chapter  6
13 Pages

Republicans and Liberals

ByAlain Touraine

The formation of the modern democratic idea coincided with the decomposition of this image of the modern republican state and, therefore, with the emergence and growing importance of the idea of representation. Liberal thinkers and statesmen have always been convinced that democracy is dangerous. The United States, recruitment into the elite remained closed for a long time. A high proportion of the elite came from the Ivy League schools, and family background continued to play an important role. The liberals brought about the transition from ancient to modern as they attempted to reconcile the civic spirit and individual interest. Liberals distrust social actors to such an extent that they look for a principle of order that can replace religion. The strength of liberal and utilitarian modes of thought is that they combine the theme of the limitation of power with the theme of citizenship that is defended by the republican idea.