Unfortunately his other books are difficult to acquire even in Italian and French -- the languages which he originally wrote in. They go so far as to exercise a censorshipover any of their colleagues whom they suspect of rebelliousinclinations, forcing them to abandon independent journals, and topublish all their articles in the official organs controlled by theleaders of the majority in the party. Thus the rank and file becomescontinually more impotent to provide new and intelligent forcescapable of leading the opposition which may be latent among themasses. New York: FreePress, 1970, pp. But in continuing our search, in laboring in indefatigably todiscover the undiscoverable, we shall perform a work which will havefertile results in the democratic sense.
Although his focus leaves out solutions to the oligarchical tendencies - which would have made him wildly utopian - he masterfully manages to dissect the political leadership and understand the dynamics which necessitate and help create the political elites which come to dominate over the masses. Even in groups sincerelyanimated with the democratic spirit, current business, thepreparation and the carrying out of the most important actions, isnecessarily left in the hands of individuals. His function could never be regarded byhim as a regular source of income. Unquestionably, the fascination exercised by the beauty of asonorous eloquence is often, for the masses, no more than the preludeto a long series of disillusionments, either because the speaker'spractical activities bear no proportion to his oratorical abilities,or simply because he is a person of altogether common character. The present work is a critical discussion of the problem of democracy. In the early days ofthe movement of the Italian agricultural workers, the chief of theleague required a majority of four-fifths of the votes to secureelection. In this book he analyzes the tendencies that oppose the realization of democracy, and claims that these tendencies can be classified in three ways: dependence upon the nature of the individual; dependence upon the nature of the political structure; and dependence upon the nature of organization.
Political Parties is less an analysis of how political organizations form and evolve based on specific metrics or a scientific analysis of populations, and more a tirade against Socialists capital S. It is well known thatthe impossibility for the people to exercise a legislative powerdirectly in popular assemblies led the democratic idealists of Spainto demand, as the least of evils, a system of popular representationand a parliamentary state. Ludwig von Haller, Restauration der Staatswissenschaften, Winterthur, 1816, vol. Either they must accept theking's abdication, which would involve the accession to the throne ofPrince William of Prussia, a man of ultrareactionary tendencies,whose reign was likely to be initiated by an uprising among the lowerclasses; or else they must abandon their liberal schemes, andmaintain in power the king now become indispensable. These means consistin the right of controlling and dismissing their leaders. One who is indispensable has in hispower all the lords and masters of the earth.
Apart from suchtransient interruptions, the natural and normal development of theorganization will impress upon the most revolutionary of parties anindelible stamp of conservatism. Thus the dominion dependent upon distinction acquired outside theparty is comparatively ephemeral. The leaders areextremely careful never to admit that the true aim of their threat toresign is the reinforcement of their power over the rank and file. This is compounded by the rank and file lack of education, and corresponding sophistication of the leadership. Anelectoral right exists, but no electoral duty. Why People Don't Trust Government. It's provocative to assign two stars to one of the classics of political theory, but I am just reacting to the arguments as I found them.
You should have a dictionary,and a translation program, Michels quotes a number of people in their original language. Democracy is a treasure which no one will ever discover by deliberatesearch. In everyorganization, whether it be a political party, a professional union,or any other association of the kind, the aristocratic tendencymanifests itself very clearly. Reserve Readings Angus Campbell, Philip E. The other expenses of the undertaking, including themaintenance of the pupils, are furnished from a common fund suppliedby the party and the various trade unions interested. The history of theworking class parties continually furnishes instances in which theleader has been in flagrant contradiction with the fundamentalprinciples of the movement, hut in which the rank and file have notbeen able to make up their minds to draw the logical consequences ofthis conflict, because they feel that they cannot get along withoutthe leader, and cannot dispense with the qualities he has acquired invirtue of the very position to which they have themselves elevatedhim, and because they do not see their way to find an adequatesubstitute. Theprinciple of division of labor coming more and more into operation,executive authority undergoes division and subdivision.
When, however, they perceived that this movement could notbe suppressed, they hastened to place themselves at its head. Au final, le livre pose davantage le problème que la solution: comment -surtout avec ces exigences de démocraties qui nous travaillent- éviter de virer à l'oligarchie? The ideal government would doubtlessbe that of an aristocracy of persons at once morally good andtechnically efficient. In spite of their revolutionary manifestos and formally democratic constitutions, the labor parties of his day were dominated by demagogic ruling cliques with an interest in the perpetuation and growth of the organization itself rather than in its proclaimed ideological aims. Thus the leaders, who were at first no morethan the executive organs of the collective w ill, soon emancipatethemselves from the mass and become independent of its control. Often the struggle between the old leaders in possession of powerand the new aspirants assumes the aspects of a struggle betweenresponsible and irresponsible persons.
The treasure in the fable may well symbolize democracy. Who says organization says oligarchy. In states with a democratictendency and under a parliamentary regime, to obtain the fall of adetested minister it suffices, in theory, that the people should beweary of him. If Peter wrongs Paul, it isout of the question that all the other citizens should hasten to thespot to undertake a personal examination of the matter in dispute,and to take the part of Paul against Peter. Moreover, precisely because they areirresponsible, because they do not occupy any official position inthe party, the opponents are not subject to that simulacrum ofdemocratic control which must influence the conduct of those inoffice. It then seems as if the old leaders, unlessthey are willing to yield to the opinion of the rank and file and towithdraw, must consent to share their power with the new arrivals. Coleman, Party Decline in America, Princeton 1996.
Age here constitutes an element ofsuperiority. This work, Political Parties, is a real classic in the study of politics. This is perfectly natural, for the leaders cannot bereplaced at a moment's notice, since all the other members of theparty are absorbed in their everyday occupations and are strangers tothe bureaucratic mechanism. Moreover, the principle of nationality cannot help us where nationalities barely exist or where they are entangled in inextricable confusion. Perhaps they would have like it if the names of Lasalle, Proudhon, and Bebel were exchanged for Trump, Clinton, and Obama! He had a long-standing interest in Israel and Jewish affairs, and was past president of the Association of American Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Equality is here understood in its most general sense, as an equalityof like men.