La Dernière Heure et la première (1970) is a theoretical essay by Pierre Vadeboncoeur arguing that the French Canadian people have paradoxically been excluded from history in their successful pursuit of "la survivance": entrenched language rights and a thriving culture are no substitute for genuine political power, the power of sovereignty.
Focusing on the liberal philosophy of Federalism articulated by the Cité Libre group in the 1950s and 1960s, Vadeboncoeur claims that Pierre Trudeau's view of Québec nationalism was merely an extension of traditional 19th-century nationalism, a palliative measure. According to Vadeboncoeur, only the neonationalism of the sovereignty movement, implicitly socialist, addresses the cultural and economic deprivation of the inner exile, a colonized being. "Intuitively" substituting a vision of universally recognized self-determination for the technocrat's "sterile" obsession with statistics, Vadeboncoeur aims to delineate the points of continuity and departure between traditional and radical nationalism. Vadeboncoeur's cultural depth, clarity of style and intellectual sophistication preclude any simplistic summary of his ideas and loyalties.