Common Sense

PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. -Thomas Paine (1737-1809). Common Sense, 1776

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Iron Law: An Illustration

"The fundamental sociological law of political parties (the term 'political' being here used in its most comprehensive sense) may be formulated in the following terms:
'It is organization which gives birth to the domination of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organization, says oligarchy.'" --Lee Harris, The Iron Law of Oligarchy, RevisitedThis is an excerpt from Robert Michels' book "On the Sociology of Political Parties in Modern Democracies," published in 1911. The English translation was titled "Political Parties."
Supporting Evidence:
...the model has discovered a fundamental flaw in democratic society. It shows that in any society of even moderate complexity, making decisions by majority rule gives power not to the people, but to professionals who know how to manipulate political procedures to their advantage. --P.D. Straffin "Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Implications (1994) VOTE?
The Illustration:

And thanks to:

And thanks to Jomama for the lead!


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