Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1949. Second Edition. Octavo, ix, 416 pages; VG/G+; spine brown with black titling; dust jacket protected with a mylar covering, price uncut '$4.50'; dust jacket splitting at front hinge, top inch of head of spine missing, mild chipping and wear elsewhere, age-toning; name stamped to ffep; mild age-toning to interior; very scarce; shelved case 10.
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First published in 1911, it was translated into English in 1915. Best known for introducing the concept of iron law of oligarchy, it is considered one of the classics of social sciences, in particular sociology and political science.
This work analyses the power structures of organizations such as political parties and trade unions. Michels's main argument is that all organizations, even those in theory most egalitarian and most committed to democracy – like socialist political parties – are in fact oligarchical, and dominated by a small group of leadership. The book also provides a first systematic analysis of how a radical political party loses its radical goals under the dynamics of electoral participation. The origins of moderation theory can be found in this analysis. [wikipedia]