Robert Michels found that, paradoxically, the socialist parties of Europe, despite their democratic ideology and provisions for mass participation, seemed to be dominated by their leaders, just like traditional conservative parties.
Michels' conclusion was that the problem lay in the very nature of organizations. The more liberal and democratic modern era allowed the formation of organizations with innovative and revolutionary goals, but as such organizations become more complex, they became less and less democratic and revolutionary. Michels formulated the "Iron Law of Oligarchy": "Who says organization, says oligarchy."
At the time Michels formulated his Law, he was an anarcho-syndicalist. He later gave up his socialist convictions and became an important ideologue of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy, teaching economics at the University of Perugia.
Read more about this topic: Iron Law Of Oligarchy
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Famous quotes containing the word history:
“What has history to do with me? Mine is the first and only world! I want to report how I find the world. What others have told me about the world is a very small and incidental part of my experience. I have to judge the world, to measure things.”
—Ludwig Wittgenstein (18891951)
“I feel as tall as you.”
—Ellis Meredith, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 14, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)
“The steps toward the emancipation of women are first intellectual, then industrial, lastly legal and political. Great strides in the first two of these stages already have been made of millions of women who do not yet perceive that it is surely carrying them towards the last.”
—Ellen Battelle Dietrick, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 13, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)