What Mendes-France's “New Deal” Stands For:
Gravedigger of the European Idea?
France this past summer has witnessed something more than a parliamentary crisis and less than a revolution. With the same fanfare with which the Soviet Union adopted its “new line” and the United States its “new look,” France has now adopted a “new style.” She has been passing through a crisis of adjustment to a changed world situation, brought about primarily by the end of the “Stalin era” in Soviet Russia and the coming to power of the Republicans in the United States. That situation is better described as an easement in tension than a real “détente.” The cold war has moved out of the stage of dramatic crisis into one of temporary stalemate, and those who came out of this war of position safe and sound—or at least alive—are settling down to a long, yet apparently bearable period of “coexistence.” The Soviet Union has set about digesting its massive conquests rather than risking them right off in new adventures; the West, so far as you may speak of it as a unit, has resigned itself to granting de facto recognition to the present boundaries of the Soviet empire. The slogan of “liberation”— that last if purely rhetorical attempt to lend a moral impulse to the anti-Soviet resistance—vanished without even a lingering echo when the East German uprising of 1953 challenged the Eisenhower administration to put up or shut up.
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