As It Will Be In The Future, It Was At The Birth Of Man

From Albion’s Seed, page 896:

There is a cultural equivalent of the iron law of oligarchy: small groups dominate every cultural system. They tend to do so by controlling institutions and processes, so that they tend to become the “governors” of a culture in both a political and a mechanical sense.

The “iron law of oligarchy“: yet another reason not to worship at the altar of democracy.

Recently I quoted Mencius Moldbug:

Just as pornography can stimulate the human sex drive without providing and actual sex, democracy can stimulate the human power drive without providing any actual power.

As the Durants reminded us: “in the end superior ability has its way.”

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5 Comments

  1. Whitewall says

    Freddie deBoer: Medium
    The Iron Law of Institutions is this: “the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution ‘fail’ while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.”

    Posted October 16, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink
  2. Whitewall says

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2013/10/the-impossibility-of-secular-society

    More links I guess.

    Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  3. Bill says

    So, the original success of the US was because everyone was part of a small group? A corollary of the Iron Law would be that institutions fail beyond a certain size.

    Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    I think the Iron Law simply says that institutions above a certain size will be taken over by oligarchies. But I do believe that, as you say, institutions fail beyond a certain size, and that this is among the fatal problems afflicting the 21st-century United States.

    Posted October 16, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  5. This is the first time I’ve heard of this “iron rule”; it is quite strikingly elegant in how succinct it can falsify any socialistic paradigm!

    Maybe a corollary is that the oligarchy itself is influenced by those individuals within it most inclined to control it?

    Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink