracy and particularly difficult in the United States where the separation of powers provides a variety of points of access to governmental decision-making for economic interest groups. During the Korean war, for instance, governmental efforts at wage and price control failed miserably, as business and farm groups were able to riddle legislation with loopholes in Congress and labor was able to use its leverage with the executive branch to eviscerate wage controls. [30] All this occurred despite the fact that there was a war on and the government was not lacking in authority. The decline in governmental authority in general and of the central leadership in particular during the early 1970s opens new opportunities to special interests to bend governmental behavior to their special purposes.

In the United States, as elsewhere in the industrialized world, domestic problems thus become intractable problems. The public develops expectations which it is impossible for government to meet. The activities—and expenditures—of government expand, but the success of government in achieving its goals seems dubious. In a democracy, however, political leaders in power need to score successes if they are going to stay in power. The natural result is to produce a gravitation to foreign policy, where successes, or seeming successes, are much more easily arranged than they are in domestic policy. Trips abroad, summit meetings, declarations and treaties, rhetorical aggression, all produce the appearance of activity and achievement. The weaker a political leader is at home, the more likely he is to be traveling abroad. Nixon had to see Brezhnev in June 1974, and Tanaka, for similar reasons, desperately wanted to see Ford in September 1974. Despite the best efforts by political leaders to prop each other up at critical moments, there remains, nonetheless, only limited room for substantive agreements among nations among whom there are complex and conflicting interests. Consequently, politicians in search of bolstering their standing at home by achievements abroad either have to make a nonachievement appear to be an achievement (which can be done successfully only a limited number of times), or they have to make an achievement which may have an immediate payoff but which they and, more importantly, their countries are likely to regret in the long run. The dynamics of this search for foreign policy achievements by democratic leaders lacking authority at home gives to dictatorships (whether communist party states or oil sheikhdoms), which are free from such compulsions, a major advantage in the conduct of international relations.

The expansion of expenditures and the decrease in authority are also likely to encourage economic nationalism in democratic societies. Each country will have an interest in minimizing the export of some goods in order to keep prices down in its own society. At the same time, other interests are likely to demand protection against the import of foreign goods. In the United States, this has meant embargoes, as on the export of soybeans, on the one hand, and tariffs and quotas on the import of textiles, shoes, and comparable manufactured goods, on the other. A strong government will not necessarily follow more liberal and internationalist economic policies, but a weak government is almost certain to be incapable of doing so. The resulting unilateralism could well weaken still further the alliances among the Trilateral countries and increase their vulnerability to economic and military pressures from the Soviet bloc.

Finally, a government which lacks authority and which is committed to substantial domestic programs will have little ability, short of a cataclysmic crisis, to impose on its people the sacrifices which may be necessary to deal with foreign policy problems and defense. In the early 1970s, as we have seen, spending for all significant programs connected with the latter purposes was far more unpopular than spending for any major domestic purpose. The U.S. government has given up the authority to draft its citizens into the armed forces and is now committed to providing the monetary incentives to attract volunteers with a stationary or declining percentage of the Gross National Product. At the present time, this would appear to pose no immediate deleterious consequences for national security. The question necessarily arises, however, of whether in the future, if a new threat to security should materialize, as it inevitably will at some point, the government will possess the authority to command the resources and the sacrifices necessary to meet that threat.

The implications of these potential consequences of the democratic distemper extend far beyond the United States. For a quarter-century the United States was the hegemonic power in a system of world order. The manifestations of the democratic distemper, however, have already stimulated uncertainty among allies and could well stimulate adventurism among enemies. If American citizens don't trust their government, why should friendly foreigners? If American citizens challenge the authority of American government, why shouldn't unfriendly governments? The turning inward of American attention and the decline in the authority of American governing institutions are closely related, as both cause and effect, to the relative downturn in American power and influence in world affairs. A decline in the governability of democracy at home means a decline in the influence of democracy abroad.

5. THE DEMOCRATIC DISTEMPER: CAUSES

The immediate causes of the simultaneous expansion of governmental activity and the decline of governmental authority are to be found in the democratic surge of the 1960s. What, however, was in turn responsible for this sharp increase in political consciousness, political participation, and commitment to egalitarian and democratic values? As we have indicated, the causes of the surge can be usefully analyzed in terms of their scope and timing. Are these causes country-specific or Trilateral-general? Are they transitory, secular, or recurring? In actuality, as we have suggested, the causes of the democratic surge seem to partake of all these characteristics.

The most specific, immediate, and in a sense "rational" causes of the democratic surge could conceivably be the specific policy problems confronting the United States government in the 1960s and 1970s and its inability to deal effectively with those problems. Vietnam, race relations, Watergate, and stagflation: these could quite naturally lead to increased polarization over policy, higher levels of political participation (and protest), and reduced confidence in governmental institutions and leaders. In fact, these issues and the ways in which the government dealt with them did have some impact; the unraveling of Watergate was, for instance, followed by a significant decline in public confidence in the executive branch of government. More generally, however, a far-from-perfect fit exists between the perceived inability of the government to deal effectively with these policy problems and the various attitudinal and behavioral manifestations of the democratic surge. The expansion of political participation was underway long before these problems came to a head in the mid-1960s, and the beginnings of the decline in trust and of the increase in attitude consistency go back before large-scale American involvement in Vietnam. Indeed, a closer look at the relationship between attitudes towards the Vietnam war and confidence in government suggests that the connection between the two may not be very significant. Opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam, for instance, became widespread among blacks in mid-1966, while among whites opponents of the war did not outnumber supporters until early 1968. In terms of a variety of indices, however, white confidence and trust in government declined much further and more rapidly than black confidence and trust during the middle 1960s. In late 1967, for instance, whites were divided roughly 46 percent in favor of the war and 44 percent against, while blacks were split 29 percent in favor and 57 percent against. Yet in 1968, white opinion was divided 49.2 percent to 40.5 percent on whether the government was run for the benefit of all or a "few big interests," while blacks though that it was run for the benefit of all by a margin of 63.1 percent to 28.6 percent. [31] Black confidence in government plummeted only after the Nixon administration came to power in 1969. While the evidence is not as complete as one would desire, it does, nonetheless, suggest that the actual substantive character of governmental policies on the war, as well as perhaps on other matters, was of less significance for the decrease in governmental authority than were the changes generated by other causes in the attitudes of social groups towards government and in the intensity with which social groups held to particular political values.

At the opposite extreme in terms of generality, the democratic surge can also be explained in terms of widespread demographic trends of the 1960s. Throughout the industrialized world during the 1960s, the younger age cohorts furnished many of the activists in the democratic and egalitarian challenges to established authority. In part, this revolt of the youth was undoubtedly the product of the global baby boom of the post-World War II years which brought to the fore in the 1960s a generational bulge which overwhelmed colleges and universities. This was associated with the rise of distinctive new values which appeared first among college youth and then were diffused among youth generally. Prominent among these new values were what have been described as "changes in relation to the authority of institutions such as the authority of the law, the police, the government, the boss in the work situation." These changes were "in the direction of what sociologists call 'deauthorization, ' i.e., a lessening of automatic obedience to, and respect for, established authority... ." The new disrespect for authority on the part of youth was part and parcel of broader changes in their attitudes and values with respect to sexual morality, religion as a source of moral guidance, and traditional patriotism and allegiance "to my country right or wrong." [32]

As a result of this development, major differences over social values and political attitudes emerged between generations. One significant manifestation of the appearance of this generational gap in the United States is the proportion of different age groups agreeing at different times in recent decades with the proposition: "Voting is the only way that people like me can have any say about how the government runs things." In 1952 overwhelming majorities of all age groups agreed with this statement, with the difference between the youngest age group (twenty-one to twenty-eight), with 79 percent approval, and the oldest age group (sixty-one and over), with 80 percent approval, being only 1 percent. By 1968, the proportion of every age group supporting the statement had declined substantially. Of even greater significance was the major gap of 25 percent which had opened up between the youngest age group (37 percent approval) and the oldest age group (62 percent approval). [33] Whereas young and old related almost identically to political participation in 1952, they had very different attitudes toward it sixteen years later.

The democratic surge can also be explained as the first manifestation in the United States of the political impact of the social, economic, and cultural trends towards the emergence of a post-industrial society. Rising levels of affluence and education lead to changes in political attitudes and political behavior. Many of the political and social values which are more likely to be found among the young than among the elderly are also more likely to be found among better-off, white-collar, suburban groups than among the poorer, working-class, blue-collar groups in central and industrial cities. The former groups, however, are growing in numbers and importance relative to the latter, and hence their political attitudes and behavior patterns are likely to play an increasingly dominant role in politics. [34] What is true today in North America is likely to be true tomorrow in Western Europe and Japan.

The single most important status variable affecting political participation and attitudes is education. For several decades the level of education in the United States has been rising rapidly. In 1940, less than 40 percent of the population was educated beyond elementary school; in 1972, 75 percent of the population had been either to high school (40 percent) or to college (35 percent). The more educated a person is, the more likely he is to participate in politics, to have a more consistent and more ideological outlook on political issues, and to hold more "enlightened" or "liberal" or "change oriented" views on social, cultural, and foreign policy issues. Consequently the democratic surge could be simply the reflection of a more highly educated populace.

This explanation, however, runs into difficulties when it is examined more closely. Verba and Nie, for instance, have shown that the actual rates of campaign activity which prevailed in the 1950s and 1960s ran far ahead of the rates which would have been projected simply as a result of changes in the educational composition of the population. (See Table 7.) In part, the explanation for this discrepancy stems from the tremendous increase in black political participation during these years. Before 1960, blacks participated less than would have been expected in terms of their educational levels. After 1960, they participated far more than would have been expected by those levels; the gap between projected and actual participation rates in these latter years being far greater for the blacks than it was for the whites. The difference in participation between more highly educated and less highly educated blacks, in turn, was much less than it was between more highly educated and less highly educated whites. Black political participation, in short, was the product primarily not of increased individual status but rather of increased group consciousness. [35] That political participation will remain high as long as their group consciousness does. A decline in the saliency of school integration, welfare programs, law enforcement, and other issues of special concern to blacks will at some point presumably be accompanied by a decline in their group consciousness and hence their political participation.

Table 7: Mean Number of Campaign Acts: Actual and Projected

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In a similar vein, the assumption that increased attitude consistency can be explained primarily by higher levels of education also does not hold up. In fact, during the 1950s and 1960s major and roughly equal increases in attitude consistency occurred among both those who had gone to college and those who had not graduated from high school. In summarizing the data, Nie and Anderson state:

The growth of attitude consistency within the mass public is clearly not the result of increases in the population's "ideological capacities" brought about by gains in educational attainment. . . . Those with the lowest educational attainment have experienced the largest increases in consistency on the core domestic issues; and little significant difference appears to be present between the two educational groups in comparison to the dramatic increases in consistency which both groups have experienced.


Instead, they argue, the increase in ideological thinking is primarily the result of the increased salience which citizens perceive politics to have for their own immediate concerns: "The political events of the last decade, and the crisis atmosphere which has attended them, have caused citizens to perceive politics as increasingly central to their lives." [36] Thus, the causes of increased attitude consistency, like the causes of higher political participation, are to be found in changing political relationships, rather than in changes in individual background characteristics.

All this suggests that a full explanation of the democratic surge can be found neither in transitory events nor in secular social trends common to all industrial societies. The timing and nature of the surge in the United States also need to be explained by the distinctive dynamics of the American political process and, in particular, by the interaction between political ideas and institutional reality in the United States. The roots of the surge are to be found in the basic American value system and the degree of commitment which groups in society feel toward that value system. Unlike Japanese and most European societies, American society is characterized by a broad consensus on democratic, liberal, egalitarian values. For much of the time, the commitment to these values is neither passionate nor intense. During periods of rapid social change, however, these democratic and egalitarian values of the American creed are reaffirmed. The intensity of belief during such creedal passion periods leads to the challenging of established authority and to major efforts to change governmental structure to accord more fully with those values. In this respect, the democratic surge of the 1960s shares many characteristics with the comparable egalitarian and reform movements of the Jacksonian and Progressive eras. Those "surges" like the contemporary one also occurred during periods of realignment between party and governmental institutions, on the one hand, and social forces, on the other. [37] The slogans, goals, values, and targets of all three movements are strikingly similar. To the extent this analysis is valid, the causes of the democratic surge in the United States would be specific to the United States and limited in duration but potentially recurring at some point in the future.

6. CONCLUSIONS: TOWARD A DEMOCRATIC BALANCE

Predictively, the implication of this analysis is that in due course the democratic surge and its resulting dual distemper in government will moderate. Prescriptively, the implication is that these developments ought to take place in order to avoid the deleterious consequences of the surge and to restore balance between vitality and governability in the democratic system.

Al Smith once remarked that "the only cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy." Our analysis suggests that applying that cure at the present time could well be adding fuel to the flames. Instead, some of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy—an "excess of democracy" in much the same sense in which David Donald used the term to refer to the consequences of the Jacksonian revolution which helped to precipitate the Civil War. Needed, instead, is a greater degree of moderation in democracy.

In practice, this moderation has two major areas of application. First, democracy is only one way of constituting authority, and it is not necessarily a universally applicable one. In many situations the claims of expertise, seniority, experience, and special talents may override the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority. During the surge of the 1960s, however, the democratic principle was extended to many institutions where it can, in the long run, only frustrate the purposes of those institutions. A university where teaching appointments are subject to approval by students may be a more democratic university but it is not likely to be a better university. In similar fashion, armies in which the commands of officers have been subject to veto by the collective wisdom of their subordinates have almost invariably come to disaster on the battlefield. The arenas where democratic procedures are appropriate are, in short, limited.

Second, the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups. In the past, every democratic society has had a marginal population, of greater or lesser size, which has not actively participated in politics. In itself, this marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic, but it has also been one of the factors which has enabled democracy to function effectively. Marginal social groups, as in the case of the blacks, are now becoming full participants in the political system. Yet the danger of overloading the political system with demands which extend its functions and undermine its authority still remains. Less marginality on the part of some groups thus needs to be replaced by more self-restraint on the part of all groups.

The Greek philosophers argued that the best practical state would combine several different principles of government in its constitution. The Constitution of 1787 was drafted with this insight very much in mind. Over the years, however, the American political system has emerged as a distinctive case of extraordinarily democratic institutions joined to an exclusively democratic value system. Democracy is more of a threat to itself in the United States than it is in either Europe or Japan where there still exist residual inheritances of traditional and aristocratic values. The absence of such values in the United States produces a lack of balance in society which, in turn, leads to the swing back and forth between creedal passion and creedal passivity. Political authority is never strong in the United States, and it is peculiarly weak during a creedal passion period of intense commitment to democratic and egalitarian ideals. In the United States, the strength of democracy poses a problem for the governability of democracy in a way which is not the case elsewhere.

The vulnerability of democratic government in the United States thus comes not primarily from external threats, though such threats are real, nor from internal subversion from the left or the right, although both possibilities could exist, but rather from the internal dynamics of democracy itself in a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society. "Democracy never lasts long, " John Adams observed. "It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." That suicide is more likely to be the product of overindulgence than of any other cause. A value which is normally good in itself is not necessarily optimized when it is maximized. We have come to recognize that there are potentially desirable limits to economic growth. There are also potentially desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy. Democracy will have a longer life if it has a more balanced existence.

_______________

Notes:

i. I am indebted to Kevin Middlebrook and Kenneth Juster for their efficient help in the collection of material and data for this paper.

ii. In addition to these democratic trends, and often interspersed with them there were also, of course, some markedly antidemocratic trends in the 1960s: elitist discrimination against middle-class groups (rationalized in the name of egalitarianism) the suppression of free speech (particularly on university campuses); and the resort by extremist minorities to physical coercion and violence. These activities formed, in a sense, the dark outriders of the democratic surge, swept up in the same sense of movement, but serving different goals with very different means.

iii. In this analysis, governmental activity will be measured primarily in terms of governmental expenditures. This indicator, of course, does not do justice to many types of governmental activity, such as regulatory action or the establishment of minimum standards (e.g., for automotive safety or pollution levels or school desegregation), which have major impact on the economy and society and yet do not cost very much. In addition, the analysis here will focus primarily not on absolute levels of governmental expenditures, which obviously expanded greatly both due to inflation and in real terms, but rather to the relations among expenditures, revenues, and the GNP and among different types of expenditures.

iv. And also, as my colleague Sidney Verba comments at this point, one must not forget that "disorder, distrust of authority, difficulties in reconciling competing claims on the government, conflict among governmental branches, and yelling from the back of the room at city council meetings are in some measure inescapable attributes of democratic government."

v. Suggestive of the new power relationships between government and media were the responses of 490 leading Americans when asked to rate a number of public and private institutions according to "the amount of influence" they had "on decisions or actions affecting the nation as a whole." Television came in a clear first, well ahead of the president, and newspapers edged out both houses of Congress. The average ratings, on a scale from 1 (lowest influence) to 10 (highest influence), were:

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vi. There are, it might be noted, some parallels between Congress and the Communist parties in Europe, as described by Michel Crozier. Both have long been accustomed to playing opposition roles; with the decline in authority and power of other groups, the power of both these institutions is increasing; and one crucial question for the future -- and governability—of democracy in Italy, France, and the United States is whether these oppositional bodies can adapt themselves to play responsible governing roles. Professor Crozier appears to be somewhat more optimistic about the European communists in this respect than I am about the American Congress at this moment in time.

1. Sidney Verba and Norman H. Nie, Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), pp. 251-52. The campaign acts measured included: urging others to vote for a party or candidate; contributing money; attending a meeting or rally; doing other work for a candidate; belonging to a political organization; using a campaign button or bumper sticker.

2. See, for example, S. M. Miller and Pamela A. Roby, The Future of Inequality (New York: Basic Books, 1970); Christopher Jencks, Inequality (New York: Basic Books, 1972); Herbert J. Gans, More Equality (New York: Pantheon, 1973); Lee S. Rainwater, Social Problems: Inequality and Justice (Chicago: Aldine Press, 1974); Edward C. Budd, Inequality and Poverty (New York: W. W. Norton, 1967); Murray Milner, The Illusion of Equality (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1972); David Lane, The End of Equality? (Harmendsworth, Middlesex, England and New York: Penguin Books, 1971); "On Equality," Symposium, The Public Interest, Fall 1972; Frank Parkin, Class Inequality and Political Order (London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1971).

3. See Samuel P. Huntington, The Common Defense (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), pp. 33-64.

4. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1973 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1973), p. 410.

5. Edward R. Fried, et al., Setting National Priorities: The 1974 Budget (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1973) p. 5.

6. Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 23448.

7. William Watts and Lloyd A. Free, State of the Nation: 1974 (Washington: Potomac Associates, 1974); The Gallup Opinion Index, Report No. 112, October 1974, p. 20.

8. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract, 1973, p. 410; U.S. Office of Management and Budget, The United States Budget in Brief-Fiscal Year 1975 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1974), p. 47.

9. Daniel Bell, "The Public Household On 'Fiscal Sociology' and the Liberal Society, " The Public Interest, no. 37, (Fall 1974), p. 41; James O'Connor, The Fiscal Crisis of The State (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973), p. 221.

10. Norman H. Nie and Kristi Anderson, "Mass Belief Systems Revisited: Political Change and Attitude Structure," The Journal of Politics, 36 (August 1974), pp. 558-59.

11. William Schneider, "Public Opinion: The Beginning of Ideology?" Foreign Policy, no. 17 (Winter 1974-75), pp. 88 ff.

12. Arthur H. Miller, "Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964-70," American Political Science Review, 68 (September 1974), pp. 951 ff.

13. Gabriel A. Almond and Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965), pp. 64-68; Gallup Survey, New York Times, October 14, 1973, p. 45.

14. University of Michigan, Survey Research Center, Codebook, 1960 Survey, p. 146, and Codebook, 1968 Survey, p. 310.

15. See Norman H. Nie, Sidney Verba, and John R. Petrocik, The Changing American Voter (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, forthcoming, 1976), Chapter 15.

16. Jack Citrin, "Comment: Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964-70," American Political Science Review, 68 (September 1974), pp. 982-84.

17. Nie, Verba, and Petrocik, Changing American Voter, Chapter 15, pp. 2-10.

18. Gallup Survey reported in New York Times, October 17, 1971, p. 34; N. D. Glenn, "Sources of the Shift to Political Independence, " Social Science Quarterly, 53 (December 1972), pp. 494-519.

19. Frederick G. Dutton, Changing Sources of Power: American Politics in the 1970s (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971), p. 228; Richard W. Boyd, "Electoral Trends in Postwar Politics," in James David Barber, ed., Choosing the President (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974), p. 185.

20. Boyd, ibid, p. 189.

21. Gerald M. Pomper, "From Confusion to Clarity: Issues and American Voters, 1956-1968," American Political Science Review, 66 (June 1972), pp. 415 ff.; Miller, ibid., 68 (September 1974), pp. 951 ff.; Norman H. Nie, "Mass Belief Systems Revisited," Journal of Politics, 36 (August 1974), pp. 540-91; Schneider, Foreign Policy, no. 17, pp. 98 ff.

22. Samuel H. Beer, "Government and Politics: An Imbalance," The Center Magazine, 7 (March-April 1974), p. 15.

23. Daniel Yankelovich, Changing Youth Values in the '70's: A Study of American Youth (New York: JDR 3rd Fund, 1974), p. 37.

24. Walter Dean Burnham, Critical Elections and the Mainsprings of American Politics (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970); James L. Sundquist, Dynamics of the Party System (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1973); Samuel Lubell, The Future of American Politics (New York: Harper, 1951).

25. Quoted in Michael J. Robinson, "American Political Legitimacy in an Era of Electronic Journalism: Reflections on the Evening News," in Richard Adler, ed., Television as a Social Force: New Approaches to TV Criticism (New York: Praeger-Aspen, 1975), p. 123.

26. Michael J. Robinson, "Public Affairs Television and the Growth of Political Malaise: The Case of The Selling of the Pentagon," American Political Science Review, forthcoming, June 1976.

27. Robinson, "American Political Legitimacy," pp. 126-27.

28. Louis Harris and Associates, Confidence and Concern: Citizens View American Government (Committee Print, U.S. Senate, Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations, 93rd Cong., 1st Sess., December 3, 1973), pp. 4243, 299.

29. Tax Foundation, Inc., Unions and Government Employment (New York, 1972), pp. 29, 39-41.

30. Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 271-75.

31. See University of Michigan, Survey Research Center, surveys 1958, 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1970, on black and white "Attitudes Toward Government: Political Cynicism," and John E. Mueller, War, Presidents, and Public Opinion (New York: John Wiley, 1973), pp. 14048.

32. Yankelovich, Changing Youth Values, p. 9.

33. Anne Foner, "Age Stratification and Age Conflict in Political Life," American Sociological Review, 39 (April 1974), p. 190.

34. Samuel P. Huntington, "Postindustrial Politics: How Benign Will It Be?" Comparative Politics, 16 (January 1974), pp. 177-82; Louis Harris, The Anguish of Change (New York: W. W. Norton, 1973), pp. 35-52, 272-73.

35. Verba and Nie, Participation in America, pp. 251-59.

36. Nie and Anderson, Journal of Politics, 36 (August 1974), pp. 570-71.

37. Samuel P. Huntington, "Paradigms of American Politics: Beyond the One, the Two, and the Many," Political Science Quarterly, 89 (March 1974), pp. 18-22.
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:48 am

PART 1 OF 2

CHAPTER 4: JAPAN

Joji Watanuki

1. JAPANESE DEMOCRACY'S GOVERNABILITY

There is no absolute governability or ungovernability. Governability is always a function of tasks, both imposed from the outside and generated from the inside, and of capabilities, of both the elite and the masses.

1. External Conditions Surrounding Japanese Democracy

Although there seems to be no impending external threat of military aggression to Japan, there exist uncertainties of a military nature which, if they should be actualized, would impose enormous strains on Japanese leaders. One is the instability of the Korean situation and possible escalating confrontation between the Republic of Korea and the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. Another is the possibility of Sino-Soviet military confrontation. In both cases, if the conflicts should escalate enough, they would cause worldwide repercussions, and the United States, at least, would inevitably be involved in them. If, however, the escalation should remain below certain limits and could be regarded as a local problem, it is possible that particularly strong pressures to force Japanese decision-makers to make difficult policy decisions would be generated from both sides' of the conflict. The former, the Korean problem, has a special significance for the problem of the internal governability of Japan.

Apart from such critical, and hopefully, improbable cases, there are two external factors which beset Japan and create tasks for the Japanese leadership. One is the well-known international dependency and vulnerability of the Japanese economy in terms of resources needed not only for industry but also for feeding the Japanese people. According to often-cited figures, Japan's ratio of dependency on overseas resources is: almost 100 percent in oil; 85 percent in total energy supply; 100 percent in aluminum; and 95 percent for iron ore (1970 level). Of Japan's total food supply, 23 percent comes from abroad, and among vital foodstuffs, 92 percent of the wheat and 96 percent of the soybeans consumed in Japan in 1971 came from abroad. In comparison with the equivalent figures for the United States, these figures are impressive enough to show Japan's international dependency in the acquisition of resources.

Japan's dependency is, however, of the same level as that of many West European societies. What distinguishes Japan from West European societies is the second external factor. Japan stands alone in its region with no equal partner for joint action, which would share common interests due to a similar stage of industrial development, combined with the same degree of commitment to principles of political democracy. Of course, in spite of the European Community, West European countries are far from achieving complete accord and being able to take united action to cope with their difficulties. And West European countries and the European Community as a whole always have to take into consideration the moves of other regions—those of the Soviet bloc, the Arab countries, and all other Third World countries. As the most economically advanced country in Asia and because of the historical backgrounds of Japan and the countries of Asia, the Japanese elite and masses are torn between a feeling of belonging to Asia and a feeling of isolation from Asia, with an orientation to the United States and West Europe. [1] On the other hand, the Asian countries are also ambivalent toward Japan. The Japanese, including those in other Asian countries, are expected to perform a positive role because they are Asians; at the same time they are often severely criticized for certain behavior which would be permitted for Europeans or Americans. This delicate position of Japan in the region can be made to serve as an asset linking the other Asian countries with advanced economies and those advanced economies with developing economies in the region. On the other hand, it could become a liability which could confuse Japan's policy choices and aggravate the relationship between developing countries and economically advanced countries.

2. Domestic Conditions and Capabilities of Japanese Democracy After World War II

(a) Consolidation of postwar democracy. In discussing the governability of democracy in Japan, the place to start is with the reforms after World War II and the 1947 Constitution of Japan, which is the key political institution of postwar Japanese democracy. It has been argued that the Japanese Constitution of 1947 was prepared under the U.S. occupation. The draft was written by the staff of SCAP (Supreme Commander of Allied Powers) and General Douglas MacArthur, and handed to the Japanese government with strong pressure in early 1947.

However, in spite of apparent record of such imposition or implantation by the Allied—and actually American occupation forces, and although there has been a tenacious movement by rightists both outside and inside the Liberal Democratic party to abolish this "given Constitution'" and to make an "autonomous" constitution, the 1947 Constitution has been in operation for thirty years and will be kept intact for the foreseeable future, including its unique Article 9 which forbids Japan to wage war as a nation and to maintain armed forces. It is a miracle of modern history and is a key to understanding and predicting Japanese society and politics.

The miracle occurred for three good reasons. [2] In the first place, the draft Constitution prepared by SCAP was not made in a void. It had many ideas in common with a draft constitution prepared by the Japanese liberals at that time. Besides the Constitution itself, many postwar reforms performed under the American occupation were congruent with (or some steps in advance of) the proposals made by the liberals and even by the enlightened bureaucrats either then or even in prewar days. Thus, many reforms made during the U.S. occupation helped to release and encourage "reform potentials" which had already accumulated in Japan during World War II. Second, a positive role was played by the opposition—especially that of the Japan Socialist party in the period of 1952-1955, just after the end of occupation in 1952. The Conservatives, at that time consisting of the Japan Liberal party and the Japan Democratic party, wanted to revise the "excessive" reforms made under the occupation and campaigned for rewriting the whole Constitution. The key parts of the Constitution which the Conservatives wanted in common to rewrite were those on the status of the Emperor, Article 9, and those concerning the family system. Extreme conservatives wanted more general deliberalization concerning the rights of labor unions, freedom of speech and association, and so on. If their attempts had been successful, what consequences would have followed for Japanese society and politics? Since this is just a matter of sheer conjecture, it is open to various arguments. My argument, however, is this: The consequence would have been less stability in Japanese politics and the accumulation of more frustration and alienation among more-educated people and also among younger people in Japanese society. A Japan with recognized armed forces but with more domestic political confrontation and more accumulation of frustration among the populace, and possibly with repeated attempts at constitutional revision in both radical and reactionary directions, would have been possible. As it was, the Socialists, who at that time were divided between the right-wing Socialists and the left-wing Socialists but who both agreed to preserve the 1947 Constitution, succeeded in winning one-third of both Houses of the Diet in elections in the early 1950s and blocked the Conservatives' attempt to revise the Constitution, which required the approval of two-thirds of the Diet. The legacy of the Constitutional dispute in this period still remains in the usual way of thinking of the 1947 Constitution as one package, that is, thinking based on an either-or way so that no part of the Constitution can be revised without rewriting the whole. Third, the mainstream of the Conservatives—the Liberal Democratic party—is presently indifferent about this matter and does not want to take the trouble to confront the Socialists and the Komei party. Behind the Conservative attitude not to take the trouble to alter the 1947 Constitution is another factor which has contributed to the consolidation of that Constitution. In the process of economic growth in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, with a number of concomitant social changes, the 1947 Constitution and most of the postwar reforms became necessary to the operation of the Japanese economy and society. The issues raised by the Conservatives, especially by the rightist wing of them, against the 1947 Constitution became obsolete. For example, the 1947 Constitution and the reform of the family code assured the independence of family members. Younger people, who were supposed to be under the control of the family head before the reforms, were given legal freedom from the family by the postwar reforms and actually received economic freedom because of the labor shortage and rise of wages. From the viewpoint of industry, also, voluntary mobility of younger people irrespective of the assent of the family head was welcome. To the expanding, more-educated population, which has contributed to the labor force with higher quality, the idea and stipulation of the status of the Emperor as a symbol of the state in the 1947 Constitution has been more acceptable than either the idea of the Emperor as God in prewar days or the policy of the Conservatives, that the Emperor should have more substantial power. Labor unions recognized and protected by the 1947 Constitution, with their peculiarly Japanese form of "enterprise unions," were found to be no obstacle to technological innovation and contributed to the maintenance of commitment of the workers to the company.

Thus, the mainstream of the Liberal Democratic party and the mainstream of Japanese economic circles have no serious intention of revising the 1947 Constitution now or in the near future. According to opinion polls, the majority of the public also supports the 1947 Constitution. In addition, the Socialists and the Komei party are firmly committed to it. The Japan Communist party has also declared its commitment to defend the present Constitution, at least in the near future, although at the same time it does not hide its view that at some future time the Constitution should be rewritten in more socialistic style, a point which the Komei party has been fiercely attacking.

Thus, in comparison with the German Weimar Republic of 1919-33 Japanese postwar democracy has a far firmer basis. A doubt remains about whether or not the Japanese people have accepted the postwar democratic system primarily because of Japan's economic prosperity in the postwar period. However, even if this is so, the prewar system offers no competing attraction, especially to the younger generation. There is little possibility of a powerful revival of prewar Japanese militarism or political traditionalism in the future. Rather, the problem is how, within the 1947 Constitution, Japan can handle the status of Japanese Self Defense Forces, which have been regarded by the Socialist and the Communist parties as unconstitutional on one hand, and on the other, have accumulated capability and de facto legitimacy during their existence and development over twenty years under the LDP government.

(b) The capability of the Liberal Democratic party. The Japanese Conservatives, particularly the Liberal Democratic party since its formation in 1955, have ruled Japan throughout the postwar period, except for the short and unsuccessful coalition of the Socialist and Democratic parties in 1947-48. The capability of the LDP is open to partisan disputes. LDP people and ardent-supporters of the LDP can say that under the rule of the LDP's majority for twenty years, Japan's economic growth and its peaceful existence with other nations are the proofs of the LDP's high capability. The award of the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize to ex-Prime Minister Eisaku Sato seems to back up such an argument. But the opposition parties have naturally been critical of the LDP's capability and actually expressed astonishment and criticism of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Sato. Apart from such partisan disputes, two observations can be made. First, the LDP's rule has carried with it both merits and demerits— in other words, functions and dysfunctions. Second, the social and cultural bases which have hitherto supported the functional side of the LDP have been declining. Thus, the changing tides of Japanese society seem to be less congruent with, or more beyond the adaptability of the LDP than before.

As for the LDP's merits, I can cite three points. First, the close coordination between the LDP, the higher elite corps of the bureaucracy, and the economic elite (which have been called "Japan Incorporated" since Time magazine's story of May 10, 1971, invented the term), certainly contributed to Japan's economic growth and will also function positively in future times of economic crisis through skillful "consensus economy." Certainly the LDP's capability for policy formation is high in the sense that it is fused with the bureaucratic elite. This group consists of ex-high-level bureaucrats, who became either LDP parliamentary members or top executives of public and private corporations after their relatively early retirement (around the ages of fifty to fifty five); of active senior bureaucrats; and of successive generations of successful candidates in the higher civil service examination. Ex-high-level bureaucrats as LDP politicians contribute their knowledge and experiences accumulated during their bureaucratic careers to the formation of policies by the party. They can also maintain communication with their ex-colleagues in public and-private corporations and, moreover, may utilize the cooperation and assistance of their successors on active duty in the bureaucracy.

Second, the LDP has built up skillful vote-getting machines in its koenkai (associations supporting individual politicians), through which various demands—personal, regional, and occupational—of the vast populace have been absorbed and satisfied. All LDP Diet members maintain their koenkai, [3] which often comprise tens of thousands of "members" who rarely pay membership dues. Almost all the expenses to maintain such koenkai are paid by the LDP politicians themselves, who therefore always badly need money. LDP politicians are very responsive to their koenkai clients, especially to the key persons in them, who are often the local influential persons in agricultural associations or small- and medium-sized trade associations. Therefore, in spite of its close coordination with big businesses and its financial dependency on them, the LDP has not ignored the interests of local leaders in agriculture, fisheries, small- and medium-sized commerce, and manufacturing. The LDP at the grass roots level has been loosely structured and has consisted of federations of hundreds of small parties. Therefore, it has been able to absorb a variety of interests and demands. As is well known, however, mainly because of the distribution of money, LDP politicians are "aggregated" into several factions, and eventually, the formation of LDP policy is made in close contact with the bureaucracy and big businesses. Here, in a sense, there is a beautiful pattern of wide interest articulation through individual LDP members and their koenkai, with interest aggregation through factions, and eventual agreement by the triumvirate of big business, bureaucracy, and the LDP.

Third, although the LDP has been self-identified as a conservative party and many members of it have expressed nostalgia for a number of aspects of the prewar system from time to time, and although a close tie with the United States has been the LDP's official line on foreign policy, still LDP Diet members have enjoyed a wide range of freedom to express divergent policy views and even behavior concerning both domestic and foreign policies. In the sphere of foreign policy, members of the Asian and African Problem Study Group had visited the People's Republic of China a number of times before Tanaka's visit to China, and also have been keeping in contact with the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. However, the LDP still has strong Taiwan supporters and also a Korean lobby, composed of those who keep close ties with the Republic of Korea. In the sphere of domestic policy, a fairly wide divergence of opinions exists among LDP politicians. This ideological looseness and vagueness of the LDP is due to the independence of LDP politicians in vote-getting and to the nonideological formation of factions within the LDP, and these characteristics have, in their turn, contributed to neutralizing the party image against the attack from the opposition parties that the LDP is a reactionary party. These characteristics have, moreover, given the LDP wider channels of contact and assets to be utilized in case of policy change.

As has been pointed out, all three of these "merits," on the other hand, carry demerits and involve dysfunctions. On the first, close contact and skillful coordination between the groups in the triumvirate has meant their disproportional predominance in policy formation. Powers to countervail and check that triumvirate have been disproportionally weak. As for the second mechanism, the koenkai which have made the LDP capable of absorbing various interests and demands, since the supporting groups of LDP are not distributed equally in terms of region, occupation, and generation, unavoidably some interests are systematically respected and others are ignored. And, continuation of LDP rule for nearly twenty years has generated a sense of alienation from power and a feeling of ill-treatment in certain sectors of society. To supporters of the opposition parties, not only LDP rule, but also the whole period of Japanese history under LDP rule, is subject to criticism. It has been their rule, and their period, not ours, from this perspective. This kind of feeling of alienation was clearly expressed when ex-Prime Minister Eisaku Sato was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Third, concerning the looseness of ideological control within the LDP, there is the widely held fear of unpredictability of LDP behavior. Some policies are formed on the basis of factional fights or compromise within the LDP, and many others are made upon consultation with, or according to the advice of, bureaucratic and business circles. Concerning the former policies, especially from the viewpoints of opposition parties, the LDP is a party which can suddenly propose ultraconservative, even rightist proposals. Partly due to the result of these features of LDP rule, and partly due to the nature of the opposition parties—especially the Japan Socialist party which has been tightly committed to Marxist doctrine—a lack of trust between governing party and opposition parties has been conspicuous. And also, those intellectuals supporting the opposition parties are more numerous and vocal in their criticisms of the LDP than expected, given the stability and achievements of LDP rule.

Another source of vulnerability of the LDP is an ethical one concerning its way of procuring and spending political funds. All LDP politicians have to constantly procure and spend money in order to maintain their own koenkai. The minimum necessary expenditure of LDP Diet Members is said to be 3 million yen (10,000 U.S. dollars) per month in an off-election period. They raise part of this money themselves, and part comes from their faction leaders. Faction leaders have to take care of the funds of their followers. And it has been a well-known fact that the main part of these political funds is given by business corporations. The points are: Are huge sums of political donations by business corporations really pure and voluntary contributions, or is this implicit bribery? And is it fair political competition that the LDP and LDP factions combined are spending political funds five times larger than the total political funds spent by all four opposition parties together according to an official report released by the government? [4] Moreover, it is widely believed that the actual total of political spending by the LDP is more than this official record.

It is a well-known fact that the LDP's share of the votes in national elections has been gradually declining. Although in the case of the House of Representatives the LDP still maintained a 46.8 percent share of the votes in the 1972 general election, the LDP share fell below 40 percent (39.5 percent) in the Prefectural Constituency of the election of the House of Councillors in 1974. Partly due to the overrepresentation of the rural districts in the Diet and partly due to the split of the opposition parties, the LDP still succeeds in getting a majority of the seats in the Houses (271 out of 491 in the House of Representatives, and 126 out of 252 in the House of Councillors). The LDP's majority is slim in the House of Councillors, however, and the LDP lacks sufficient majority legitimacy even in the House of Representatives due to rural overrepresentation and disproportional spending of political funds.

(c) Quality of the Japanese bureaucracy. Although it depends on the definition of governability, in any understanding of governability as a synthetic capability relating the governing and the governed, the quality of bureaucracy, as the governing framework or as an intermediary between the governing and the governed or as an autonomous third force, has special significance. In this respect, the Japanese bureaucracy seems to deserve some attention. Historically, the Japanese bureaucracy was formed after the Prussian model, legacies of which remain even today in formalistic legalism and alleged neutralism which does not, however, prevent the high bureaucrats from committing themselves to partisan stands of the governing party, as representing the interest of the state. Many high-level bureaucrats, after retirement, have joined the LDP and, after their successful election, have become key figures in the governing party. The bureaucrats on duty are, however, fairly autonomous under the control of administrative vice-ministers, and the elite bureaucratic corps has a high degree of esprit de corps, similar to the British Civil Service. During the recent period of economic growth, mainly in the Ministries of Finance and of International Trade and Industry, and in the Economic Planning Agency, technocrats, consisting primarily of economic specialists, have been gaining power, and in this predominance of technocrats, Japanese bureaucracy can be compared with the French bureaucracy.

Thus, the capability of Japanese bureaucracy can be evaluated as rather high. The members of the elite bureaucratic corps, consisting of those who passed the higher civil service examination—whose number is still limited to 400 or so annually in this age of expansion of higher education with 1.5 million university students, are really elite both in terms of their initial caliber and the opportunities for training and accumulation of administrative experience given to them during their careers. This elite bureaucratic corps of about 10,000 is still prepared today to work twenty-four hours per day and seven days a week if necessary, because of its privileged position of good care and faster promotion and the prevailing ethos of diligence and self-sacrifice in the elite.

There are, however, dysfunctions and vulnerability in the Japanese bureaucracy. The top level of the Japanese bureaucratic elite corps and alumni from this group have been too fused with the LDP. Furthermore, with the expansion of higher education, a system designed to recruit only 400 or so per year to the elite bureaucratic corps cannot maintain itself forever. Actually, many university graduates are taking examinations for middle civil service positions which have been intended for high school or junior college graduates. The point is that in such a situation it will become difficult to give special favor to those who passed higher civil service examinations and to discriminate against other members of the bureaucracy who are now also university graduates. In the near future the notion and practice of the elite bureaucratic corps will be forced to give way to more egalitarian, less privileged forms. Local governments have been doing this already. For instance, the Tokyo metropolitan government has been recruiting several hundred university graduates on an equal basis. In addition it has been an established practice for Japanese ministries to recruit their own personnel, both elite and non-elite, as the personnel of their own ministries only. The aim has been to build up the ministry's own bureaucracy of specialists on matters over which that ministry presides and to build up strong solidarity in the elite bureaucratic corps within a particular ministry. This practice has brought with it the pattern of ministerial bureaucrats acting to promote the interests of their clienteles and ardently promoting interests and demands within their jurisdictions even in dispute with the governing party, thus serving as guardians of interests which might be neglected by the governing party. But the cost paid for this is bureaucratic sectionalism, and there is no bureau to take care of overall policy. To be sure there are the Prime Minister's office and the Cabinet Secretariat, which are supposed to perform this function, but these bureaucrats come from various ministries, serve for a couple of years, and go back to their home ministries; therefore, they are likely to remain committed to the particular interests of their home ministries.

(d) The economy. As is well known, Japanese economic growth during the two decades before the oil crisis of October 1973 was amazing, continuously maintaining an annual growth rate over 10%. GNP and also per capita income doubled every five years. Even considering the rise of commodity prices, real wages still nearly doubled between 1960 and 1972. [6] Japan's GNP is larger than that of any West European country, and its per capita income or wage is roughly equal with, or even slightly more than, that of Britain or France, according to the statistics. With this growth of GNP and increase of per capita income and wages, government revenue and spending have expanded enormously. From 1965 to 1973, for instance, the government budget grew from 3,658 billion yen to 14, 284 billion yen, that is, over three times. [7] In other words, so far, with the growth of the Japanese economy, the government has acquired tremendous amounts of goods and services which it can dispose, and this has made it possible for the Japanese government to distribute goods and services in response to the increased demands of the populace. Under these circumstances, government has been able to avoid serious priority problems.

Again, as is well known, since the successive revaluation of the yen, the oil crisis and the subsequent jump of oil prices, the picture has been changing rapidly. The growth rate for fiscal year 1973 (April 1973 to March 1974) dropped sharply to 5.4 percent, and that for the 1974 fiscal year was eventually found to be minus (—1.8 percent). According to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the expected growth rate for 1975 is 2 percent. Although somewhat slowed, the rise of consumer prices as of March 1975 in comparison with the previous year was still 13 percent. The government target is to lower the rise of consumer prices to a single digit by the end of 1975. In this economic situation, the national government could still increase its budget to 17,180 billion yen in the 1974 fiscal year and 21,280 billion yen in fiscal year 1975, without creating serious deficits and increasing the rate of inflation, but local governments now face serious deficits in their budgets. It is expected that the national government too will face a tighter financial situation and priority problems in budget-making for next fiscal year, beginning in April 1976.

As for the longer economic perspective, the government defines the period from 1974 to 1976 as an adjustment period from rapid economic growth to stable economic growth or a "less accelerated" economy, as it is called. After 1976, the MITI is expecting an annual economic growth rate of about 7 percent. If so, this moderate growth can bring with it some leeway for priority problems, but that leeway will be far more restricted in comparison with previous years of more than 10 percent growth of the economy.

(e) Mass media. Development of mass media in Japan is quite conspicuous. The total number of copies of newspapers issued daily is 56 million copies, which is second only to that of the United States (63 million copies). The estimated number of television sets currently in use is 48 million, and there are five nationwide television networks—one is the publicly operated NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and the other four are privately owned (NTV, TBS, Fuji, and NET). [8] Besides the press and TV, the plethora of magazines is a characteristic of the Japanese mass media scene. In particular, the variety of weekly magazines with huge circulations (about fifty different weekly magazines are selling eight million copies per month) is striking.

What is the relevance of the Japanese mass media to the governability of Japanese democracy? Under the postwar democracy, there has been no governmental censorship except during the occupation period, and all the major newspapers and TV networks have been avowed guardians of democracy. Their quality is not bad, especially the five major newspapers with nationwide circulation (Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei, and Nihon Keizai), which are proud of being quality newspapers with circulations of several million and which compete with each other in terms of their excellence.

Thus we can say that the Japanese mass media as a whole are a positive factor in the maintenance and operation of Japanese democracy. However, the Japanese mass media have several characteristics peculiar to Japan, which function as a kind of constraint, within which Japanese democracy has to operate and which might make Japanese democracy vulnerable under possible changed conditions.

First, as has often been pointed out, Japanese newspapers are highly standardized, in the sense that they tend to refrain from presenting partisan opinion, and allocate their space in a quite similar way to coverage of everything from on-the-street human interest stories to highbrow academic articles.

Second, alongside their nonpartisanship, another established characteristic of Japanese newspapers is what is called their "opposition spirit," which means critical of the government, but within the limits of nonpartisanship. The result is that nonpartisan intellectual radicalism is treated rather favorably in the newspapers and a tone of moral sensationalism colors the reports and articles in newspapers.

In the case of broadcasting, NHK clings more strictly to the principle of nonpartisanship and to a less critical spirit than the newspapers. Other TV networks are more and more tied to particular major newspapers, and show similar characteristics to these newspapers in their reporting. However, sensationalism is more obvious in several weekly magazines, such as Shukan-Post, Shukan-Gendai and, although in a rather conservative tone, Shukan-Shincho, each of which sells over 500,000 copies every week.

Those characteristics of Japanese mass media can have both positive and negative functions for the governability of Japanese democracy. The newspapers' and NHK's nonpartisanship is good in preventing manipulation by the powerful mass media. Sensationalism has helped to arouse the attention of the public to politics from issue to issue as they arise. Negative functions, however, also follow from these characteristics. Nonpartisanship of the mass media can bring with it the loss of the function of stimulating political discussion, and the critical spirit and moral sensationalism can obstruct necessary mobilization of support by the government and encourage political distrust of the government.

(f) Education. Expansion of higher education in Japan has been amazing during the past decade. The percentage of those enrolling in universities and colleges among the eligible age group has doubled during the decade and reached 30 percent in 1974. Furthermore, it is expected that his trend will continue and that enrollment will reach 40 percent by 1980. From an educational standpoint, the Japanese university system has a number of problems to be solved, [9] but only the political relevance of this expansion of higher education will be considered here.

So far, university expansion has had relatively little direct impact on politics. Of course, there has been sporadic campus unrest, emergence of a variety of radical groups recruited from university students, and participation of a number of students in antipollution movements. Also, the Japan Communist Party has maintained its influence on student movements through its Democratic Youth League, and the League's members are quite active in assisting JCP's election campaigns. However, a majority of the 1.5 million Japanese university students and the couple millions of recent graduates have been relatively calm politically. One of the reasons for this calm has been the favorable situation of the job market for rapidly expanding numbers of university graduates. The decade has witnessed an enormous expansion of tertiary industries and of professional, technical, and clerical jobs, which have absorbed a couple million university graduates. The shortage of young blue-collar workers resulted in the improvement of the wages of not only young blue-collar workers but also of young white-collar workers. In spite of an ongoing change of values in the younger generation, organizational disciplines regulating the new recruits in business or bureaucracy have persisted and have been successful in making them adapt to organizational norms. Moreover, so far the expansion of higher education has coincided with the expansion of local governmental activities and personnel. The percentage of university graduates among newly recruited civil servants on the local government level has increased rapidly, which has certainly contributed to upgrading the quality of the local civil service.

Another aspect of higher education has been the increase of social science specialists in the universities, some of whom have begun to keep closer contact with governmental policy-making than previous Japanese university professors. In the fields of econometrics, social engineering, and regional planning a number of specialists are giving more advice and keeping close contact with the government. On the other hand, expansion of higher education has also brought with it an increasing number of intellectual oppositionists. In Japan's case, however, intellectual opposition has a long tradition. What is new is the emergence of policy-oriented fields of social science and policy-oriented intellectuals prepared to give advice to government.

The crucial question, however, is whether the Japanese economy can continue to offer suitable jobs to university graduates who constitute over 30 percent or even 40 percent of the corresponding age group. And another crucial question is the cost and quality of higher education. Government has been increasing the appropriation of public funds to assist private universities. In the expected tight budgetary situation, whether government can and should expand such assistance is questionable.

(g) Labor unions. In postwar Japanese democracy, labor unions have established their recognized position firmly. Also, Japanese labor unions with their form of "enterprise union"—meaning that unions have been organized corresponding to the scope of each company, embracing all employees in that company—have had no essential objection to the introduction of technological innovations so long as the company has guaranteed favorable treatment and offered retraining to those who were transferred to new jobs in the company, unlike British unions based on a particular job or craft. In spite of their basic form of "enterprise union," Japanese labor unions have succeeded in building up federations of unions within the same kind of industries, and eventually national federations of labor unions. (Sohyo and Domei are two big national federations of labor unions which have been exercising fairly strong influence through their jointly scheduled plan of wage-raise demands [the so-called "spring struggle"] and electoral campaigning in support of the opposition parties. Sohyo supports the Socialists and Domei supports the Democratic Socialists.)

Present-day democracy cannot exist without the recognition of, and support from, labor unions. Actually, the Japanese labor unions, especially the two big national federations, have been the avowed guardians of postwar democracy, although in different senses and directions. Sohyo has been in close cooperation with the Socialists, not completely unfavorable to the Communists, and definitely against the LDP. Domei has been supporting more moderate Democratic Socialists. While definitely against the Communists, it has been prepared to cooperate with the LDP and LDP government upon certain conditions. The roles to be played by labor unions in a democracy, however, involve a number of delicate situations. In Japan's case, even under the LDP government which has had no labor union to support it, government cannot ignore labor unions in labor administration and has had representatives of Sohyo and Domei on a number of Deliberation Councils on labor administration and also on Labor Relations Committees. But essentially, the LDP has been on the side of business and more concerned with the interests of its supporters—farmers, small and medium-size manufacturers, and all other miscellaneous people organized into their own koenkai. One might argue that it has been rather a good balance since organized labor has had powerful say even if it has not been respected by the LDP. The opposite argument is that organized labor should have been respected more in order to counterbalance the influence of big business on LDP governments. Some people argue that organized labor has been representing not only the interests of its members but also all those who have been unfavorably treated under LDP governments. The third view, which has been emerging recently, does not trust either LDP governments or labor unions. It insists that since labor unions represent the interests of only a fraction of the total population (only about 30 percent of the employed are organized into labor unions) and since the two national federations represent an even smaller fraction (Sohyo, with its 4 million membership, organizes 10 percent; and Domei, with its 2.5 million membership, 7 percent of the total employed), the interests of ordinary citizens should be respected more, that is, emerging consumers' movements and various citizens' movements should be respected more than, or at least alongside, organized labor in order to increase the responsiveness and equity of Japanese democracy.
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Re: THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:51 am

PART 2 OF 2

2. CHANGING VALUES, NEW GENERATIONS AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF JAPANESE DEMOCRACY

Since values determine the way people think and act, it is important to see how changing values, which are most conspicuously observable in the younger generation and are expected to accumulate in years to come, will affect the governability of Japanese democracy.

1. Political Beliefs

(a) The 1947 Constitution as a package as the key political belief. All the survey data collected in recent years reinforce the point that there is no sign of weakening of the support for the 1947 Constitution as a whole. On the contrary, younger and more-educated people tend to support more strongly the 1947 Constitution as a whole, including its Article 9 forbidding Japan to wage a war and to have armed forces for that purpose. [10] Therefore, the 1947 Constitution has become a given.

One argument against the Constitution is that the Japanese "warlike" national character will not change so easily; therefore, if international situations slightly change, the Japanese will easily change their minds and discard the 1947 Constitution, especially its Article 9. But this kind of argument, which is often found among overseas Chinese scholars, is highly improbable. Another argument stresses that if some grave change should occur in international relations, in other words if some real threat of aggression to Japan by some foreign powers should occur, the Japanese "mood" would change rapidly to support rearmament and consequently a revision of the 1947 Constitution. The possibility certainly exists, but this argument seems to be based on assumptions of low probability.

At the same time, because of the recent activities of the Japanese Red Army abroad, there are continued possibilities that minority radicals will resort to individual or small group terrorism both abroad and at home. These incidents are not the expression of general bellicosity of the Japanese people, but the expression of New Left minority radicals, also widely found in North America and West European countries, and of Japanese ignorance of the Arabs and the lack of a connection between Japanese radicalism and Jewish intellectuals, such as is found in North America or Western Europe.

It is undeniable that the radical minorities on the far left will continue to commit terrorism abroad in supporting the Arabs (or, precisely, being utilized by the Arabs) and within Japan by bombing the offices of such companies as the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Company or the Mitsui Bussan Company. The ultrarightists, too, will be able to recruit a small number of new members constantly from the youth both in and outside universities, and they might succeed in political terrorism in the future too, such as the assassination of the Socialists' Chairman Inejiro Asanuma, which occurred in 1960. As a whole, however, the Japanese younger generations have the political beliefs congruent with, and definitely supporting, the 1947 Constitution.

(b) Emergence of "participation" and "protest" motivations and movements. An ongoing change of political beliefs is occurring, which is not incompatible with the beliefs in the 1947 Constitution, but is not identical with it, and which will exercise a far-reaching influence on the future of Japanese democracy. It is a change from submissiveness to authority to active protest and demands for participation, that is, from "subject" political culture to "participatory" political culture. There are excellent data which show this change. (Table 1).

Two comments are specially warranted on this table. When the first survey was conducted in 1953, a majority of the Japanese over twenty years old were prepared to leave things to competent politicians, if such were available. In other words, at that time, the majority of the masses were prepared to obey a competent politician; therefore, the governability problem was simply a problem of the politicians—that is, whether such competent politicians were available or not. During the period of economic growth, people have become more self-assertive and have come to dislike leaving things even to competent politicians. Then, the governability problem becomes not only the problem of the competence of the governing, but the problem of both the governing and the governed.

Table 1: Responses to the question: "In order to improve the Japanese nation, do you agree or disagree to the statement that, if a competent politician is available, it is better to leave things to him instead of discussing them among ordinary citizens?"

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Other transnational data show the existence of the phenomena of increasing demands for participation in Japan similar to those in West European and North American countries. Respondents in a poll were asked to choose two most important values from "law and order," "encouragement of more participation in vital political decisions," "restraint of the rise of prices," and "freedom of speech," values which were used in Professor Ronald Inglehart's six West European surveys. [11] Japanese respondents reacted in the following way. According to the marginal distribution, "price restraint" was the first choice (70.4 percent), and the others followed with "law and order" (45.3 percent), "participation" (35.1 percent), and "freedom of speech" (13.8 percent). The age and educational differences, however, were conspicuous. Among younger people in their twenties and those with university education, the choice of "participation" surpassed that of "law and order" and gained the second ranking after "price restraint." In combinations of two values, the combination of "participation and free speech," which Professor Inglehart assumed to be the pure type of "postindustrial value," was less popular in Japan than in West European countries. Japanese responses, however, were more concentrated in the intermediary type of "prices and participation." (Tables 2 and 3.) And again, the younger and the more-educated clearly show their preference for the value of participation. (Among those in their twenties, about 15 percent prefer the combination of "participation and free speech," and, if coupled with "participation and prices," they are the top choice.)

The heightening of participatory motivation, however, is often related to increasing distrust of institutionalized channels of participation—that is, elections and political parties. Thus, the other side of the coin is the decline of political parties and rise of various voluntary citizens' and residents' movements which dislike and refuse to follow the leadership of any political party and prefer protests instead of institutionalized participation. Respondents in a recent nationwide survey [12] were asked the question "which would you prefer about the future of Japanese party politics—one, to back up the political party which can be relied on; two, to promote citizens' or residents' movements as they become necessary; three, I have nothing to do with political parties or politics at all?" The responses divided as follows: 57.0 percent chose the first response, 17.3 percent the second, and 5.3 percent the third. The distribution is not so bad from the viewpoint of political parties. Again, however, the younger (among those in their twenties, 22.4 percent prefer citizens' movements to parties and 6.5 percent are totally against politics) and the more-educated (23.1 percent of the university graduates prefer citizens' movements rather than political parties) have less trust in institutional channels of participation and are turning more to uninstitutional, protest-oriented movements.

Table 2: Japanese Choice of Combination of Two Values (percentage choosing each pair)

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Table 3: "Pure" Value Pairs by Nations (percentage choosing each pair within given national sample)

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Protest-oriented movements have been spreading beyond the younger and more-educated people and beyond urban and industrial areas to older, less-educated people and to local, agricultural, and fishery areas. The Mutsu, the first Japanese nuclear-powered test ship, drifted for fifty-four days because of fierce protest actions of the fishermen of the bay in which the base for that ship was located. There were complicated reasons for this protest. Fear of nuclear accidents and consequent possible contamination was certainly one of the reasons. However, the antipathy of the fishermen, living in the "periphery" and ill-treated by the "center" for a long time, against the government was reported to be another reason. The point of the drifting incident of the Mutsu was that, whatever the reasons for the protest were, even the fishermen in remote local areas were prepared to organize protest movements when they felt the government was doing them an injustice. Also, farmers are no longer silent and obedient to the government whenever they feel they are treated unjustly.

If "governability" involves the capacity of the government to impose policies or plans unilaterally which will affect the living of the citizens concerned, certainly such governability in Japan has decreased. The Japanese government, however, because of its long tradition of Obrigkeit-staat, often violates the usual standard of democracy in its behavior vis-a-vis citizens. In order to talk about the governability of democracy in the Japanese case, sometimes democracy should still be emphasized at the cost of governability. Moreover, the cost can be partly covered by learning and efforts on the side of bureaucrats to be more careful and humane in doing their business. Fortunately, Japanese bureaucrats—both national and local—nowadays have such a learning capacity. Another factor which has worked so far in recent years is the financial ability of government to afford additional spending in order to appease the protest movements by compensating the alleged damage or promising costly changes of plans. It is certainly an easy solution, avoiding the priority problem, which will become difficult in the approaching tighter governmental budget situation.

2. Social and Economic Values

In a society such as Japan after World War II, where indoctrination from above with the threat of punishment was nonexistent, where any kind of religious inhibitions after the separation of the Shinto from the state were virtually nonexistent, and where social changes, such as urbanization, rise of income, and change of consumption styles due to the rapid economic changes, were so rapid, it would be natural to expect that every aspect of social relationships and values underlying them would change considerably. Again, the most illuminating data showing the kinds of changes of social relations and their underlying values are found in the surveys conducted by the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Ministry of Education every five years since 1953. One question notes that "there are all sorts of attitudes toward life. Of those listed here (the list is shown), which one would you say comes closest to your feeling?" The percentages of those who picked "don't think about money or fame, just live a life that suits your own tastes," have increased from 21 percent in 1953 to 27 percent in 1958, 30 percent in 1963, 32 percent in 1968, and 39 percent in 1973 by national average. [13] People have come to prefer less strenuous, more relaxed ways of life. The change has been most conspicuous among the younger generation.

What are the effects of such value changes on Japanese working behavior? Other survey data [14] show that the younger workers have stronger demands for shorter working hours, more holidays, and longer vacations, as well as more opportunity for self-actualization on the job. (Table 4).

Table 4: Demands Raised by Male Workers (M.A.) (in percentages)*

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However, the same table tells us about a number of other features of Japanese workers' demands. (1) Even among the young workers, wage raises is still the most outstanding demand. Money is not the goal of life as the survey data show; however, wage increases are the gravest concern for workers in all ages. (2) Middle-aged people, especially those with growing families, have an increased desire to own a house, particularly on their own land, which will serve as security in an age of continued inflation. (3) Senior workers are naturally more concerned about their retirement, health care, and other welfare measures.

In spite of the changing values of the workers, the Japanese organizations—both governmental organizations and private enterprises—have coped skillfully so far in maintaining a high level of motivation for work among their employees, as indicated by a very low rate of absence (2.12 percent in a survey of February 1973 [15]). The reasons for this success are: (1) The workforce still contains a large proportion of older generations who are committed to older values which lay emphasis on dedication to hard work and loyalty to the organizations. It is often pointed out that the middle-aged, middle-management people in particular have a generational feature of this kind. (2) Japanese big organizations with their paternalistic tradition have the capacity and resources to absorb a variety of demands of the workers of various generations including the youngest: better medical care, housing loans with lower interest, better recreational facilities, and of course, so far, large annual increases in wages. Moreover, they are now introducing a five-day work week, longer vacations, and an extension of the retirement age from fifty-five to sixty—on these points, they are in a position to make concessions to workers' demands. (3) The Japanese younger generation is, in comparison with the previous, older generation, less work-oriented, less organization-oriented, and more self-assertive. In comparison with West European or American youth, however, the present Japanese youth still retains some virtues favorable to the functioning of organizations if the Japanese organizations are clever enough to make an improvement in their operations. For instance, according to national character surveys, the preference of the Japanese for department chiefs who are paternalistic over those who are rationally specific remains unchanged, [16] Many of them want "self- actualization on the job." According to an eleven-country study of youth conducted by the Japanese government, the percentages of Japanese youth who have chosen "a job worth doing" as the most precious thing in their lives are the highest among the countries surveyed. In spite of signs of decline and less diffuse commitment to the organizations among Japanese youth, comparatively speaking, the Japanese youth are still seeking more from the organizations, and, when organizations are flexible enough to introduce an improvement to take care of more self-assertive youth, they can maintain a fairly high level of work motivation among the youth, keeping the basic lines of Japanese organizations such as life employment, enterprise union, diffuse social relationships within the organizations, and so on. For example, so far there has never even been serious discussion of abolishing the belt conveyor system in assembly lines in Japanese factories.

All the labor and business specialists seem to agree [17] that the Japanese organizational structures with life employment, enterprise unions, relatively strong commitment to the organizations, and higher motivation to work will survive at least until 1980, as far as the internal factors within them are concerned. Conversely, this means that in the first part of the 1980s Japan will reach the critical point where the accumulated changes of work ethics, attitudes toward life, and those toward company and union will necessitate corresponding changes in the hitherto established institutions and practices in labor relations. Therefore, it will be wiser for Japanese society to prepare for that period and preempt some of the anticipated reforms in advance.

3. CONSEQUENCES FOR AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF JAPANESE DEMOCRACY

1. Time Lag


Comparing the three regions, Japanese democracy seems to be suffering less from various changes which have already had threatening effects on democracies in the other two regions. Japan seems to be enjoying the time lag between causes already occurred and the consequences to follow, partly due to the remaining reservoir of traditional values, [18] and partly due to the structure of its economy.

2. Decline of Leadership and Delay of Decisions

Some of the consequences of these changes have, however, already emerged to weaken the leadership capacity of Japanese democracy, and the world situation has been changing in the direction of demanding more positive action of Japan, which will be generated only by a higher level of leadership capacity.

As is well known, the LDP is facing the possibility of losing its majority position in the Diet. The opposition parties are split, that is, there is no opposition party which can take the responsibility of governing by itself. Of course, a multiparty system and coalition formation are not intrinsically dysfunctional to the operation of democracy. Moreover, the LDP as the majority governing party for twenty years generated a number of dysfunctions such as a sense of alienation on the part of the supporters of opposition parties, excessive fusion of the LDP with the bureaucracy and big business, the ethical problem of political funds, and sporadic attempts to revive some part of prewar institutions, thereby causing unnecessary friction. [19] On the other hand, since coalition formation is quite a new experience to Japanese politics on the national level, some confusion and delay of decision would be unavoidable. Especially in foreign policy decision-making, any coalition—even the most moderate one of the LDP and the small Democratic Socialists—will bring with it a weakening of the Japan-U.S. alliance to some degree and probably recourse to a less positive role in international affairs, from the U.S. viewpoint. In other words, coalition formation can bring a more drifting or flexible foreign policy than that under the LDP's single rule. [20] Domestically also, a multiparty system and coalition formation are good for interest articulation but not necessarily good for interest aggregation. Even under the LDP's single rule, pressure groups have been rampant in getting shares in the government budget. Any coalition will be exposed to more diverse pressures in budget-making and policy formation.

3. Vagaries of Urban, Educated Nonpartisans

A decade ago, the Socialists seemed to have a bright future, replacing the LDP and taking the position of governing party at some time. The Socialists were then getting the support of the more-educated in the urban areas. [21] Today, however, in the urban areas, not only the LDP, but also the Socialists are declining. The Komei, the Communists and, although in less degree, the Democratic Socialists are getting a larger share of the votes than before. But these parties are also uncertain about their future because what exists in big cities is a vast number of floating voters with a nonpartisan orientation, whose educational level is high. It seems that no single party will be able to organize this section of the voters as the solid basis of support for it. Fortunately, the possibility is quite slim or nonexistent that these people will come to support the extreme rightists or extreme leftists even in the case of a sudden international or domestic crisis. But they are vagarious in voting, switching their votes from one party to another, and they like to vote for a popular nonpartisan candidate if such a candidate can be found. Successful candidates in gubernatorial elections or mayoral elections in urban areas are those who can appeal to this kind of voter in addition to gaining the support of more than one party. The increasing importance of urban, educated nonpartisans has a positive function in making politicians and political parties more responsive to the demands of the populace outside their regular supporters. However, by encouraging excessive populistic responsiveness by the politicians and political parties, this can also lower their capacity for integration.

4. The Place of the Communists in the Multiparty System

The Japan Communist party (JCP) has been successful in recent elections in increasing its votes and seats at both the national and local level. To take the case of the House of Representatives, the JCP's votes have increased from 2.2 million votes (4.76 percent of the total votes cast) in 1967 to 3.2 million votes (6.81 percent) in 1969, and to 5.5 million votes (10.49 percent) in 1972. Especially in metropolitan areas, the JCP is now getting about 20 percent of the total vote. And the JCP has more than 300,000 members (virtually the largest solid party membership in Japan) and its daily party newspaper has more than a million circulation. A number of prefectural governors and big city mayors were elected with the joint support of the JCP together with the Socialists, and, in some cases, the Komei party.

Does the JCP present any possible threat to the governability of Japanese democracy in near future? Most of the observations seem to support the negative, that is, optimistic answer, for the following reasons. First, the JCP seems to be approaching its ceiling in terms of share of the votes. As a nationwide average 15 percent would be the ceiling at least for the 1970s, with 30 percent in metropolitan areas where the JCP is maintaining its strongholds. Second, a major factor which contributed to the increase of support for the JCP is its soft and flexible domestic policies and nationalistic foreign policies independent from the Soviet and Chinese Communist parties. Domestically, the JCP with an average of 15 percent of the votes, or 30 percent in big cities, adopting soft lines would do no harm at all to Japanese democracy. Many domestic issues would be negotiable with this kind of JCP. In the foreign policy area, an independent and nationalistic JCP would function as a factor to enhance Japan's isolation, not only from the United States but also from China and other Asian countries. In this respect, it can be said that the JCP would work dysfunctionally.

5. What Will Happen in the 1980s?

Japanese democracy is not in a serious crisis at the present moment. However, the time lag mentioned above means that Japanese democracy will face the consequences of social changes in a future, possibly tighter situation. In comparison with the United States, where the "democratic surge" can be regarded as already having passed the peak, in Japan there is no sign of decline in the increasing tide of popular demands. On the other hand, financial resources of the government are showing signs of stagnation. The reservoir of traditional values of obedience, groupism, frugality, etc., which are still working to counterbalance the rising tide of popular demands and protest, might be exhausted at some future time. Thus, the emergence of the time-lagged consequences and the exhaustion of the "traditional" reservoir will both come in the early 1980s, as many people argue.

What will become of Japanese democracy after 1980? According to a survey on national goals, [22] a majority of the Japanese leaders surveyed believe that Japan will continue to be committed to democratic principles and to a "uniquely Japanese democracy" in the future. But what this would be and how it can be built are still unclear.

_______________

Notes:

1. Joji Watanuki, "Contemporary Japanese Perceptions of International Society," Sophia University, Institute of International Relations Research Paper Series A-13, 1973.

2. Joji Watanuki, "Formation and Survival of Japanese Democracy after the Second World War," a paper presented to the VIII World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, Canada, August 1974.

3. As for koenkai, see also Joji Watanuki, "Japanese Politics in Flux," in James William Morley (ed.), Prologue to the Future—The United States and Japan in the Postindustrial Age (Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1974), pp. 77-79.

4. According to the report on the revenue of political funds compiled by Ministry of Autonomy for the first half of 1974, out of a registered total of 51.6 billion yen ($172 million) in political funds, the LDP itself and LDP factions together got 40 billion yen. See The Yomiuri Shimbun, December 25, 1974. Moreover, it is widely believed that, if we take "hidden money" into consideration, the LDP is spending more. For instance, it was pointed out that the actual sum of money the LDP spent in 1972 was nearly 100 billion yen, although the official record for that year was 26 billion yen. See Bungei Shunju, September 1974.

5. In a survey on Bureau and Section Chiefs in the Japanese national bureaucracy, 37 percent answered that they are independent when asked about their party preference. Especially in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Economic Planning Agency, the majority chose the position of independent. This is proof of the high political neutrality of technocrats. Nikkei Business Henshubu, Nippon no Kigyo Kankyo (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 1974), pp. 182-83.

6. Ibid., p. 72.

7. These figures include the general account but exclude special accounts and governmental investment; they include the starting budget but do not count any additional budget; and they are nominal values.

8. These figures are cited from Nobutaka Shikauch, "Nihon no Masukomi no Genjo to Fuji-Sankei-Group no Chosen," Seiron, November, 1974. Also, I am indebted to this article in describing the characteristics of Japanese mass media.

9. For instance, see "Review of National Policies for Education," Education Committee, OECD, November, 1970.

10. For instance, see Joji Watanuki, "Contemporary Japanese Perceptions of International Society," op. cit., table 4 in appendix.

11. Japanese data were gathered by Komei Senkyo Renmei in a nationwide survey conducted in December 1972. European data were based on a survey conducted by Professor Inglehart. See Ronald Inglehart, "The Silent Revolution in Europe: Intergenerational Change in Postindustrial Societies," American Political Science Review, vol. 65, no. 4 (December 1971), pp. 991-1017.

12. Komei Senkyo-Renmei, Sangiin Tsujosenkyo no Jittai, 1974.

13. Institute of Statistical Mathematics, A Study of the Japanese National Character-The Fifth Nationwide Survey, Research Report General Series No. 38,1974, p. 25.

14. From a survey conducted by the Ministry of Labor in 1971. Cited from Shokuken, 1974, Spring, p. 3.

15. From the survey on the illness and absence of workers, conducted by the Ministry of Labor, February 1973. Moreover, vacations are counted as absence.

16. Institute of Mathematical Statistics, op. cit., p. 55.

17. Sadayoshi Okubo, Rodo no Miraiyosoku [Prediction of Future Labor] (Tokyo: Teikoku Chihogyosei Gakkai, 1972).

18. Since the oil crisis, many observers argue that we have to return to traditional values. For instance, ex-Vice Minister of MITI, Eimei Yamashita, answered a question by Bernard Krisher, Newsweek's Tokyo bureau chief, as follows: Question: What about the impact of Japan's economic crunch on traditional values?" Answer: "I see it as leading to a return to traditional values rather than a departure from them. During the past decade, Japanese youth abandoned all ideas of saving. They spent lavishly on clothes, electronics, and cars. But since the oil crisis, we have returned to more basic Japanese concepts. I don't think we will revert entirely to the mentality of Tokugawa feudalism, but we will be able to strike a happy balance." Newsweek, November 18,1974, p. 15.

19. For instance, even today, under the Miki Cabinet, some LDP members are tenaciously trying to make the Yasukuni shrine—a Shinto shrine dedicated to those who died in battle since Meiji—a national institution, despite fierce protest from not only opposition parties but also Christians.

20. Whether Japanese foreign policy will be labeled "drifting" or "flexible" depends on whether we can establish our own principles of diplomacy under a multiparty system or not.

21. Cf. Joji Watanuki, "Patterns of Politics in Present-day Japan," S. M. Upset and Stein Rokkan, eds., Party Systems and Voter Alignments (New York: The Free Press, 1967).

22. Yasumasa Tanaka, "Toward a Multi-Level, Multi-Stage Model of Modernization: A Case Study of Japanese Opinion Leaders on the Present and Future National Goals," Gakushuin Review of Law and Politics, 9, 1974, p. 27.
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