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:
“In history the great moment is, when the savage is just ceasing to be a savage, with all his hairy Pelasgic strength directed on his opening sense of beauty;and you have Pericles and Phidias,and not yet passed over into the Corinthian civility. Everything good in nature and in the world is in that moment of transition, when the swarthy juices still flow plentifully from nature, but their astrigency or acridity is got out by ethics and humanity.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Its a very delicate surgical operationto cut out the heart without killing the patient. The history of our country, however, is a very tough old patient, and well do the best we can.”
—Dudley Nichols, U.S. screenwriter. Jean Renoir. Sorel (Philip Merivale)
“It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.”
—Henry James (18431916)