Monday, December 29, 2014

The Arthurian — "No government in history has been known to evade this pattern."

"Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy." — Frank Herbert, Children of Dune
The New Arthurian Economics
"No government in history has been known to evade this pattern."
The Arthurian


Dan Lynch said...

Similar to the "Iron Law of Oligarchy."

It claims that rule by an elite, or oligarchy, is inevitable as an "iron law" within any democratic organization as part of the "tactical and technical necessities" of organization. .... representative democracy is a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, that he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable.

Tom Hickey said...

Yes, this is the inevitable result of organizational efficiency ad effectiveness, since hierarchical organization has shown itself to be more efficient and "effective" than consensual organization. But this depends on the definition of "effective." If the goal is growth, this is true. If the goal is something else, like liberal democracy, then it is not true.

The challenge of popular participatory democracy is to show that it can deliver the goods where "goods" is not defined only economically or chiefly economically.

This invovles the difference between quality and quantity that conventional economics ignores and which neoliberal political theory distorts.

The spiritual or metaphysical basis of life is deeper than the material and "scientific". Neoliberals acknowledge this implicitly when they appeal to "freedom" as the summum bonum.

Freedom may be the highest good in some sense, but this sense of freedom is not the freedom of one social class to exploit other classes economically, to dominant them politically, and to exact social privilege.