Michel Rocard

My Ideas for the Future Publication date : May 1, 2000

This collection of articles and lectures by the former Socialist Prime Minister Michel Rocard were written over the past fifteen years — ten of which were under a left-wing government. In this collection, Rocard addresses four main issues.
The first one is peace — both on a social and international level. The author describes his concept of a “secant mediator”, capable of resolving conflicts, or even of preventing them. He makes a plea for disarmament, a goal that the Left should not abandon simply because it is in power.
The second issue concerns work and unemployment. Rocard passionately defends cutting down working time, not only as a means of reducing unemployment, but also because he views shorter working hours as a measure of social progress and of the development of civilisation. He suggests different ways in which the newly freed time could be put to use.
The third issue considers democracy and human rights. Rocard denounces the way Western representative democracies have gradually become democracies of opinion, limiting the time given to politicians to react, while simultaneously increasing voters’ demands.
The fourth and final issue concerns the future of socialism, at a time when many of its representatives have espoused market economics. Here, too, Rocard has opened new avenues of reflection, including that of social economics.

Former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard is now a representative in the European Parliament.