Jan Van Toorn warns that he will be discussing graphic and communications design theoretically, beginning with an overview of the Dutch political system, and the interplay of public and private interests. He suggests that the government's dominating presence in everyday life in Holland derives from its historic function of coordinating essential flooding and land-reclamation projects. He talks about the Berlage Institute, the role of architects in Holland, and the presence of intellectuals in public debate. He discusses the possibilities of the recuperation of society and democracy through communication design. He hopes that the revitalization and renewal of art, design and theory as truly public practices can continue despite conservative trends.