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action activity attained authority become Berlin bourgeois bourgeoisie cause central character comrades congress Consequently considerable considered constitute continue countries delegates democracy democratic deputies direct economic effect election employees especially example executive exercise existence expression fact force France French German give hand ideas importance increase individual influence intellectuals interests Italian Italy labour labour movement lead leaders leadership least less majority manifest masses matter means ment merely moral movement natural official oligarchy opposition organization origin Paris parliamentary petty bourgeois political popular position possess possible practical present principle proletarian question rank and file reason regarded representatives respect revolutionary rule secure sense social socialist party society strike struggle term theory tion trade trade-union true unions vote whole workers working-class writes
Page 207 - The man Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes whate'er it touches ; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of men, and, of the human frame, A mechanized automaton.
Page 77 - ... were there no uniformity in human actions, and were every experiment which we could form of this kind irregular and anomalous, it were impossible to collect any general observations concerning mankind; and no experience, however accurately digested by reflection, would ever serve to any purpose. Why is the aged husbandman more...
Page 32 - Organization implies the tendency to oligarchy. In every organization, whether it be a political party, a professional union, or any other association of the kind, the aristocratic tendency manifests itself very clearly. The mechanism of the organization, while conferring a solidity of structure, induces serious changes in the organized mass, completely inverting the respective position of the leaders and the led.
Page 406 - Now new accusers arise to denounce the traitors; after an era of glorious combats and inglorious power, they end by fusing with the old dominant class; whereupon once more they are in their turn attacked by fresh opponents who appeal to the name of democracy. It is probable that this cruel game will continue without...
Page 406 - The democratic currents of history resemble successive waves. They break ever on the same shoal. They are ever renewed. This enduring spectacle is simultaneously encouraging and depressing. When democracies have gained a certain stage of development, they undergo a gradual transformation, adopting the aristocratic spirit, and in many cases also the aristocratic forms, against which at the outset they struggled so fiercely. Now new accusers arise to denounce the traitors; after an era of glorious...
Page 207 - He who has acquired power will almost always endeavor to consolidate it and to extend it, to multiply the ramparts which defend his position, and to withdraw himself from the control of the masses.
Page 35 - ... organization is a matter of technical and practical necessity. It is the inevitable product of the very principle of organization. Not even the most radical wing of the various socialist parties raises any objection to this retrogressive evolution, the contention being that democracy is only a form of organization and that where it ceases to be possible to harmonize democracy with organization, it is better to abandon the former than the latter. Organization, since it is the only means of attaining...
Page 86 - The incompetence of the masses is almost universal throughout the domains of political life, and this constitutes the most solid foundation of the power of the leaders. The incompetence furnishes the leaders with a practical and to some extent with a moral justification. Since the rank and file are incapable of looking after their own interests, it is necessary that they should have experts to attend to their affairs (Michels, 1962: 111-112).
Page 400 - A realistic view of the mental condition of the masses shows beyond question that even if we admit the possibility of moral improvement in mankind, the human materials with whose use politicians and philosophers cannot dispense in their plans of social reconstruction are not of a character to justify excessive optimism.
Page 402 - ... solution of the diverse problems which present themselves for solution — because the mass per se is amorphous, and therefore needs division of labor, specialization, and guidance. "The human species wants to be governed; it will be. I am ashamed of my kind," wrote Proudhon from his prison in 1850.