Mitterrand came to power largely onnthe implied promise that his would be an”socialism with a human face,” thenslogan of the Prague Spring and of thenlater vogue of Eurocommunism. Thosenwho voted for him in 1981 have had anrude awakening and have yet to digestncommunist participation in importantnministries. My feeling is that if Mitterrand,neven now, dismissed the four communistncabinet ministers, popular opinionnwould turn in his favor. Much of thenfled capital might also return. It may benworthwhile, therefore, to speculate onnMitterrand’s motives in keeping themnon. He obviously regards himself as anleftist de Gaulle, heir to the policy of annalternative to both Moscow and Washington.nWhen he nationalized banksnand other enterprises, he reasoned thatn”in the world of multinationals thengovernment must watch over the country’snsovereignty.” Next comes Mitterrand’snconviction that France has for toonlong been a bourgeois country, and mustnregain a position of leadership amongnthose who look toward a new revolution.nThis accounts for its aid to and rhetoricnabout Nicaragua and the like. It shouldnnot be forgotten that de Gaulle, too,ntried to awaken national consciousness—nand a “third option”—from PhnomnPenh to Quebec. There is a greater continuitynof French policies than meetsnthe eye.nThe most frightening aspect of Mitterrand’snFrance is its egalitarian impulse.nIgor Shafarevich theorized that socialismnis the symptom of a nation’s tiredness.nI think that is a dangerous halftruth.nEgalitarianism is a passion of envynand brutal ambition: in the end, it manipulatesnand reduces society to a geometricalnpattern. A socialist society is notnpeaceful and passive but restless andncombative. Most of the people I talkednwith in France were either cynical regardingnthe future (“plus ga change, plusnc ‘est la mime chose “) or despairing. Butnthere were others, too, new Jacobins withneyes ablaze at the prospects of drasticnchange. Chevencment is reputed to havensuggested that all Frenchmen shouldnthink alike on issues of national andnglobal import. His acolytes warn—so far,ndiscreetly—intellectuals and professorsnthat debates “in a critical vein,” are notndesirable. The consequence is, of course,nthat students spy on teachers, colleaguesnreport colleagues, journalists, researchersnand bankers look over their shouldersnwhen talking, writing, deciding.nAn often-heard adjective of Mitterrand’snregime is “generous”: a new andngenerous policy, a generous interpretationnof the law, mistakes made out ofngenerosity. Let us remember that whilensending thousands to be “married to thenguillotine,” Robespierre had his mouthnfull oi virtue. DnTin: AMKUICAN PROSC KMIMnTAe Realities of PowernWhenever a President—or, for thatnmatter, any politician who operatesnwithin a democratic system of freedomsnand responsibilities—has to renege onnpromises, compromise principles, renouncenobligations, engage in deals withnenemies, backpedal loudly proclaimedncreedal slogans, resort to abstmse euphemism,nabandon supporters, desert thentmst and hope vested in him, tergiversatenabout once neady formulated tenetsnand ideas, he invokes a shady, almostnmystical, political vocabulary term: “thenrealities of power.” Let’s not be too slicknand self-assured about these realities:nthey certainly do exist. Moreover, the gistnof a well-functioning democracy is a welltemperednsense of compromise rigidlyncontrolled by a sense of moral proprietynthat protects the state and society fromnslipping into venality, selfishness andncormption. This approach to democraticnpolitics has always been called pragmatismnand is considered by many to be ansupreme virtue.nWith his August 1982 address to thennation about the increases in taxes, it’snobvious that President Reagan has, fornthe first time, invoked the awesome reconditenessnof the realities-of-power formula.nIt has long been known that Mr.nReagan—who came into office as an ideologuencommitted to a tighdy structurednsociopolitical doctrine—has graduallynnnfallen under the spell of some in thenRepublican Party’s upper reaches whonmost mercifully may be called pragmatists.nThey have convinced him of twonthings: prima—that retaining power atnany price is his mission; segundo—nthat he must shed the image of an ideologue,nfor ideology is tantamount tonsuicide within the ground rules of Americannpolitics.nIt is with sadness that we have watchednMr. Reagan heed their pressures, optingnfor short-term shrewdness over a farsightednvision of momentous, perhapsnfundamental, change in American affairs.nYes, Mr. Reagan was an ideologue,nor, at least, the personification of an ideologicalnset of principles, and, to ournmind, that was exactly what gave himnvictory. Ideology, in his case, meant a rationallynand empirically assembled systemnof analyses and conclusions in political,neconomic, and social matters, whosenultimate goal was to reform, even restructure,nthe American reality—which,nin the perception of many, had beenndeteriorating toward collapse year bynyear, from election to election. Actually,nevery politician is and must be an ideologist;nthey all are countless Monsieur Jourdains,nspeaking ideological prose unknowingly.nEven the pragmatic operatorsnwho surround Mr. Reagan are ideologues—exponentsnof the ideology ofnunprincipled politics.nSo President Reagan, like many beforenNovember 198Sn