James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution and The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom - selections by Peter Myers, December 15, 2001; update November May 16, 2009. My comments are shown {thus}.

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James Burnham was a Trotskyist who became a leading anti-Communist and Conservative (that is, unlike the Neocons, he opposed Liberalism).

His book The Managerial Revolution (1941, 1942) was one of the influences on George Orwell (also a Trotskyist) in writing 1984.

The Managerial Revolution depicted a convergence between Communism, National Socialism and New-Deal policies (in the West) towards what he called "Managerial" society, where the public services manage the state and the economy. Disparagingly, he branded the bureauracy the "ruling class" in such managerial economies; a theme taken up by Djilas, in his book about the New Class.

Decades later, Thatcherism and Reaganomics (privatization and deregulation) have got rid of the public-sector Managerialism Burnham wrote about in The Managerial Revolution, and replaced it with rule by company boards and anonymous creditors, many based in tax havens, not answerable to the public in any way.

In 1947 Burnham proclaimed that the Cold War was the Third World War; he went on write a number of books about the threat of the USSR and the need for the US to mount a worldwide operation to contain it.

Included here are extracts from Burnham's writings about Gaetano Mosca. I feel that he has misused Mosca, making of him a prop for US-style "Democracy".

(1) James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution (2) George Orwell, 1984 (3) Wittfogel's "Oriental Despotism" (4) James Burnham, The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom (5) James Burnham, The Struggle For the World (6) James Burnham, The Coming Defeat of Communism (7) James Burnham, The Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism

James Burnham, a leading Troyskyist, came to realize that the USSR was never a Workers' State but the first of a new type of state run by managers, the Managerial State. Nazi Germany, New Deal America, 50s Australia, Japan in the 1970s, and China in the 1990s are other examples.

A Managerial State is socialist, i.e. power is taken out of the hands of the wealthy, and vested in public managers aiming at relative equality and full employment.

Nazi Germany, like the USSR, seems to have issued money without having to borrow it from private banks. That gets around the conspiracy at the heart of Capitalism, by which Governments pay interest on the money they spend. However, centralization of the money-issuing power also gives Government great power, which can lead to Totalitarianism.

In Australia of the 50s, like postwar Japan, Governments borrowed money from private banks, but the real interest rate was very low.

Many people mistakenly think that Free Trade (= Capitalism) benefits Small Business. Wrong. Free trade allows Big Business to destroy Small Business. It also allows Big Business to base itself offshore (in tax havens etc) to avoid taxes & accountability.

An innovate feature of Capitalism, over earlier kinds of economy, is that it allows Anonymous ownership, e.g. hiding behind company names, business names etc. Australia owes over $200 billion foreign debt - but to who?

Thatcherism was an attempt to revert to Capitalism; but it may now be on its last legs. What now? A return to Managerialism?

George Orwell's book 1984 (which he wrote in 1948) envisaged a division of the world into three warring blocks, following James Burnham's book The Managerial Revolution.

Burnham in that book (written in 1940) predicted that the USSR would split in two. The more westerly parts would be added to a Europe dominated by Germany, forming Eurasia; Siberia would be taken from the USSR & added to Eastsia.

With the fall of the USSR in 1991, that process seems underway. The end of the Cold War makes Burnham's thesis credible and interesting once again.

The Orwellian state in Britain, as part of Oceania (the Anglo-American block), depicted in 1984, would be based not on Stalin's system - after all the tripartite world assumed the fall of the USSR - but on INGSOC (the Newspeak acronym for "English Socialism").

Orwell, like Burnham, was a Trotskyist; H. G. Wells probably so. Trotsky certainly had some powerful intellect in his camp. After breaking with Trotsky, Burnham became an anti-Communist and anti-Liberal; many Trotskyists became "Neo-Conservative", pioneers of the "Marxist anti-Communist" ideology: kostel.html. Some co-operated with the CIA: cia-infiltrating-left.html.

(1) James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution, Indiana University Press, Bloomingham 1966.

Apart from a new Preface (written in 1959), the text is the text of the 1942 British edition published by Putnam and Company; an American edition was published in 1941.

{p. ii} "I come now to the last branch of my charge: that I teach princes villainy, and how to enslave. If any man will read over my book . . . with impartiality and ordinary charity, he will easily perceive that it is not my intention to recommend that government or those men there described to the world, much less to teach men how to trample upon good men, and all that is sacred and venerable upon earth, laws, religion, honesty, and what not. If I have been a little too punctual in describing these monsters in all their lineaments and colours, I hope mankind will know them, the better to avoid them, my treatise being both a satire against them, and a true character of them..."

NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, from a Letter to a Friend.

{p. v.} PREFACE TO MIDLAND BOOKS EDITION {written at Kent, Connecticut, June 12, 1959}

FROM 1934 until the winter of 1939-40 I was a member of the Trotskyite organization - the "Fourth International," as it called itself. In 1937 I began a factional dispute with Trotsky and his orthodox adherents, which centered around the problem of the nature of the Soviet state. Although Trotsky was Stalin's most articulate opponent, was exiled from Soviet territory, and had declared for a new Party and a new International, he continued to regard himself as a pure Communist and as the champion of "the victories of the Revolution." According to Trotskyite doctrine, the Soviet state, though "degenerated" under Stalin's bureaucratic misrule, was still a "revolutiorary workers' state" or "proletarian dictatorship " As such, the Soviet state was "historically progressive" in relation to "reactionary capitalism." Hence it was the duty of revolutionists in all nations, even if they were opponents of Stalin and his regime, to "defend the Soviet Union against any "imperialist" state, including their own fatherland.

For some years I had accepted this empty ideological mumbo jumbo. Then, one day, I tried to relate the formulas to reality. On such a scrutiny it did not take long for the formulas to evaporate. Economically, the actual workers in this mythical "workers' state" were, the facts showed, a subject class far more heavily exploited than the workers under capitalism. Politically, the workers had no power at all. Millions of them were in forced labor camps; all of them were herded and regimented by a pervasive, monolithic police and Party appartus. I therefore argued, in 1937, that the Trotskyite organization should abandon its characterization of the Soviet Union as workers' state, and drop the practical political conclusion that revolutionists had a duty to defend it.

{p. vi} ... I was on Poland's side against the Hitler-Stalin partnership, and for Finland against the Soviet invaders. Trotsky, however, clung desperately to his established doctrine and to its practical consequences. ...

I wrote The Managerial Revolution in 1940; the American edition was published in 1941. ... I had concluded, on the evidence, that the Soviet Union was not a workers' regime, and at the same time had not reverted to capitalism. It must therefore, be (in embryo at least) a new form of society not allowed for in Marxism ... This new form I christened "managerial society." ...

{p. vii} The analogies were especially convincing in the case of Nazi Germany and New Deal America. I thus arrived at a general hypothesis that world society is in the midst of a major social transformation that may be called "the managerial revolution." ...

The prediction that with the second World War the old system of many autonomous nations would be replaced by a small number of great political aggregates, or super-states, contending among themselves for the less developed regions of the world, has been confirmed. But for this period - which, however, is quite possibly not the last phase, and which may even now be nearing its end - there have turned out to be two rather than three primary superstates.

Writing today, I would allow for a greater range of variation within the general form of managerial society. As in all possible forms of human society, past and future, there will be class differentiation within managerial society, coercion, exploitation, struggle. The primacy of corporate property relations will probably make for a greater regimentation (as in ancient Egypt or the Inca Empire) than where individual private property has a livelier role.

{Karl Wittfogel, taking Burnham one step further, characterises Egypt and the other ancient empires as "Oriental Despotism", and applies the same label to the USSR; yet the Athenians greatly admired Egypt}

The idea of a perfectly free and equal utopia is an illusion that deceives and defrauds the masses, and serves the interests only of demagogues and tyrants. But though perfect freedom and equality are illusory, human beings can achieve a partial, relative freedom, equality and justice; and within the developing managerial soci-

{p. viii} eties of the present and future, as within capitalist, feudal and even slave societies of the past, many degrees of relative freedom and justice, ranging from unrestricted tyranny to a measure of constitutional liberty under the rule of law, will be possible. In the conduct of their social and political affairs, there will always be a better and a worse for human beings to choose; or at least a lesser evil.

... The managers who control the great power aggregates - big industry, the governmental apparatus, the labor organizations, the military forces - can become, and indeed have already become in most great nations, the dominant class ...

{p. ix} ... Milovan Djilas' book, The New Class, which (so far as it goes) is a fairly direct application of the theory of the managerial revolution to Soviet developments, undoubtedly gives expression to ideas widely spread not only in Yugoslavia but elsewhere in the Communist sphere. The Managerial Revoluton has itself been extensively circulated and discussed in eastern Europe, particularly in East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Russia, and has had the honor of being frequently attacked by the official press and radio.

{p. 30} Continuous mass unemployment is not new in history. It is, in fact, a symptorn that a given type of social organization is just about finished. It was found among the poorer citizens during the last years of Athens, among the urban "proletariat" (as they were called) in the Roman Empire, and very notably at the end of the Middle Ages, among the dispossessed serfs and villeins who had been thrown off the land in order to make way for capitalist use of the land. ...

{p. 31} The volume of public and private debt has reached a point where it cannot be managed much longer. The debt, like the unemployed, sucks away the diminishing blood stream of capitalism. And it cannot be shaken off. Bankruptcies, which formerly readjusted the debt position of capitalism, hardly make a dent in it.

{p. 34} Only the hopelessly naive can imagine that France fell so swiftly because of the mere mechanical strength of the Nazi war machine - that might have been sufficient in a longer run but not to destroy a great nation with a colossal military establishment in a few weeks. France collapsed so swiftly because its people had no heart for the war - as every observer had remarked, even through the censorship, from the beginning of the war. And they had no heart for the war because the bourgeois ideologies by which they were appealed to no longer had power to move their hearts.

{p. 69} The managers will exercise their control over the instruments of production and gain preference in the distribution of the products, not directly, through property rights vested in them as individuals, but indirectly, through their control of the state which in turn will own and control the instruments of production. The state - that is, the institutions which comprise the state - will, if we wish to put it that way, be the "property" of the managers. And that will be quite enough to place them in the position of ruling class.

{p. 100} In capitalist society, the role of government in the economy is always secondary. The government acts in the economy chiefly to preserve the integrity of the market and of capitalist property relations, and to give aid and comfort, as in war or international competition or internal disturbances, when these are needed. ...

{p. 137} The Congress of Soviets, in 1917, was made up of representatives of local soviets which, in turn, were elected primarily by workers and peasants in the various local districts. In the Congress of Soviets which met at the beginning of November, 1917, the Bolshevik party had a majority. This Congress then declared itself to be "the government": that is to say, it claimed sovereignty and declared that sovereignty was no longer possessed by the Kerensky government which was based upon the remnants of the old Duma. The Soviet Congress then proceeded to enact the chief initial measures of the new regime and to elect an executive - the Council of Commissars.

It would seem, then, that sovereignty was still localized in a parliament; and, for a short time, this was more or less the case. But this state of affairs did not last. Parliamentary sovereignty proved inappropriate for a nation that rapidly developed in the direction of managerial society. Within a few years, well before the death of Lenin and the subsequent exile of Trotsky, the Soviet Congress had lost, one by one,

{p. 138} all the attributes of sovereignty. Its nominal rehabilitation in the "Stalinist" Constitution of 1937 changed nothing and left the Soviet Congress the mere minor propaganda instrument which it continues to be.

The development was indicated at least as early as the so-called "Kronstadt" revolt, which took place in 1921 {kronstadt.html}. The opposition platform of the sailors and populace of the Kronstadt area had as its key plank, "new elections to the soviets." This demand was in reality an effort to return sovereignty to the soviets and the Soviet Congress and an implicit recognition that these institutions no longer possessed sovereignty. The demand was rejected by the true sovereign institutions of the soviet state, and the dissidents answered by armed suppression.

{p. 141} In the new form of society, sovereignty is localized in administrative bureaus. They proclaim the rules, make the laws, issue the decrees. The shift from parliament to the bureaus occurs on a world scale. Viewed on a world scale, the battle is already over. The localization of sovereignty in parliament is ended save for a lingering remnant in England (where it may not last the next few months), in the United States, and certain of the lesser nations.

There is no mystery in this shift. It can be correlated easily enough with the change in the character of the state's activities. Parliament was the sovereign body of the limited state of capitalism. The bureaus are the sovereign bodies of the unlimited state of managerial society.

{p. 164} Sovereignty for a nation implies that the nation makes laws for itself and recognizes no superior lawmaker. It means that the nation sets up tariffs and other import and export controls, regulates its own foreign policies and its own currency, and maintains civil, diplomatic, and military establishments. The simultaneous existence of many sovereign nations in the modern world necessarily means an anarchic situation in world politics. This must be because, since each sovereign nation recognizes no lawmaker superior to itself, there is in the end no way except by force to mediate the deep conflicts that are bound to arise among the various nations.

{p. 165} Experience has shown that the existence of a large number of sovereign nations, especially in Europe (and with somewhat less acuteness in Latin America), is incompatible with contemporary economic and social needs. The system simply does not work. In spite of the fact that the post-Versailles European arrangements were set up and guaranteed by the most powerful coalition in history, which had achieved victory in the greatest war of history, they could not last. The complex division of labour, the flow of trade and raw materials made possible and demanded by modern technology, were strangled in the network of diverse tariffs, laws, currencies, passports, boundary restrictions, bureaucracies, and independent armies. It has been clear for some while that these were going to be smashed; the only problem was who was going to do it and how and when. Now it is being done under the prime initial impulse of Germany.

{p. 166} Even if, by a lucky chance, some one power might win what would look like a world victory, it could only prove temporary. The disintegrative forces would be sufficient to pull it rapidly to pieces. ... A world state

{p. 167} would presuppose a large measure of general social unity anong men: in interests, in culture, in education, in material standards of life. No such unity exists ...

The comparatively large number of sovereign nations under capitalism is being replaced by a comparatively small number of great nations, or "super-states," which will divide the world among them. Some of the many nations which are eliminated in fact may be preserved in form; they may be kept as administrative sub-divisions, but they will be stripped of sovereignty. Sovereignty will be restricted to the few super-states. ...

Advanced industy is concentrated in three, and only three, comparatively small areas: the United States, especially its north-eastern and north-central regions; Europe, especially north-central Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, northern France, England); and the Japanese islands together with parts of eastern China. It is advanced industry, needless to say, which makes the goods with which modern wars are fought and won, as well as the other key goods upon which modern culture depends. The economic map suggests dramatically what is probable on many other grounds: that the world political system will coalesce into three primary super-states,

{p. 168} each based upon one of these three areas of advanced industry.

This does not necessarily mean that these three super-states will be the United States, Germany, and Japan as we know them to-day. This may well be the case, but it need not be so. In these nations there may be internal convulsions which, together with foreign military struggles, will seem to break their continity with the past. New names may be used. This would, however, be of secondary importance in the long run.

It should go without saying that the mechanism whereby this new political system will be built is and will be war.

{p. 169} From the war of 1939 are coming more major political leaps. But this is only the first, not the last, war of managerial society. There will be much still to be decided after the present struggle is over - though, since war and peace are no longer declared, it may be hard to know when this struggle is over and the next one begins. The immediate war will not even complete the consolidation of the managerial structure of society; and after it is completed there will still be wars, for there will remain plenty to fight about.

{p. 169} The fundamental theme of the wars of the future - into one of which the second world war was already evolving by the latter part of 1940 - will be the clash among

{p. 170} the three areas which constitute the three main strategic bases. Ostensibly these wars will be directed from each base for conquest of the other bases. But it does not seem possible for any of these to conquer the others; and even two of them in coalition could not win a decisive and lasting victory. What will be actually accomplished by these wars will not be a decision as to who is to rule the bases - for Americans are going to rule here, Europeans in Europe, and Asiatics in Japan and East China - but decisions as to what parts and how much of the rest of the world are going to be ruled by each of the three strategic centres. ...

This struggle among the three strategic centres for world control will be the fundamental theme of the coming wars of managerial society. ... And the consolidation of the three super-states, even within their immediate strategic areas, is not by any means finished. In

{p. 171} Europe, for example, even if Germany were fully victorious in the present war, there would still remain Russia and Italy; and Russia is also in Asia along with Japan.

Everyone knows, however, that Italy is a subordinate, incapable of a really independent sovereign policy. There is every reason to believe (as we shall discuss in Chapter XIV) that Russia will split apart, with the western half gravitating toward the European base and the eastern toward the Asiatic. But even if a coalition of the future, combined with internal disturbances, should overthrow the Germany of the present, this would be secondary to the main scheme. The result of such a development would not alter the political system toward which managerial society tends. It would merely change the name and some of the leading personnel of one of the super-states.

The coming years will also include wars of another type - indeed, these began several years ago: wars of the metropolitan centres against backward areas and peoples. The backward areas, which include a majority of the territory and people of the world, are not going to line up automatically behind one or another of the three centres or merely stand aside while the three fight over them. ... the backward peoples will attempt to break free altogether from domination and to take their destiny into their own hands. Often such uprisings will occur in connection with wars among the chief managerial powers. However, it is doubtful that any of the backward peoples will be able to win independence (except, perhaps, in form and title). They do not have the technological resources to conduct modern war successfully or to compete more or less evenly from an economic point of view - which is also necessary for independence to-day. They will have to gravitate toward one or another of the great camps, even if they have some temporary success in a struggle for independence.

{p. 174} The United States is consolidating its strategic base in the northern two-thirds of this hemisphere and preparing to do battle against either or both of the two great rivals - the European centre and the Asiatic centre - for its share in the new world.

{p. 181} We already have examples, Fascism-Nazism and Leninism-Stalinism (communism or Bolshevism) are types of early managerial ideologies which have been given organized expression and have already had great success. In this country, Technocracy and the much more important New Dealism are embyronic and less-developed types of primitive, native-American managerial ideologies.

{p. 184} I have listed "Leninism-Stalinism," but not "Marxism" as an example of a managerial ideology. This raises the question of the relation of Marxism to Leninism and of Leninism to Stalinism. Historically, the social movement, which both in organization and ideas traced its source to the activities and writing of Marx, separated, through a division which started during the last years of the nineteenth century and culminated in 1914, into two main streams: a reformist, "social-democratic" wing; and a revolutionary wing in which for the first decade after 1914 Lenin was the most conspicuous figure. I do not any longer consider it fruitful to dispute over which of these is "genuine" Marxism. Historically, they both spring from Marx.

What happened seems to be the following: The views of Marx, in their implications and consequences, were historically ambiguous. In addition, he proposed a social goal - a free, classless international society - which cannot be reached in the present period of history. Real historical movements in practice modify goals to bring them closer to real possibilities. The Marxist movement separated along the lines of the great division of our time, capitalist society and managerial society. Both wings of Marxism retained, as often happens, the language of Marx, though more and more modifying it under new pressures. In practice, the reformist wing lined up with the capitalists and capitalist society, and demonstrated this in all social crises. The Leninist wing became one of the organized movements toward, and expressed one of the ideologies of, managerial society. The reformist wing is a somewhat inconsistent defender of capitalism, it is true, because by its retention of much of the ambiguous language of Marx it also contributes to popularizing managerial concepts. But this is the main line of the division.

Lenin died, and Stalin headed the managerial wing. The ideology and practices were further modified. There has been much dispute over whether Stalin is the legitimate heir of Lenin; and I, for some years active in the Trotskyist

{p. 185} political organization, long took part in that dispute. I have come to the conclusion, however, that the dispute has been conducted on a pointless basis. The historical problem is not whether Stalin or Trotsky (or someone else, for there are many other claimants) comes closer to the verbally explicit principles enunciated by Lenin. A dispute on such a level has never been and will never be settled, since Lenin said many things and did many things. It is like arguing over the legitimate interpretation of the Bible or the Koran. So far as historical development goes, there really cannot be much question; Stalinism is what Leninism developed into - and, moreover, without any sharp break in the process of development.

{p. 200} We must not make the mistake of supposing that the Russian changes were dependent merely on the presence of one or another individual, on the personal wickedness or nobility (depending on our point of view) of, for example, Stalin. If Lenin himself had lived, there is no reason to think that the process would have differed greatly. After all, there is more than passing significance in the fact that, for many years, probably the most intimate colleague of Lenin's, the man with whom he exercised hidden control over the Bolshevik party underneath the party's formal apparatus, was the brilliant and successful engineer - the manager - Krassin. But the death of all the early leaders was an important ritual act in establishing the mass attitudes of managerial society and in strengthening the foundations of the managerial institutions.

The pattern of the Russian way to the managerial revolution is illuminated by the history of the revolutionary concept of "workers' control." "Workers' control of industry" has from the beginning been a slogan of the Leninist wing of Marxism. The reason why is easy to understand. According to the formal ideology of socialism, private ownership (control) in industry is to be eliminated - that is, as socialism understands it, control is to be wrested by the masses as a whole. The crucial revolutionary act, therefore, would presumably be the actual taking over of control in industry by the workers themselves. Hence the slogan.

Now, in the course of the Russian revolution (as in the

{p. 201} many other attempts at mass revolution which followed it during the past twenty-three years), the workers acted quite literally in accordance with the slogan of "workers' control." In the factories, shops, mines, and so on, the workers, through committees elected from their own ranks, simply did take over control. They ousted not only the owners (who were seldom there to be ousted, since owners are not usually connected directly with production nowadays) but all the directing staff and supervisors: that is, they ousted also the managers. The workers thought, in their own way, that the revolution was designed to rid them of all rulers and exploiters. They recognized that the managers as well as the owners were among the rulers and exploiters both of the past and, above all, of the future. The workers set about running the factories themselves.

This state of affairs did not, however, last long. Two issues were at stake. In the first place, the separate factories and other instruments of production were not run very well under workers' control exercised at the source; and there were even greater difficulties in the co-ordination of the efforts of various factories. It is needless to speculate on exactly why this was so. Elected committees of the workers themselves, the members of which are subject to momentary recall and who have, besides, no technical training for, or background in, the managerial tasks, do not seem to make a good job of running modern factories or mines or railroads. It is even harder for them to collaborate effectively in directing entire branches of industry or industry as a whole. Perhaps new democratic mechanisms and sufficient time to gain experience would overcome the troubles. As things actually work out, time is not granted, and the mechanisms are not available.

Second, the perspective of workers' control of production at the source, if it should be proved in the end successful, would mean the elimination of all privilege, all differentials of power in society, would mean, in short, a classless organization of society. Thus the drive for class power in society needs to get rid of workers' control, and finds rational motivation in the evidences of the inefficiency of workers' control -

{p. 202} above all, because the movement toward workers control occurs in periods of intense social crisis, or war and civil war; when efficient industrial organization seems an imperious need.

If the temporary workers' control is replaced by the old control of capitalist owners (as happened in the two revolutionary crises in Germany at the end of, and a few years after, the first world war), then society, after a crisis, has simply returned to its previous capitalist structure. If workers' control is replaced by the de facto control of the managers backed by a new kind of state, then capitalism, after a transitional crisis, has changed into managerial society. The latter, through a series of intermediary steps, is what happened in Russia.

For a while after the revolution in Russia, in many factories and other enterprises - for a very short while - the factories were run by the workers through their elected committees called "Factory Committees." Then the "technical" direction of operations was turned over to "specialists" (that is, managers), with the Factory Committees remaining in existence and still exercising substantial control through a veto power over the managers and jurisdiction over "labour conditions." Meanwhile, bureaus and commissions and individuals appointed from above by the new (soviet) government were beginning to take over the job of co-ordinating the efforts of various factories and branches of industry. Gradually the powers of the managers and managerial co-ordinator, increased, necessarily at the expense of "workers' control" and the Factory Committees. The Factory Committee lost their veto powers. Their prerogative, "labour conditions," became more and more narrowly interpreted. The Committee composition was changed to include one state representative, one managerial representative, and one man nominally representing the workers. Finally, even these Committees lost all their real power and remained as mere formalities, to be dropped altogether in 1938.

Workers' control had been transformed into managerial control.

{p. 203} This development did not take place without incident, including violent incident. The workers, or some of them, sensed its meaning: that the freedom and end of privilege, which they had thought the revolution was to bring, were giving way to a new form of class rule. They tried to prevent power from getting out of the hands of their Committees. They refused to accept the managers, sometimes drove them out or even killed them. But at each decisive step, the state (the "workers' socialist state"), whether under Lenin or Stalin, backed not the workers but the managers. A wide campaign of "education" was undertaken to show the people why "workers' rule" meant, in practice, managers' rule. Where necessary, the education by the word was supplemented with education by firing squad or concentration camp or forced labour battalion.

Lenin and Trotsky, both, in the early years of the revolution, wrote pamphlets and speeches arguing the case of the specialists, the technicians, the managers. Lenin, in his forceful way, used to declare that the manager had to be a dictator in the factory. "Workers' democracy" in the state, Lenin said in effect, was to be founded upon a managerial dictatorship in the factory.

Perhaps Lenin did not realize the full irony of his position. He, as a Marxist, believed - correctly - that the roots of social power lie in the control over the instruments of production. And he, as the head of the new state, helped to smash workers', popular, control over those instruments and to substitute for it control by the managers. And, of course, the managers of individual plants became subordinate to the big managers, to the boards and bureaus directing entire sectors of industry and governing industry as a whole. Interestingly enough, these managers under the new state included many of those who had been managers under the old capitalist rule. Lenin and Trotsky poured scorn on "infantile leftists" who were against making use of the "services" of the "bourgeois specialists" (as they called them). The workers needed them - to run the plants. Lenin regretted that there were so few left and that in Russia there had never been an adequate

{p. 204} staff of trained specialists. Most favourable terms were given to foreign "bourgeois specialists" who were willing to come to work under the new regime. The class of managers that steadily rose was not altogether a new creation; it was the development and extension of the class which, as we have seen, already exists, and is already extending its power and influence, under capitalism, especially during the latter days of capitalism.

We shall deservedly place the greatest stress upon what happened to "workers' control." Moreover, the Russian experience is plainly typical. There have not yet been any other revolutions just like Russia's; but there have been a dozen revolutionary situations of the same general nature. In them all, the same tendencies are displayed. In them all - Germany, the Balkans, China, Italy, Spain - the workers, in the crisis, start to take over control of the instruments of production, to take it over directly, into their own hands on the spot. Always a formula is found to explain to them why this cannot continue; and, if the formula is not enough, the guns come later.

The question for us is not whether it is a "good idea" for the workers to take control. We are concerned merely with noticing, first, that they try to take control; and, second, that they do not succeed in maintaining control. Their inability to maintain control is one more demonstration that socialism - a free, classless society - is not now scheduled. The control, and the social rule which goes with it, when it leaves the hands of the capitalists, goes not to the workers, the people, but to the managers, the new ruling class. A parallel of the Russian process can be observed with particular clarity in connection with the events in Loyalist territories during the recent Spanish Civil War, above all in Catalonia. There, just as in Russia, the workers and peasants began taking over direct control of the factories and railroads and firms. There too, not at once, but during the course of the first two years of the Civil War, the de facto power slipped from the workers' hands, sometimes voluntarily given up at the persuasion of a political party, sometimes smashed by

{p. 205} arms and prison. It was not the troops of Franco who took control away from the people of Catalonia; they had lost control well before Franco's army conquered.

These experiences have, as a matter of fact, received recognition in Leninist doctrine (both the Stalinist and Trotskyist variants), not so much in public writings as in the theories elaborated primarily for party members. "Workers' control," the doctrine now reads, is a "transition slogan," but loses its relevance once the revolution is successful and the new state established. By calling it a "transition slogan" it is meant that the slogan, and the act, of establishing workers' control are useful in arousing mass sentiment against the existing capitalist regime and in bringing about the downfall of the capitalist order - both undoubtedly the case; but that, when the new regime is functioning, workers' control must, naturally, step aside.

The ideological explanation offered by Leninism for this turn-about is that, while workers must rightly defend themselves with the help of workers' control against the enemy capitalist state, they will have no need to defend themselves against the new regime which be "their own" state, a workers' state busily constructing a true socialist society. This explanation is to be interpreted in the same manner we interpret all aspects of all ideologies. What is really involved is a very important consequence of the pattern of the Russian way to managerial society, which we are here studying. This pattern, we saw, calls for first reducing the capitalists to impotence and then curbing the masses. The masses are of course used in accomplishing the first step and "workers' control" is a major manoeuvre in breaking the power of the capitalists. But workers' control is not only intolerable for the capitalist state: it is, if long continued and established, intolerable for any state and any class rule in society. Consequently, the consolidation of managerial power in the new state requires the breaking down of workers' control, which was so important an influence in finishing up the old society.

{p. 208} The Russian Revolution was not a socialist revolution - which, from all the evidence, cannot take place in our time - but a managerial revolution.

{p. 209} Who are the rulers of Russia? They are, of course, the men who are running its factories and mines and railroads, the directing members of the commissariats and subcommissariats of heavy and light industry and transportation and communication, the heads of the large collective farms, the expert manipulators of the propaganda mediums, the chiefs of the dozens of "mass organizations," the managers in short: these and their bureaucratic and military and police associates. The power and privilege are under their control. For them the capitalists at home have been got rid of or reduced to impotence; and for them the capitalists abroad were fought off and forced to an uneasy truce. It is they who have curbed the masses and have instituted a social

{p. 210} structure in which they are on top, not by virtue of private property rights in the instruments of production, but through their monopoly control of a state power which has fused with the economy. It is they who now await the contests of the future with the other sectors of the world managers.

It is these managers, with their political and military associates, who have been extending their regime beyond Soviet boundaries during the course of the second world war. The events in the little border nations have reproduced on a laboratory, and somewhat grotesque, scale the pattern of the Russian Revolution; and, also like a laboratory experiment, the events have done so under the firm guidance of the experimenter, not at their own sweet will. The local workers and peasants (in the Baltic nations, eastern Poland, Bessarabia), as the Red Army marches, begin to take control of the local industries and farms and to oust the capitalists who have not already fled. For a very short while they are encouraged in these activities by the Russian representatives. A semblance of "workers' control" appears. The first part of the triple managerial problem is solved - the capitalists are reduced to impotence - which is not so major a task in the tiny states concerned. Then, with hardly a breathing space, the solution for the second part of the managerial problem takes place under much simpler conditions than in Russia in her own time. The masses are curbed - to-day the army and the GPU that supervise the curbing are large and experienced in solving this part of the problem. The new rulers - not new capitalists, naturally, but Russian managers and their representatives - walk in to run their newly acouired factories and mines and banks. Workers' control is transformed into a name, and the soldiers and police back the dictates of the managers. The whole process, which took in Russia itself so many strenuous years, is completed in a couple of months.

{p. 212} The advantages which the managerial structure gave Russia against capitalist nations disappear when Russia is confronted with other managerial or near-managerial states which are not burdened by Russia's weaknesses. {postwar Japan seems an example} There seems good reason to believe, as I stated in Chapter XII, that during the course of the next years Russia will split apart into an eastern and western section, each section gravitating toward one of the key areas which constitute the strategic bases of the super-states of the future.

{Burnham thought that Germany would win the war. But after the Cold War, his scenario looks possible again}

Indeed, this process has already started. Siberia is so far away from Moscow and so badly connected with European Russia that it naturally swings toward the East as it has for some years been conspicuously doing. Its future brings it into always-closer integration with the East Asian central area of advanced industry. And similarly, at an increased rate since the Nazi-Soviet pact, European Russia swings toward the central European area. Feelers move out from both sides of the border. The Russian boundaries advance toward the west. At the same time, economic and social relations with Germany increase. German technicians, managers, move into the Russian industrial enterprises. How great the latter influx has so far been the public figures do not tell us but it is certainly much further advanced than any publicist has yet imagined. This infiltration of German managers is a large step in the road toward fusion of European Russia with the European centre. We may be sure that the completion of the fusion, under whatever nominal auspices it comes, will find Russia subordinated to European centre, not, as the spinners of Bolshevik nightmares tell us, the other way around. The development of the fusion begins in a dozen ways, beneath the surface. Its accomplishment will, presumably, include war, one or more

{p. 213} of the managerial wars of to-morrow, the preparations for which are so plainly around us. {in 1941}

Note. - In spite of the Russo-German war, it has seemed to me advisable to leave the text as it was written in 1940, and first published in the Spring of 1941. The intent of this book is not journalistic but scientific. From a scientific standpoint, the theory of the managerial revolution is much better tested by its ability to make events intelligible before they happen, rather than by the ease with which it can doctor up references to what has already occurred.

The outbreak of the Russo-German war, and its course, seem to me a confirmation of the fundamental analysis precented in this chapter, and in particular of the political analysis summarized in Chapter XII. This war, to use the language of the theory, is part of the means whereby the western half of Russia is being "integrated into the European super-state." However, the impression that the text gives is of a later beginning of war between Russia and Germany than actually turned out to be the case - and, so far as I can recall, this impression corresponds with the opinion I held in 1940. I believe that this error in "time schedule" resulted from a too schematic application of the sociological and economic analysis to the problem, with insufficient attention to strictly military considerations. That a large part of Russia should be drawn within the west-European orbit, and that war would be part of the process of fusion, followed from the whole course of contemporary history. Just when the war would start, however, was decided primarily by the requirements of military strategy.

{p. 219} She {Germany} had been stripped of

{p. 220} her colonies, her merchant marine, and her navy; and her army was reduced to a minimum figure. Her people had been exhausted by the war and by the famine which occurred during its last year. She was saddled with reparations not merely in money - which she could and did pay largely through borrowings - but in kind, which latter meant the loss of material goods. Her opponents had carved up all the juiciest slices of the world in what they took to be their own interests. It is against this background that we must place contemporary Germany.

Nazi Germany eliminated unemployment within a couple of years from Hitler's ascension to power. The means whereby this was done are irrelevant to our inquiry; the fact that it was done is crucial. Mass unemployment is the primary indication of the collapse of a given form of society. The great capitalist powers have proved that they cannot get rid of mass unemployment under capitalist institutions. Even after a year and a half of war, after more than half a year of the "Battle of Britain," there were still, according to official figures - which probably understate the facts and besides do not include so-called "unemployables" - nearly a million unemployed in England. Nazi Germany's elimination of unemployment is, in and by itself, a sufficient proof that Germany has left the basis of capitalism and entered the road of a new form of society. Everyone knows and many have stated that it is not by virtue of the capitalist elements remaining in German culture that unemployment has been got rid of, but through the introduction of non-capitalist methods.

Similarly, Germany has broken through the restrictions of capitalist finance. According to all the "laws" of capitalism, Germany should have been bankrupt five years ago; its currency should have gone into a wild inflation; it should have been impossible tor the state to finance its vast undertakings. But, under the state control of finance, none of the "laws" held. Again, through state control of imports and exports, Germany has been able to carry on foreign trade without the means, according to capitalist standards,

{p. 221} of doing so. And huge outlets - primarily in state enterplises - have been found for the investment funds that sit idly in the banks of the great capitalist powers.

{p. 222} We find in Germany to an ever-increasing degree those structural changes which we have discovered to be characteristic of the shift from capitalism to managerial society. In

{p. 223} the economic sphere, there is a steady reduction, in all senses, of the area of private enterprise, and a correlative increase of state intervention. There was a brief period, immediately following the Nazi accession to state power, when the trend seemed to be in the opposite direction, when even a few enterprises which had been under state operation in the Weimar Republic were handed back to private capitalists. But this quickly reversed. The state intervention in the economy occurs in numerous directions. Outright state ownership and operation, advancing in all fields, are particularly ascendant in the extensive areas of new enterprise opened up during the Nazi rule. However, to confine attention to outright ownership and operation with all legal formalities would be deceptive. Virtually all economic enterprise is subject to rigid state control; and it is control which we have seen to be decisive in relation to the instruments of production. Legal forms, even income privileges, are in the end subordinate to de facto control.

Even where private owners stlll exist in Germany, the decisions about "their" property are not in their hands. They do not decide what to make or not to make. They do not establish prices or bargain about wages. They are not at liberty to buy the raw materials they might choose nor to seek the most profitable markets. They cannot, as a rule, decide how to invest or not invest their surplus funds. In short, they are no longer owners, no longer effective capitalists, whatever certificates they may have in their deposit boxes.

The regulation of production in Germany is no longer left to the market. What is to be produced, and how much, is decided, deliberately, by groups of men, by the state boards and bureaus and commissions. It is they that decide whether a new plant shall be built or an old plant retired, how raw materials shall be allotted and orders distributed, what quotas must be fulfilled by various branches of industry, what goods shall be put aside for export, how prices shall be fixed and credit and exchange extended. There is no requirement that these decisions of the bureaus must be based on any profit aim in the capitalist sense. If it is thought expedient,

{p. 224} for whatever reason, to produce, for ezample, an ersatz rubber or wool or food, this will be done even if the production entails, from a capitalist point of view, a heavy loss. Similarly, in order to accumulate foreign exchange or to stimulate some political effect in a foreign nation, goods will be exported regardless of loss. A factory may be compelled to shut down, even though it could operate at a high profit. Banks and individuals are forced to invest their funds with no reference to the private and voluntary opinions about "risks" from a profit standpoint. It is literally true to say that the Nazi economy, already, is not a "profit economy."

{The similarity with postwar Japan should be obvious; Japan's problems began when, buying up assets in the West, it was forced to open its economy to foreign capitalists. Although postwar Japan pursued "butter not guns", its tribalism was a threat to others}

The workers, on their side, are no longer the "free proletarians " of capitalism. Under Nazism the workers are indeed, free from unemployment. At the same time they cannot, as individuals or through their own independent organizations, bargain for wages or change jobs at will. They are assigned to their tasks, and their labour conditions are fixed, by the decisions of the state bureaus and commissions. Millions of them are allotted to the vast state enterprises. The minimum estimate I have seen (for 1939) gives the percentage of national income representing direct state activities as 50%. With the reduction in the area of private enterprise and the increase of state enterprise, goes also a corresponding reduction in the social position of the private capitalists. So far as control over the instruments of production goes, the capitalists are already near the bottom. As to income privilege: a recent estimate by a New York statistician gives as a mere 5% the share of the German national income going to profits and interest. This is a substantial reduction from the 1933 figures, in spite of a huge increase in the total national income, which, under capitalism, would normally be accompanied by a percentage increase in profits. In the United States, profits and interest are 20% of the national income, even excluding all so-called "entrepreneurial profits." Moreover, of the German capitalists' 5%, the greater part is appropriated by the state as taxes and "contributions." The statistics, however - which are, in any case, not reliable - fail to indicate the full meaning.

{p. 225} How strange that it has not yet been remarked how seldom we find a manager among the voluntary or forced exiles from Nazi Gerrnany! There are artists and writers among the exiles, ideologists and politicians, unassimilable foes of the new regime, storekeepers and professionals and teachers, and not a few capitalists, both Jews and Christians. But almost never a manager. It is strange that this has not been remarked but not strange that it is the case. For the managers realize that the society which is developing is their society. In short! Germany is to-day a managerial state in an early stage. Structurally, it is less advanced along managerial lines than Russia; it retains as yet more capitalist elements.

{p. 226} But, though structurally less advanced, Germany is without most of those major weaknesses which we noted in the case of Russia. Its industrial and technological foundation is far stronger; the rising managerial class is much larger, better trained, more able.

{p. 232} The first part of the second world war, up to the fall of France in June, 1940, was in reality the continuation of the strategic extension begun in 1935. This phase, the consolidation of the European base, was completed with France's surrender. It is completed irreversibly and can no longer be undone whatever the outcome of the succeeding phases of the war, which are really other wars. This consolidation fundamental to the world politics of managerial society, is not going to be dissolved, not even if the present German regime is utterly defeated. The day of a Europe carved into a score of sovereign states is over; if the states remain, they will be little more than administrative units in a larger collectivity.

{p. 233} ... a deal between Germany and England would be much more advantageous to the European super-state of the future than to have England conquered by Germany. With a deal in which England would necessarily be subordinate, the tendency would be for the British Empire to keep attached to the European central area. In the course of the military conquest of England, most of the Empire tends to drop off to the spheres of the United States and the Asiatic central area. But the English capitalists weighed the costs and decided to keep on fighting.

Thus the second phase of the war, really a second war, goes on as I write.

{p. 234} By the end of 1940 it was clear that the focus of the war was shifting, that the result of the European struggle was in fundamentals decided, and that a new, third, phase was beginning wherein the mighty opponents of the future - the three political structures based on the three central areas - were undertaking their first trials of strength. These wars of the developing super-states will not end with the end of this war. Their results, we have noted, is sure to be inconclusive, since none of the three central areas can firmly conquer any of the others.

{p. 248} From her continental base, the United States is called on to make bid for maximum world power as against the super-states to be based on the other two central areas. ...

First, there is the consolidation of the main strategic base. In Europe this consolidation meant smashing the Continental political system. In the Americas, most of the base is already included within the boundaries of the United States. ...

{p. 249} Next comes the protective extension of the base with the aim of making it invulnerable for defence and convenient for attack. This, in current terms, is the policy of "modified hemisphere defence," to draw a ring around all of North America and northern South America. The second stage is already well advanced. It was prepared for by the series of Pan-American conferences and agreements and by what is propagandlsttcally referred to as tbe "Good Neighbour Policy." It has gone forward through such measures as the establishment of air lanes throughout Latin America, the visits of warships and war planes, the projection of the Pan-American Highway, the strengthening of the Panama Canal, reciprocal military agreements with Latin-American nations, the defence alliance with Canada which in effect subordinates Canada's sovereignty to the United States, and the deal with Britain which secured outlying bases in the Atlantic. Naturally, this stage wlll not stop with these moves. It will issue in a situation comparable to what Hitler aims at in most of Europe: the de facto elimination of independent sovereignty in all nations and colonies of the area except the United States, and thus the creation of a single interrelated territory so far as de fatto political sovereignty goes. There is every reason to suppose that this stage will be successfully accomplished.

The third and grandiose stage, which, though it has already begun for the United States, will extend many decades into the future, and for which the first two stages are preparation, is the bid for the maximum of world power against the claims of the European and Asiatic central areas. The United States is forced to begin this third stage before the preparatory first two stages are finished.

The first great plan in the third stage is for the United States to become what might be called the "receiver" for the disintegrating British Empire. (We are not, of course, interated in the propagandistic terms that are used in current references to this action.) The attempt is to swing the orientation of the Empire from its historical dependence on Europe to dependence on and subordination to the American central area.

{p. 250} Along with the United States' receivership plan for the British Empire go still broader aims in connection with the rest of South America, the Far East (including conspicuously the Far Eastern colonies of formerly sovereign European states) and in fact the whole world. The struggle which has begun is the world struggle of the super-states of the future. This struggle, as I have remarked, is bound to be inconclusive. No one of the three central areas is able to conquer definitely the other central areas, and therefore no one state power can in fact rule the world. This will not, however, prevent the struggle from taking place.

{p. 268} The new world political system based on a small number of super-states will still leave problems - more, perhaps, than a unified single world-state; but it will be enough of a "solution" for society to keep going. {end of text}

(2) George Orwell, 1984

2.1 In the following quotes, the page numbers in 1984 are firstly given for a hardback edition: George Orwell: Animal Farm, Burnese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming Up-Or Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Secker & Warburg/Octopus, London, 1976.

Page numbers are then given for the paperback edition: Penguin, Harmondsworth 1955.

Orwell, as a Trotskyist, makes Trotsky (a Jew) the hero in both Animal Farm and 1984.

In Animal Farm, the horse Snowball is modelled on Trotsky.

In 1984, the underground leader Goldstein is modelled on Trotsky:

" ... the face of Goldstein ... was a lean Jewish face, with ... a small goatee beard" (p. 749; p. 13 in the Penguin paperback).

Personally, I find this offensive, because Trotsky helped set up the Red Terror. On which see worst.html.

Orwell should have known better; but his view of the USSR was being shaped by Trotsky, whose organisation Orwell was in. Burnham was in it too; but in The Managerial Revolution he shows an awareness that the USSR was NEVER the Workers' State Trotsky told the public it had been (before Stalin). It was ALWAYS a Managerial State.

Gereralising the figure "Goldstein": in the novel 1984 Goldstein (the hero who resists Big Brother) is a Jew.

Today, what with the "Holocaust Industry" & the laws against "Hate speech", which define it in terms of subjective criteria (someone feels offense), it's those who criticise Judaism & Jewish power who feel that they are the ones taking on the Thought Police ... a nice reversal of roles compared to the scenario in 1984 ... but more like the situation in the USSR before Stalin.

O'Brien's Inquisitor says to him:

"Later, in the twentieth century, there were the totalitarians, as they were called. They were the German Nazis and the Russian Communists. The Russians persecuted heresy more cruelly than the Inquisition had done. And they imagined that they had learned from the mistakes of the past; they knew, at any rate, that one must not make martyrs. Before they exposed their victims to public trial, they deliberately set themselves to destroy their dignity. They wore them down by torture and solitude until they were despicable, cringing wretches, confessing whatever was put into their mouths ... And yet after only a few years ... The dead men had become martyrs and their degradation was forgotten. ... In the first place, because the confessions that they had made were obviously extorted and untrue. We do not make mistakes of that kind." (p. 889; pp. 203-4 in the Penguin paperback).

This passage proves conclusively: Orwell is warning us NOT about the SOVIET UNION but about OUR OWN SOCIETY. Here. Now.

2.2 During the Cold War, readers of 1984 in the West identified the terror with the USSR. The book was a potent weapon which made its readers fear the USSR.

It shows how much Trotskyists hated Stalin. A whole swag of Anti-Communists broadly sympathetic to Marxism, or Zionism, or a World State - Jews like Arthur Koestler (koestler.html), non-Jews like Orwell, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell - could never admit that Stalin had wrested control from the non-theistic Jews (philos.html). This is one of the great Denials of our time.

Even then, Stalin relied on Jews to help run the USSR and, later, the East European satellites. But my view is, he stole their conspiracy. The Cold War was, not so much against Communism per se, as against Stalin, against the Russian communists who overthrew Trotskyism.

Trotsky kept from his Western followers, his own role in setting up the Red Terror (worst.html). And that it was set up by a faction of non-theistic Jews (ginsberg.html). And those followers did not bother to find out the facts.

Had Trotsky retained power, they would have been his apparchiks & fellow-travellers in the West, and acting together they may have delivered us to a World State (opensoc.html).

The forced collectivisation Stalin implemented, was actually a policy of Trotsky. It failed in Ukraine, and was not implemented in Eastern Europe, where farms remained in private hands.

So Stalin is a hero, but only in a negative way. He gave them a taste of their own medicine. Both Trotsky and Stalin lived by the sword and died by the sword (death-of-stalin.html).

2.3 Joseph Nedava writes in his book Trotsky and the Jews (The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 5732/1972):

{p. 175} This realization, apparently, was also what psychologically motivated George Orwell to give a Jewish coloring to the Opposition in his nightmarish Oceania in 1984. In this book the leader of the Opposition and the writer of "The Book" (The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism), which attempts to answer the un-answerable question of "Why?," is Emmanuel Goldstein. "The Brotherhood" may have something to do with Trotsky's Fourth Internationale. It should also be recalled that Orwell was a member of the Trotskyite P.O.U.M. during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, and he was certainly acquainted with Trotsky's writings. Deutscher is of the opinion that "it was from Trotsky-Bronstein that he [Orwell] took the few sketchy biographical data and even the physiognomy and the Jewish name for Emmanuel Goldstein; and the fragments of 'the book,' which take up so many pages in 1984, are an obvious, though not very successful, paraphrase of Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed." {endnote: I. Deutscher, Russia in Transition (New York, 1960), p. 261.}

{end} more at nedava.html

(3) Wittfogel's "Oriental Despotism"

James Burnham shows that the USSR was always a Managerial State, never a Workers' State.

Karl A. Wittfogel was writing on the same lines as Burnham. In his book Oriental Despotism (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1957), he makes an acknowledgement to Burnham on p. 48, footnote a:

"a. Social science is indebted to James Burnham for pointing to the power potential inherent in managerial control. The present inquiry stresses the importance of the general (political) organizer as compared not only to the technical specialist (see Veblen, 1945: 441ff.), but also to the economic manager. This, however, does not diminish the author's appreciation of the contribution made by Burnham through his concept of managerial leadership."

Once a Communist of the anti-Stalinist (Trotskyist) camp, Wittfogel turned against not only Stalin but also makes direct criticisms of Marx, Lenin & Trotsky. For Wittfogel as for Arthur Koestler, the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 was the final straw.

Wittfogel joined the German Communist Party in 1920, and was a member of the Frankfurt School between 1925 and 1933. Its other leading members were Jewish, and Wittfogel fits the pattern of Jewish Bolsheviks who abandoned ship through Stalin's seizing power. Evidence of Jewish ancestry or identity has not been presented, but the Christian religion was sometimes a cover for Jews who had assimilated but retained a Jewish identity. Leo Amery, author of the Balfour Declaration, is a modern example of a covert Jew: balfour.html.

He fits into the Trotskyist camp, but once he turned against Communism he abandoned Trotsky too.

He says that Lenin criticised the Tsar's regime as an Asiatic Despotism, but before 1917 Lenin changed his tune and even acknowledged that the next revolution might bring an "Asiatic Restoration".

On p. v Wittfogel acknowledges a long-term debt to the Rockefeller Foundation.

He writes,

'Marx generally overstated the oppressiveness of Oriental society, which he held to be a system of "general slavery." Ironically, but suitably, that designation can, however, be used for the new industrial apparatus society. We can truly say that the October revolution, whatever its expressed aims, gave birth to an industry-based system of general (state) slavery.' (p. 441).

He attributes the "Asiatic Restoration" in the USSR to the Tatar legacy acquired during centuries of conquest by the East.

At no point does he acknowledge the Jewish domination of the early USSR. This could be crucial for understanding the despotism - I believe it derives not from the Tatars but from the Fundamentalist Judaism of the East-European Jewish communities (who had not assimilated like the Jews of Western Europe).

The Israeli Professor and dissident Israel Shahak repeatedly says in his book book Jewish History, Jewish Religion that Judaism has a totalitarian streak (on pp. 10, 15, 16, 18, 19, 102, and 103): shahak1.html.

The Jewish religion's harsh condemnation of pagans (goyim), "the nations"; its insistence on separation from them; its depiction of God's People's unending battle with its opponents; these are the origin of the hardness.

If this be the source, then it might offer the prospect of a less-severe Managerial State one day, not burdened by this Jewish bitterness or, equally, by a "white separatist" prejudice.

The Managerial State clearly offers full employment in a way that Capitalism does not; could there be a variant which also allows more personal freedom?

Is the "Confucian Renaissance" producing such variants? It seems not. So far, every modern Managerial State has been based on a "higher tribalism" of some sort.

For Jews to admit the Jewish creation & domination of the early USSR, is comparable to "Whites" admitting the "White" conquest of the New World. No progess can be made towards an alternative to Capitalism, without both admissions: this, and other "mutual confessions", is the key to any new Socialism. I have named this site "Neither Aryan Nor Jew", in this hope.

Is the Asia Model a "Confucian Renaissance", as Reg Little calls it? confucian-renaissance.html.

Or an "Oriental Despotism", as Wittfogel would call it: wittfogel.html.

Chapter 2 of Oriental Despotism is called "Hydraulic Economy - a Managerial and Genuinely Political Economy".

(4) James Burnham, The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom, Gateway Editions, Washington 1987; first published 1943.

For a background on Machiavelli see toolkit2.html.

Gaetano Mosca's book The Ruling Class: mosca.html.

{p. ix} REFLECTIONS ON RE-READING "THE MACHIAVELLIANS"

by Sidney Hook

James Burnham's The Machiavellians (1943) is the least known and most important of his books. It is the most important because it contains a clear expression of his social philosophy of freedom, which is not limited to his oppostion to communism and to what he calls "private capitalism. " He also defends his belief in a pluralist society, in which power restrains power and "the right of public opposition to the rulers," whoever they are, is the heart of freedom and is sustained forever. Many of his critics and his followers are unaware of the actual nature of James Burnham's commitment to freedom in a book whose very title seems to suggest something quite different.

After all, the very word "Machiavellian" in popular discourse has the connotation of political cunning, duplicity, and bad faith; and the great social thinkers of the past, Gaetano Mosca, Vilfredo Pareto, and Roberto Michels, whom Burnham classifies as Machiavellians, are conventionally more notable for their criticisms of the possibility of democracy than as protagonists of human freedom. It is well known that Pareto was honored by Mussolini, and Michels was welcomed by syndicalist elements among Italian fascists. In undertaking a vindication of Machiavelli and of the three great Italian social philosophers as protagonists of human freedom, James Burnham has offered a challenging reinterpretation of some accepted views in the history of ideas. It is certainly not decisive about the meaning of a doctrine or

{p. x} thinker that a political figure of movement seeks to exploit it or him for his or its own purposes. Not everyone who claims paternity for his views in Nietzsche, Marx, or Pareto is justified in doing so. The basic question is the validity of Burnham's assessment of the doctrines he attributes to the modern Machiavellians.

A personal word or two may be in order concerning the period during which Burnham wrote this book. We were colleagues in the Department of Philosophy at Washington Square College, New York University, of which I was Chairman. Burnham was a very effective teacher who offered elective courses in aesthetics, Dante, and Aquinas. He was very familiar with Machiavelli's works. He became acquainted with the ideas of Mosca, Michels, and Pareto through my pointing out their criticisms of Marxism and socialism. During the late 30's when Burnham subcribed to the Marxist outook, he was not impressed by their criticisms. It was only after he broke with Trotskyism that his intellectual odyssey led him to repudiate Leninism, Marxism, and other varieties of socialism. It was then that he carefully read the works of Mosca, Michels, and Pareto, accepted the basic validity of their analyses, and interpreted them as a confirmation of his own non-Utopian conception of a free society.

In referring to The Machiavellians as the most important of James Burnham's books, some readers may think I have erred because Burnham's public recognition began two years earlier, in 1941, with the publication of The Managerial Revolution. In that book, he argues that Marxism had misconceived the nature of the true revolution of our time and that the effective ruling class in all industrialized societies was the managers - the technologists, engineers, and bureaucrats - without whom no economy could func-

{p. xi} tion. Although he tried to assimilate his predictions about the existing and growing power of the managerial elite to the thesis of The Machiavellians, the two themes are logically independent of each other. Shortly before The Managerial Revolution was published, Stalin was shooting Soviet managers out of hand, and shortly thereafter Hitler's managers kowtowed to the wildest instructions of their ideological Party mentors. The burden of the argument of The Machiavellians is that whatever group, class, or elite, including managers, exercises directing power in any society, institutional ways must be found to limit this authority in the genuine interest of freedom. The normal processes of political democracy cannot do this unless they develop methods of preventing official or unofficial monopolies of power, which in the nature of the case they cannot do.

Why not? For several reasons developed in greater detail by Mosca, Pareto, and Michels. Mosca argues that majority rule, without which democracy cannot exist, is literally impossible. In every society, regardless of its political form, an organized minority constitutes the actual ruling class. It rules by myths that unify society and facilitate the acquisition of the habits that keep the ruled in their accustomed grooves of behavior. In times of stress when the ruled see through the myths and become restive, the rulers fall back on fraud to retain their power. If the fraud is no longer accepted and resistance begins, the rulers resort to naked force. Pareto argues that if the ruled revolt and succeed in overthrowing their rulers, it is not the people who come to power but "the leaders" of the people - a new elite replacing an old elite. Revolutions in effect are a circulation of elites into and out of power. Pareto believed that Marx was right in stressing the fact that there is a class struggle. He was wrong in believing it would ever end. As soon as the

{p. xii} workers overthrow the capitalists, a new class, a new minority, whether of bureaucrats, intellectuals, commissars, or what not, come to power and enjoy the privileges of power. In this sense the class struggle is sure to endure forever.

{this was also Bakunin's prediction: correctness.html}

Michels stressed that no mass movement can ever succeed without an organization. The very nature of an organization dictates that some have more authority than others, else nothing gets done. Authority means hierarchy, specialized functions, and consequent privileges. All this is historically verifiable, and inescapable. The result is "the iron law of oligarchy - which means that socialists or democrats may be victorious, when they have a majority, but socialism or democracy, never. Leaders must take over in order to satisfy the needs of the led, which they do in their own way, on their own terms, and guided by their own interests.

It follows from this that democracy as a form of self-government or a government in which the major decisions of government rest upon the freely given consent of a majority of the adult governed, or their representatives, is a myth. It is impossible. Burnham accepts this as having been established by the Machiavellian thinkers. But he refuses to surrender the term "democracy" to its enemies to those who preface it with adjectives like "new," "directed," "higher," "organized," "workers" - all of which are semantic disguises for totalitarianism. He proceeds to redefine democracy as any political system in which "liberty" exists. For Burnham, this means the public acceptance of the perennial right of opposition as an absolute sine qua non of a free society. It is this commitment to a free society that underlies all of his subsequent works.

As welcome as Burnham's acceptance of the right to dissent is, is the right to dissent a sufficient defini-

{p. xiii} tion of democracy? And prior to that, are the arguments of the Machiavellians compelling? Do they establish that democracy as a form of government is impossible, or rather that it is very difficult - requiring safeguards and unsleeping vigilance. ...

{the remainder of the book is by James Burnham}

{p. xix} PREFACE TO THE GATEWAY EDITION

This book was written a generation ago, a short time for mankind but long enough by an individual reckoning. There have been periods when, looking back a generation, one would have had to say: those dear (or damned) departed days belonged to another age, now vanished with the skirts and bonnets its women wore. I do not see it so, when, from this platform of 1963 I view once more the happenings of 1941 and 1942 through the memories opened up by reading the proofs of the paragraphs I was writing then. Those years of wars and revolutions, death camps and propaganda machines, the collapse of old orders and the wanderings of the peoples, belong most recognizably to the same age that is still "ours" in 1963.

Most of the text is the more or less systematic exposition of the theories of Machiavelli and a small group of rather inaccessible more recent writers whom I call "Machiavellians." Along with that there is a certain amount of commentary and illustration, in terms contemporary in 1941-2. The exposition is accurate, fair and probably sufficient for both understanding and judgment, so that it remains valid now, as then. Some of the commentary and illustration strikes me as a little callow or archaic; but perhaps it is just as well not to lose too many illusions too early. (I have made a few changes in the text here and there, to untie it from too close links to what was its present, or to straighten obscurities.)

{p. xx} Writing this book was primarily, I suppose, as most books are for their authors, a matter of self-education; more particularly, of the long re-education I had to undertake after seven Trotskyist years. I was grateful to these Machiavellians, and perhaps I gave them rather more than their due. Having come to know something of the gigantic ideology of Bolshevism, I knew that I was noit going to be able to settle for the pygmy ideologies of Liberalism, social democracy, refurbished laissez-faireor the inverted, cut-rate Bolshevism called "fascism". Through the Machiavellians I began to understand more thoroughly what I had long felt: that only by renouncing all ideology can we begin to see the world and man.

James Burnham

Kent, Connecticut February, 1963

{p. 91} 1. The Machiavellian Tradition

MACHIAVELLI lived and wrote during a great social revolution, through which feudal society, its economy, political arrangement, and culture, were being replaced by the first stage of capitalist society. This revolution occupied a long period of time, and its boundaries cannot be given exact dates. Nevertheless, we may consider that it reached a decisive turning point during Machiavelli's own life, with the discovery of the New World, the rise of the first international stock exchanges, the Protestant religious revolution, the consolidation of the English national state under the Tudors, and the first appointment of bourgeois representatives - by Henry VIII - to the chief political offlces of a great kingdom.

We also live during a great social revolution, a revolution through which capitalist society is being replaced by what I have elsewhere defined as "managerial society." ° It is, perhaps, the close analogy between our age and Machiavelli's that explains why the Machiavellian tradition, after centuries during which it was either neglected or misunderstood or merely repeated, has, in recent decades, been notably revived. Through the thought and research of a number of brilliant writers, Machiavellism has undergone a profound and extensive development.

° In The Managerial Revolution, published by the John Day Co. in 1941.

{Thatcherism and Reaganomics (privatization and deregulation) have removed the public-sector Managerialism Burnham wrote about in that book (see burnham.html), and replaced it with rule by company boards and anonymous creditors, many based in tax havens, not answerable to the public in any way}

{p. 92} The crisis of capitalist society was made plain by the first World War. With a far from accidental anticipation, much of the chief work of the modern Machiavellians was done in the period immediately preceding that war. Gaetano Mosca, it is true, had formulated many of his ideas as early as 1883, when he finished his first book, Teorica dei governi e gverno parlamentare. However, his mature and finished thought is presented, with the war experiences close at hand, in the revised and expanded 1923 edition of Elementi di scienza politica, which is the basis of what has been translated into English as The Ruling Class. Georges Sorel's active career went on through the war, and ended with his death in 1922. Robert Michels and Vilfredo Pareto were writing their major books when the war began.

In a revolutionary transition, the struggle for power, which, during years of social stability, is often hidden or expressed through indirect and undramatic forms, becomes open and imperious. Machiavellism is concerned with politics, that is, with the struggle for power. It seems natural, therefore, that its first appearance as well as its revival should be correlated with social revolution. The revolutionary crisis makes men, or at least a certain number of men, discontent with what in normal times passes for political thought and science - namely, disguised apologies for the status quo or utopian dreams of the future; and compels them to face more frankly the real issues

{p. 93} of power: some because they wish to understand more clearly the nature of the world of which they are a part, others because they wish also to discover whether and in what way they might be able to control that world in the furtherance of their own ideals. ...

Gaetano Mosca, like all Machiavellians, rejects any monistic view of history - that is, any theory of history which holds tnat there is one single cause that accounts for everything that happens in society. From the days, in the early centuries of Christianity, when the first philosophles of

{p. 94} history attributed all that happened to the Will of God as sole causal principle, there have been dozens of examples of such monistic theories. Mosca examines three of them in some detail: the "climatic theory," the "racial theory," and the "economic materialist theory," which maintain, respectively, that differences in climate, in race, or in methods of economic production, are able to explain the course of history. He rejects all of these theories, not because of any prejudice against monism, but for that simple and final reason that seems to have no attraction for monists: because these theories do not accord with the facts. ...

Social and political events of the very greatest scope and order - the collapse of the Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, the advance of Islam - have occurred without any im-

{p. 95} portant correlated change in the mode of economic production; consequently the mode of production cannot be the sole cause of social change.

The critique of these monistic views does not mean that Mosca wishes to substitute some similar view of his own, or, on the other hand, to deny that such factors as climate, race, or mode of production have causal influences in history. Climate, obviously, can change the course of events: some regions of the earth are literally uninhabitable, others so unhealthy or so arid that a high level of civilization cannot be supported by them (though a vigorous society learns to conquer unfavorable natural conditions); a drop in rainfall might lead to a migration. Changes in the mode of economic production must unquestionably be recognized as one of the chief factors entering into the historical process: the invention of new tools or machines, new ways of organizing work, new relationships of economic ownership, may have vast repercussions throughout the social order. Even racial differences may conceivably affect political and social organization. For that matter, still other circumstances can influence history-new types of armaments or ways of fighting, to take an important example, or shifts in religion and social beliefs.

Mosca himself holds what is sometimes called an "interdependence" theory of historical causation: the view that there are a number of important factors that determine historical change that no one of these can be considered solely decisive, that they interact upon each other, with changes in one field affecting and in turn being affected by changes in others. He makes his critique of historical monism in order to break down abstract approaches to history, to do away

{p. 96} with preconceptions of how things ought to be, and to force a concrete examination of the facts in each specific problem rather than an adjustment of the facts to fit the requirements of some schematic theory. Monistic theories of history, he believes, are a great obstacle to a recognition of the facts.

His particular field is politics. He thinks that by a comparative and historical approach to the facts of political life it is possible to have a science of politics, though he is very modest in his hopes about what political science can at the present time accomplish, either in reaching general conclusions or in providing guides for action:

"Man neither creates nor destroys any of the forces of nature, but he can study their manner of acting and their interplay and turn them to his advantage. ... Yet ... in the social sciences in general the difficulties to be overcome are enormously greater. ... Man can much more easily study the phenomena of physics, chemistry or botany than he can his own instincts and his own passions. ... But then, even granting that ... individuals can attain

{p. 97} scientific results, it is highly problematical whether they can succeed in using them to modify the political conduct of the great human societies." (The Ruling Class, pp. 40-41.)

Since the primary purpose of Machiavellians is to discover the truth, they do not feel required to make demagogic claims even about their own accomplishments.

2. The Ruling Class

IT IS characteristic of Machiavellian political analysis to be "anti-formal," using "formal" in the sense which I have defined in the discussion of Dante's De Monarchia. That is, Machiavellians, in their investigations of political behavior, do not accept at face value what men say, think believe, or write. Whether it is the speech or letter or book of an individual, or a public document such as a constitution or set of laws or a party platform, Machiavellians treat it as only one fact among the larger set of social facts, and interpret its meaning always in relation to these other facts. In some cases, examination shows that the words can be accepted just as they stand; more often, as we found with De Monarchia, a divorce between formal and real meaning is discovered with the words distorting and disguising the real political behavior which they indirectly express.

This anti-formal approach leads Mosca to note as a primary and universal social fact the exist-

{p. 98} ence of two "political classes," a ruling class - always a minority - and the ruled. ...

{p. 99} The existence of a minority ruling class is, it must be stressed, a universal feature of all organized societies of which we have any record. It holds no matter what the social and political forms - whether the society is feudal or capitalist or slave or collectivist, monarchical or oligarchical or democratic, no matter what the constitutions and laws, no matter what the professions and beliefs. Mosca furthermore believes that we are fully entitled to conclude that this not only has been and is always the case, but that also it always will be. That it will be, follows, in the first place, from the univocal experience of the past: since, under all conditions, it has always been true of political organization, it must be presumed that it is a constant attribute of political life and will continue to hold for the future. However, the conclusion that there will always be a minority ruling class can be further demonstrated in another way.

By the theory of the ruling class Mosca is refuting two widespread errors which, though the opposite of each other, are oddly enough often both believed by the same person. The first, which comes up in discussions of tyranny and dictatorship and is familiar in today's popular attacks on contemporary tyrants, is that society can be ruled by a single individual. "But," Mosca observes, "the man who is at the head of the state would certainly not be able to govern without the support of a numerous class to enforce respect for his orders and to have them carried out; and granting that he can make one individual, or indeed many individuals, in the ruling class feel the weight of his power, he certainly cannot be at odds with the class as a whole or do away with it. Even if that were possible, he would at once be

{p. 100} forced to create another class, without the support of which action on his part would be com pletely paralyzed." (P. 51.)

The other error, typical of democratic theory, is that the masses, the majority, can rule themselves. ...

Nor is this rule at all suspended in the case of governments resting in form upon universal suffrage. ...

{p. 102} Few who have paid attention to the political facts, rather than to theories about these facts, in the United States, will disagree with the account as it applies to this country.

Within the ruling class, it is usually possible to distinguish roughly two layers: a very small group of "top leaders," who among themselves occupy the highest and key positions of the society; and a much larger group of secondary figures - a "middle class," as it could properly be called - who, though not so prominent nor so much in the limelight, constitute the day-to-day active directors of the community life. Just as Mosca believes that the individual supreme leader is unimportant to the fate of a society, compared to the ruling class, so does he believe that this secondary level of the ruling class is, in the long run at least, more decisive than the top.

"Below the highest stratum in the ruling class, there is always, even in autocratic systems, another that is much more numerous and comprises all the capacities for leadership in the country. Without such a class any sort of social organization would be impossible. The higher stratum would not in itself be sufficient for leading and directing the activities of the masses. In the last analysis, therefore, the stability of any political organism depends on the level of morality, intelligence and activity that this second stratum has attained. ... Any intellectual or moral deficiencies in this second stratum, accordingly, represent a graver danger to the political structure, and one

{p. 103} that is harder to repair, than the presence of similar deficiencies in the few dozen persons who control the workings of the state machine. ..." (Pp. 404-5}

From the point of view of the theory of the ruling class, a society is the society of its ruling class. A nation's strength or weakness, its culture, its powers of endurance, its prosperity, its decadence, depend in the first instance upon the nature of its ruling class. More particularly, the way in which to study a nation, to understand it, to predict what will happen to it, requires first of all and primarily an analysis of the ruling class. Political history and political science are thus predominantly the history and science of ruling classes, their origin, development, composition, structure, and changes. ...

However arbitrary this idea of history as the history of ruling classes may seem to be, the truth is that all historians, in practice even such historians as Tolstoy or Trotsky, whose general theories directly contradict it - are compelled to write in terms of it. If for no other reason, this must be because the great mass of mankind leaves no record of itself except insofar as it is exppressed or led by outstanding and noteworthy persons. ...

{p. 104} There is an ambiguity, which is noted by Professor Livingston, in Mosca's concept of the "ruling class." Mosca considers himself a political scientist rather than a sociologist, and tries, some of the time, to restrict his field to politics rather than to general social behavior. If literally translated from the Italian, his phrase would usually be "political class," or "governing class," rather than "ruling class." In his writings his meaning seems to shuttle between the narrower concept of a "governing class" - that is, the class directly or indirectly concerned with the specific business of government - and the more general concept of a "social elite" - that is, the class of all those in a society who are differentiated from the masses by the possession of some kind of power or privilege, many of whom may have no specific relation to government.

However, this ambiguity does not affect Mosca's argument to any considerable degree; and if we judge by the context, the general concept of an "elite" is usually more appropriate to his meaning. What seems to have happened is that Mosca began his work in the narrower field of politics, with the narrower concept in mind. His political inquiries then led hirn outward into the

{p. 105} wider field of social action, since the political field could not be understood apart from the background of the whole social field. The idea of the political class expanded its meaning into the idea of a social elite without an explicit discussion of the change. In later Machiavellian thought - in Pareto, particularly - the wider meaning of "elite" is consistently employed.

We should further note that in stating the theory of the ruling class, Mosca is not making a moral judgment, is not arguing that it is good, or bad, that mankind should be divided into rulers and ruled. I recently read, in a review by a well-known journalist, that "this country will never accept a theory of the elite" - as if it is wicked to talk about such things, and noble to denounce them. The scientific problem, however, is not whether this country or any other will accept such theories, but whether the theories are true. ...

{p. 106} 3. Composition and Character of the Ruling Class

MOSCA rejects the many theories which have tried to apply the Darwinian theory of evolution directly to social life. He finds, however, a social tendency that is indirectly analogous to the process of biological evolution ...

{p. 107} The outcome of this "struggle for pre-eminence" is the decision who shall be, or continue to be, members of the ruling class. ...

He finds that the possession of certain qualities is useful in all societies for gaining admittance to the ruling class, or for staying within it. Deep wisdom, altruism, readiness at self-sacrifice, are not among these qualities, but, on the contrary, are usually hindrances. ...

{p. 108} The best method of all for entering the ruling class is to be born into it - though, it may be observed, inheritance alone will not suffice to keep a family permanently among the rulers. Like Machiavelli here also, Mosca attributes not a little to "fortune."

{p. 109} ... To mention simple examples: in a society which lives primarily by fishing, the expert fisherman has an advantage; the skilled warrior, in a predominantly military society; the able priest, in a profoundly religious group; and so on. Considered as keys to rule, such qualities as these are variable; if the conditions of life change, they change, for when religion declines, the priest is no longer so important, or when fishing changes to agriculture, the fisherman naturally drops in the social scale. Thus, changes in the general conditions of life are correlated with far-reaching changes in the composition of the ruling class.

The various sections of the ruling class express or represent or control or lead what Mosca calls social forces, which are continually varying in number and importance. By "social force" Mosca means any human activity which has significant social and political influence. ...

{p. 110} A given ruling class rules over a given society precisely because it is able to control the major social forces that are active within that society. If a social force - religion, let us say - declines in importance, then the section of the ruling class whose position was dependent upon control of religion likewise, over a period, declines. If the entire ruling class had been based primarily upon religion, then the entire ruling class would change its character (if it were able to adapt itself to the new conditions) or would (if it could not adapt itself) be overthrown. Similarly, if a new major social force develops - commerce, for example, in a previously agricultural society, or applied science - then either the existing ruling class proves itself flexible enough to gain leadership over this new force (in part, no doubt, by absorbing new members into its ranks); or, if it does not, the leadership of the new force grows up outside of the old class, and in time constitutes a revolutionary threat against the old ruling class, challenging it for supreme social and political power. Thus, the growth of new social forces and the decline of old forces is in general correlated with the constant process of change and dislocation in the ruling class.

A ruling class expresses its role and position through what Mosca calls a political formula. This formula rationalizes and justifies its rule and the structure of the society over which it rules. The formula may be a "racial myth," as in Germany under a Nazi regime or in this country in relation to the Negroes or the yellow races: rule is then explained as the natural prerogative of the superior race. Or it may be a "divine right" doctrine, as in the theories elaborated in con-

{p. 111} nection with absolutist monarchies of the 16th and 17th centuries or traditional Japanese imperialism: then rule is explained as following from a peculiar relationship to divinity, very often in fact from direct blood descent (such formulas were very common in ancient times, and have by no means lost all efflcacy). Or, to cite the formula most familiar to us, and functioning now in this country, it is a belief in the "will of the people": rule is then said to follow legitimately from the will or choice of the people expressed through some t,vpe of suffrage.

{p. 112 ... Since the problem of such formulas (ideologies, myths) will occupy us at length later on, I shall note here only two further facts concerning them. First, the special political formula employed within a given nation is often related to wider myths that are shared by a number of nations, so that several political formulas appear as variations on similar basic themes. Conspicuous among these wider myths are the great world religions - Christianity, Buddhism, Mohammedanism - which, unlike most earlier religions or still-continuing religions of the type of Japanese Shintoism, are not specifically bound up with a single nation or people; the myth, probably best expressed by Rousseau, which is built out of such ideas as the innate goodness of man, the will of the people, humanitarianism, and progress; and the contemporary myth of collectivism, which, in Mosca's opinion, is the logical extension of the democratic Rousseau myth.

Second, it may be seen from historical experience that the integrity of the political formula is essential for the survival of a given social structure. Changes in the formula, if they are not to destroy the society, must be gradual, not abrupt. The formula is indispensable for holding the social structure together. A widespread skepticism about the formula will in time corrode and disintegrate the social order. It is perhaps for this reason, half-consciously understood, that all strong and long-lived societies have cherished their "traditions," even when, as is usually the case, these traditions have little relation to fact, and even after they can hardly be believed literally by educated men. Rome? Japan, Venice, all

{p. 113} such long-enduring states, have been very slow to change the old formulas, the time-honored ways and stories and rituals; and they have been harsh against rationalists who debunk them. This, after all, was the crime for which Athens put Socrates to death. From the point of view of survival, she was probably right in doing so.

4. Tendencies in the Ruling Class

WITHIN all ruling classes, Mosca shows that it is possible to distinguish two "principles," as he calls them, and two "tendencies." These are, it might be said, the developmental laws of ruling classes. Their relative strength establishes the most important differences among various ruling classes.

The "autocratic" principle may be distinguished from the "liberal" principle. These two principles regulate, primarily, the method by which governmental officials and social leaders are chosen. "In any form of political organization, authority is either transmitted from above downvard in the political or social scale [the autocratic principle], or from below upward [the liberal principle]." (p. 394.) Neither principle violates the general law that society is divided into a ruling minority and a majority that is ruled; the liberal principle does not mean, no matter how extended, that the masses in fact rule, but simply gives a particular form to the election of leadership. Moreover, it is seldom, probably never, that one of the two principles

{p. 114} operates alone within a ruling class. They are usually mixed, with one or the other dominant. Certain absolute monarchies or tyrannies show the closest approximation to a purely autocratic principle, with all positions formally dependent upon appointment by the despot. Some small city-states, such as Athens at certain times in its history, have come very close to a purely liberal principle, with all officials chosen from below - though the voters were at the same time a restricted group. In the United States, as in most representative governments of the modern kind, both principles are actively at work. The greater part of the bureaucracy and much of the judiciary, especially the Federal judiciary, is an expression of the autocratic principle; the President himself, as well as the members of Congress, are selected according to the liberal mode.

Each principle in practice displays typical advantages and defects. Autocracy has been by far the more common of the two ...

{p. 115} Autocracy, moreover, seems to endow societies over which it operates with greater stability and longer life than does the liberal principle. When autocracy is functioning well, it can bring about the deliberate selection of the ablest leadership from all strata of society to perform the various tasks of the state.

However, in compensation, autocracy seems unable to permit a free and full development of all social activities and forces - no autocracy has ever stimulated so intense a cultural and intellectual life as have developed under some of the shorter-lived liberal systems, such as those of Greece and western Europe. And in the selection of leaders by the autocrat and his immediate clique, favoritism and personal prejudice easily take the place of objective judgment of merit, while the method encourages sycophancy and slavishness on the part of the candidates.

The liberal principle, conversely, stimulates more than the autocratic the development of varied social potentialities. At the same time, it by no means avoids the formation of closed cliques at the top, such as are usually found in autocracies; the mode of formation of such cliques is merely different. "In order to reach high station in an autocracy it is sufficient to have the support of one or more persons, and that is secured by exploiting all their passions, good and bad. In liberal systems one has to steer the inclinations of at least the whole second stratum of the ruling class, which, if it does not in itself constitute the electorate, at least supplies the general staffs of leaders who form the opin-

{p. 116} ions and determine the conduct of the electing body." (P. 410.)

{p. 117} ... In terms of this definition, there can be, as there have often been, in spite of common opinion to the contrary, autocracies which are primarily democratic in tendency, and liberal systems which are largely aristocratic. The most remarkable example of the former is the Catholic Church, which is almost perfectly autocratic, but at the same time is always recruiting new members of its hierarchy from the masses. Hitler, in Mein Kampf, observes that the rule of celibacy compels the Church to remain thus democratic in its policy of recruitment, and he concludes that this is a principal source of the Church's strength and power of endurance. On the other hand, modern England, during many generations, was in many respects liberal, but, by various devices, preserved an aristocratic continuity in the membership of its ruling class. This was also the case in many of the ancient city-states which had liberal extensions of the suffrage to all citizens, but restrictions on eligibility to office which kept rule in the hands of a small group of families. ...

{p. 118} A revolutionary movement ordinarily proclaims that its aim is to do away with all privileges of birth, but invariably, once it is in power, the aristocratic tendency reasserts itself, and a new ruling group crystallizes out from the revolution. ...

The fact of the matter, however, is that both

{p. 119} of these tendencies, aristocratic and democratic, are always operative within every society. The heavy predominance of one of them is usually the occasion or the aftermath of a period of rapid and often revolutionary social change.

5. The Best and Worst Governments

MOSCA, like Machiavelli, does not stop with the descriptive analysis of political life. He states plainly his own preferences, his opinions about what types of government are best, what worst. Naturally, as is the case with all Machiavellians, his goal is not anything supernatural or utopian; to be the best, a government must be first of all possible. He does no dreaming about a "perfect state" or "absolute justice." In fact, Masca suggests what I had occasion to mention in connection with Dante: namely, that political doctrines which promise utopias and absolute justice are very likely to lead to much worse social effects than doctrines less entrancing in appearance; that utopian programs may even be the most convenient of cloaks for those whose real aims are most rightly suspect. The impossibility of attaining absolute justice, however, does not render useless an effort after what measure of approximate justice is possible in the actual social world that we inhabit.

{p. 120} ... Again following Machiavelli, the dominant element in Mosca's conception of that "relative justice" which he thinks possible as well as desirable is liberty. The meaning of "liberty" he makes more precise by defining it in terms of what he calls "juridical defense."

"The social mechanisms that regulate this disciplining of the moral sense constitute what we call 'juridical defense' (respect for law, government by law). ... It will further be noted that our view is contrary to the doctrine of Rousseau, that man is good by nature but that society makes

{p. 121} him wicked and perverse. We believe that social organization provides for the reciprocal restraint of human individuals by one another and so makes them better, not by destroying their wicked instincts, but by accustoming them to controlling their wicked instincts." (Pp. 126-7.) ...

Juridical defense, then, means government by law and due process - not merely formally, in the words of constitutions or statutes, but in fact; it means a set of impersonal restrictions on those who hold power, and correlatively a set of protections for the individuals against the state and those who have power. The specific forms of juridical defense include the familiar "democratic rights": "In countries that have so far rightly been reputed free, private property cannot be violated arbitrarily. A citizen cannot be arrested and condemned unless specified rules are observed. Each person can follow the religion of his choice without forfeiture of his civil and political rights. The press cannot be subjected to

{p. 122} censorship and is free to discuss and criticize acts of government. Finally, if they conform with certain rules, citizens can meet to engage in discussions of a political character, and they can form associations for the attainment of moral, political or professional ends." (Pp. 469-70.) Of all these rights, Mosca considers the right of public discussion - of free speech, as we usually call it - the most important, and the strongest foundation of juridical defense as a whole. ...

But what is it that makes possible a high level of juridical defense and of civilization? With the answer to this question we come to what is perhaps the most profound and most important of all Mosca's ideas, though it, also, has its source in Machiavelli. Mosca's answer, moreover, is sharply at variance with many accepted theories, and particularly opposed to the arguments of almost all the spokesmen o the ruling class.

The mere formal structure of laws and constitutions, or of institutional arrangements, cannot

{p. 123} guarantee juridical defense. Constitutions and laws, as we certainly should know by now, need have no relation to what happens -  Hitler never repealed the Weimar Constitution, and Stalin ordered the adoption of "the most democratic constitution in the history of the world." Nor can the most formally perfect organizational setup: one-house or two- or three-house legislatures, independent or responsible executives, kings or presidents, written or unwritten constitutions, judges appointed or elected - decisions on these formalities will never settle the problem. Nor will any doctrine, nor any reliance on the good will of whatever men, give a guarantee: the men who want and are able to get power never have the necessary kind of good will, but always seek, for themselves and their group, still more power.

In real social life, only power can control power. Juridical defense can be secure only where there are at work various and opposing tendencies and forces, and where these mutually check and restrain each other. Tyranny, the worst of all governments, means the loss of juridical defense; and juridical defense invariably disappears whenever one tendency or force in society succeeds in absorbing or suppressing all the others. Those who control the supreme force rule then without restraint. The individual has no protection against them.

From one point of view, the protective balance must be established between the autocratic and liberal principles, and between the aristocratic and democratic tendencies. Monopoly by the aristocratic tendency produces a closed and inflexible caste system, and fossilization; the extreme of democracy brings an unbridled anarchy under which the whole social order flies to pieces.

{p. 124} More fundamentally, there must be an approximate balance among the major social forces, or at the least a shifting equilibrium in which no one of these forces can overpower all the rest. ...

Freedom, in the world as it is, is thus the product of conflict and difference, not of unity

{p. 125} and harmony. In these terms we see again the danger of "idealism," utopianism, and demagogy. The idealists, utopians, and demagogues always tell us that justice and the good society will be achieved by the absolute triumph of their doctrine and their side. The facts show us that the absolute triumph of any side and any doctrine whatsoever can only mean tyranny. ...

By 1923, when Mosca revised his major book ( the English translation is made from this revised version), he had come to the conclusion that the great parliamentary-representative governments of the 19th century had reached the highest level of civilization and juridical defense so far known

{p. 126} in history. In many ways, this was a remarkable opinion for Mosca to have held. The chief theme of his entire work is a devastating attack on the entire theoretical basis of democratic and parliamentary doctrine. He gives not a little space to a withering exposure of concrete abuses under modern parliamentary government. In his critique of collectivism, he states: "The strength of the socialist and anarchist doctrines lies not so much in their positive as in their negative aspects - in their minute, pointed, merciless criticism of our present organization of society" (p. 286), and he holds that the criticism is largely justified.

Nevertheless, Mosca does not expect utopia or absolute justice. Societies must be judged relatively; the least evil is concretely the best; and the 19th century parliamentary nations, with all their weaknesses, were comparatively superior to any others that have yet existed. In their governmental structures, the autocratic principle, functioning through the bureaucracy, balanced the liberal principle, expressed in the parliaments. The aristocratic tendencies of birth and inheritance were checked by a perhaps unprecedented ease with which vigorous new members were able to enter the ruling class. Above all, under these governments there occurred an astounding expansion not of one or a restricted few social forces, but of a great and rich variety, with no one force able to gain exclusive predominance over the rest. Commerce as well as the arts, education and science, technology and literature, all were able to flourish. His judgment on these governments thus follows from his general principles; he does not praise parliamentary government for its own sake, but because, under the specific cir-

{p. 127} cumstances of the 19th century, it was accompanied by this relatively high level of civilization and juridical defense.

From his favorable judgment, however, Mosca did not conclude that the 19th century form of parliamentary government was necessarily going to last. ...

The War of 1914, he believed, marked the end of an age that could be considered as having begun with the French Revolution, in 1789. The parliamentary governments were the great social achievement of that age; but the age was ending. In the new age, just beginning, these governments would be displaced. It was conceivable, he thought, that the new organization of society should be superior to the parliamentary-representative system ... But the depth of the crisis into which he understood that Europe had, with the first World War, irrevocably entered, suggested the probability of attempts at extreme and catastrophic solutions. These, he believed, could lead only toward the destruction of liberty and a decline in the level of civilization.

{p. 128} Though a small reserve of optimism was permissible, pessimism was on the whole called for by the facts.

"... Once they slaughtered and persecuted over the interpretation of a dogma, or of a passage in the Bible. Then they slaughtered and persecuted in order to inaugurate the kingdom of liberty, equality and fraternity. Today they are slaughtering and persecuting and fiendishly torturing each other in the name of other creeds. Perhaps tomorrow they will slaughter and torment each other in an effort to banish the last trace of violence and injustice from the earth!" (p. 198.)

{p. 251} 1. The Nature of the Present

I SHALL now summarize the main principles of Machiavellism, those principles which are common to all Machiavellians and which, taken together, define Machiavellism as a distinctive tradition of political thought. ...

1. An objective science of politics ... is possible. ... and will in no way be dependent

{p. 252} upon the acceptance of some particular ethical aim or ideal.

(Contrary views hold that a science of politics is not possible, because of the peculiarity of "human nature" or for some similar reason; or that political analysis is always dependent upon some practical program for the improvement - or destruction - of society; or that any political science must be a "class science" - true for the "bourgeoisie," but not for the "proletariat," as, for example, the Marxists claim.)

2. The primary subject-matter of political science is the struggle for social power in its diverse open and concealed forms. ...

3. The laws of political life cannot be discovered by an analysis which takes men's words and beliefs, spoken or written, at their face value. ...

{p. 253} 5. For an understanding of the social process, the most significant social division to be recognized is that between the ruling class and the ruled, between the elite and the non-elite. ...

8. The rule of the elite is based upon force and fraud. The force may, to be sure, be much of the time hidden or only threatened; and the fraud may not entail any conscious deception. ...

9. The social structure as a whole is integrated and sustained by a political formula, which is usually correlated with a generally accepted religion, ideology, or myth.

{p. 254} 11. Two opposing tendencies always operate in the case of every elite: (a) an aristocratic tendency whereby the elite seeks to preserve the ruling position of its members and their descendants, and to prevent others from entering its ranks; (b) a democratic tendency whereby new elements force their way into the elite from below. ...

{p. 255} 12. In the long run, the second of these tendencies always prevails. From this it follows that no social structure is permanent and no static utopia is possible. The social or class struggle always continues, and its record is history.

(Contrary views conceive a possible stabilization of the social structure. The class struggle, they say, can, should, and will be eliminated in a Heaven on Earth or a "classless society," not understanding that the elimination of the class struggle would, like the elimination of blood-circulation in the individual organism, while no doubt getting rid of many ailments, at the same time mean death.)

13. There occur periodically very rapid shifts in the composition and structure of elites: that is, social revolutions. ...

{p. 265} 2. The Meaning of Democracy

"DEMOCRACY' is usually defined in some such terms as "self-government" or "government by the people." Historical experience forces us to conclude that democracy, in this sense, is impossible. ...

{p. 266} The theory of democracy as self-government must, therefore, be understood as a myth, formula, or derivation. It does not correspond to any actual or possible social reality. Debates over the merits of the theory are almost wholly valueless in throwing light on social facts.

It does not, however, follow that the theory of democracy (I continue to refer to democracy in the sense of "self-government" or "government by the people") is without any influence on the social structure. The theory does not correctly describe any social facts. No societies are governed by the people, by a majority; all societies, including societies called democratic, are ruled by a minority. ...

The democratic formula and the practice of suffrage do not mean the self-government of the people by themselves. They do, however ... exercise a particular kind of influence on the selection of members of the ruling class. When, for example, there exists in society an established

{p. 267} ruling class that uses a non-democratic formula (an aristocratic formula, let us say) to justify its position, the influence of the democratic formula and of the suffrage machinery tends to weaken the position of that established ruling class. In addition, the existence in society of the suffrage machinery naturally tends to favor those individuals who are adept at using the machinery; just as, in a society where rule is founded directly on force, the ablest fighting men are favored against the rest.

We can see how this influence worked during the 18th century. At that time, there still existed in many nations an aristocratic section of the ruling class which used non-democratic formulas, and neither liked nor was able to manipulate the suffrage machinery. Under those conditions, the democratic formula and the introduction of wider suffrage machinery weakened the position of the older, non-democratic aristocracy, and greatly aided the newer, capitalist elite. The spread of the democratic formula and the electoral practices were an important, even essential, factor, in the rise of the capitalists to the dominant place in the modern ruling class. ...

If we ask what are the primary effects in our ovn time of the democratic formula of self-

{p. 268} government and the suffrage machinery, we must reply, as we noted in Part V, that they are to strengthen the international trend toward Bonapartism. It can hardly be denied that this trend exists, that it is the most indisputable political tendency of our generation. In every advanced nation we observe the evolution of the form of government toward that wherein a small group of leaders, or a single leader, claims to represent and speak for the whole people. As the embodiment of the will of the whole people, the leader claims an unlimited authority, and considers all intermediary political bodies, such as parliaments or local governments, to be wholly dependent on the central sovereignty which can alone stand legitinately for the people. The regime is democratically legalized by the use of the suffrage mechanism in the form of plebiscites. These are the characteristics of Bonapartism. We find them completely developed in Germany and Russia; and more and more closely approximated in England and the United States.

Bonapartism is a type of government very dissimilar to what men in the 19th century ordinarily thought of as democracy. Nevertheless, as we have already seen, Bonapartism does not violate the formula of democracy nor the place assigned to suffrage. Rather can Bonapartist theory plausibly claim to be the logical as well as the historical culmination of the democratic formula, just as the plebiscite can claim to be the most perfect form of democratic suffrage. The Bonapartist leader can regard himself, and be regarded, as the quintessential democrat; his despotism is simply the omniotent people ruling and disciplining itself. This is just what the Bonapartist leaders themselves, and their spokesmen, argue. When democracy is defined in terms of self-government, there can be no convincing democratic answer.

When we translate formal meanings into real meanings, by the method used in Part I to unravel Dante's politics, "the people's century," "the century of the common man," become, like "the people's state" and "the classless society," variant expressions the real meaning of which is "the century of political Bonapartism" or "the Bonapartist state."

{p. 273} Up to this point, the analysis has accepted a definition of "democracy" in terms of "self-government" or "government by the people." The

{p. 274} analysis holds only for democracy interpreted in this way. The truth is, however, that there are other meanings commonly associated with the word "democracy," which have nothing to do with "self-government." ...

{Note how Burnham switches the definition of "Democracy" from "Self-Government" to, in effect, having a two-party system, even though it's rigged by the elite. I believe he twists Mosca's words for his own purposes.}

Democracy so defined, in terms of liberty, of the right of opposition, is not in the least a formula or myth.

{p. 275} ... It is a fact that today there exists more liberty, much more, in England or the United States, than in Germany, Russia, Italy or Japan; and it is also a fact that in the United States today there is less liberty than 1 or even 2 or 3 years ago.

The modern Machiavellians, like Machiavelli himself, do not waste time arguing the merits or demerits of the myth of democracy defined as self-government. But they are very profoundly concerned with the reality of democracy defined as liberty. ...

{p. 277} Liberty or freedom° means above all, as I have said, the existence of a public opposition to the governing elite. The crucial difference that freedom makes to a society is found in the fact that the existence of a public opposition (or oppositions) is the only effective check on the power of the governing elite. ...

{p. 278} As anyone with experience in any organization knows, even a small opposition, provided it really exists and is active, can block to a remarkable degree the excesses of the leadership. But when all opposition is destroyed, there is no longer any limit to what power may do. A despotism, any kind of despotism, can be benevolent only by accident.

{This may be an allusion to the book Oriental Despotism, by Karl A. Wittfogel, who acknowledges a debt to Burnham at p. 48n: wittfogel.html}

It may, however, be argued, as it is by anarchists and by the sectarian wing of Marxism, that the influence of the opposition in restraining the power of the rulers is after all of small importance to the non-elite, to the masses. When an opposition exists, this means only that there is a division in the ruling class; if an "out-elite" replaces the governing elite, this is only a change in the personnel of the rulers. The masses remain still the ruled. Why should they be concerned? and of what interest is the whole process for the great majority?

It is true that the opposition is only a section of the elite as a whole. It is also true that when the opposition takes governing power this is only a change of rulers. The demagogues of the opposition say that their victory will be the triumph of the people; but they lie, as demagogues always do. Nevertheless, the seeming conclusion does not follow; it is not true that the activities of the oppositions are a matter of indifference for the masses. Through a curious and indirect route

{p. 279} by way of freedom, we return to self-government, which we were unable to discover by any direct path.

The existence of an opposition means a cleavage in the ruling class. Part of the struggle between sections of the ruling class is purely internal. Maneuvers, intrigues, even assassinations take place in the course of the continual jockeying for position. When, however, the opposition is public, this means that the conflicts cannot be solved merely by internal changes in the existing elite. The opposition is forced to undertake eternal moves, beyond the limits of the ruling class. ...

Confronted with this multiple attack, the governing elite, in order to try to keep control, is in turn compelled to grant certain concessions and to correct at least some of the more glaring abuses. ...

{p. 280} It is only when there are several different major social forces, not wholly subordinated to any one social force, that there can be any assurance of liberty, since only then is there the mutual check and balance that is able to chain power. ...

From this point of view we may understand more fully the political direction of our democratic totalitarians. The state, they say, when it is led by their leader - and it will always be, because they take as their leader the one who happens to be in the saddle - is the people. Democracy is the supremacy of the people. Therefore, democracy is the supremacy of the state.

{The expression "democratic totalitarians" calls to mind J. L. Talmon's book The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy: correctness.html}

{p. 286} The Marists and the democratic totalitarians claim that freedom can now be secured only by concentrating all social forces and especially economic forces in the state which, when they or their friends are running it, they identify with the people. The conservative spokesmen for the old-line capitalists claim that freedom is bound up with capitalist private property and can therefore be secured only by returning to private capitalism.

{p. 304} A dilemma confronts any section of the elite that tries to act scientifically. The political life of the masses and the cohesion of society demand the acceptance of myths. A scientific attitude toward society does not permit belief in the truth of the myths. But the leaders must profess, indeed foster, belief in the myths, or the fabric of society will crack and they be overthrown. In short, the leaders, if they themselves are scientific, must lie. It is hard to lie all the time in public but to keep privately an objective regard for the truth. Not only is it hard; it is often ineffective, for lies are often not convincing when told with a divided heart. The tendency is for the deceivers to become self-deceived, to believe their own myths. When this happens, they are no longer scientific. Sincerity is bought at the price of truth.

{end}

(5) James Burnham, The Struggle For the World, Jonathan Cape, London 1947.

{p. 9} THE Third World War begn in April 1944. The details of an incident tbt then took place have not been disclosed. ... The Greek sailors ... mutinied. It was not serious revols in either number or spirit.

{p. 11} But the events that I hve begum by citing - the Greek mutiny and civil war, the Chinese civil war, the Iranian conflict - ... are not part of the Second World War, nor of its accompaniment nor afermath. ...

These tronbles are not a hangover, but the first sips in new bout. The armed skirmishes of a new war have started before the old war is finished. ...

{p. 12} The United Stites has made the irrversible jump into world affairs. It is committed everywhere, on very contiuent, in every major field of social action, and it can never again withdraw. In the Third World War, tbe United States, whatever the wishes of its citizcns, is one ofthe two dominating contestants.

{end}

(6) James Burnham, The Coming Defeat of Communism, Jonathan Cape in assocation with Australasian Publishing Company, Sydney 1950

{p. 18} THE INADEQUACY OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY

AT some point during the spring of 1949, it became customary in the United States to say that 'we are winning the cold war'. In editorials, speeches and articles, U.S. foreign policy was judged and found not wanting. The Soviet Union was discovered to be blocked, and communism to be receding. 'The tension had lessened'; internal affairs began to take precedence again over foreign in the business of Congress and the plans of politicians.

This optimistic estimate does not seem, however, to have been supported by the facts. ...

{p. 19} In 1949, the enemy power concentration is based upon a vast territory which includes the most favourable strategic position of the world, the heartland of Eurasia. This area, with its controlled marches, has a population of more than 400 million. Though technologically backward, the enemy's military machine is also formidable, and he has at his disposal nearly all essential or important raw materials. His fifth columns, not handicapped by overt chauvinism or racialism, have penetrated deep into the tissue of all political organisms outside of his direct control, and are in their own right massive fighting forces.

Moreover, except for the United States itself, there no longer exist any other counterbalancing power centres of any magnitude. Germany (the previous enemy concentration) and Japan have been broken; France dissolved; and Great Britain, with her Empire shorn and her economy in desperation, though by no means finished is no longer capable of independent action.

{fottnote 1: Malenkov, in his address at the 1949 celebration of the anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, had already added China to tbe Soviet family: 'With the victory of the Chinese people the countries of Popular Democracies in Europe, together with the Soviet State, number about 800 million people.'}

{end}

(7) James Burnham, The Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism, Regnery Gateway, Washington 1985.

{p. 15} But, still, the West held the power. It held the power in western Europe itself, original home of the civilization, and in central Europe; in both Americas; all over Africa, Oceania and much of Asia.

{p. 16} Over the past two generations Western civilization has been in a period of very rapid decline. ... In the years 1917-21 ... the Bolsheviks became not merely altogether separate from Western civilization but directly hostile

{p. 17} to it ...

China shook off what hold the West had established on her territory. ... The Indian subcontinent fell away, and step by step the Arab crescent that runs from Morocco to Indonesia, along with the rest of the Near and Middle East. ...

In 1959 communism's anti-Western enterprise achieved its first beachhead within the Americas. It is like a film winding in reverse, with the West thrust backward reel by reel toward the original base from which it started its world expansion.

{p. 19} When the communist enterprise takes fully over, it inflicts an outright defeat on the West and destroys or drives out the representatives of Western power.

{p. 26} I mean, rather, in part, that liberalism has come to be the typical verbal systematization of the process of Western contraction and withdrawal: that liberalism motivates and justifies the contraction, and reconciles us to it.

{p. 32} What is certain is that a majority, and a substantial majority, of those who control or influence public opinion is liberal, that liberalism of one or another variety prevails among the opinion-makers, molders and transmitters: teachers in the leading universities - probably the most significant single category; book publishers; editors and writers of the most inuential publications; school and college administrators; public relations experts; writers of both novels and non-fiction; radio-TV directors, writers and commentators; producers, directors and writers in movies and the theater; the Jewish and non-evangelical Protestant clergy and not a few Catholic priests and bishops; verbalists in all branches of government; the staffs of the great foundations that have acquired in our day such pervasive influence through their relation to research, education, scholarships and publishing.

When I state that liberalism is the prevailing American doctrine, I do not, of course, suggest that it is the only doctrine, even among those who make or influence public opinion. In order to understand what a thing is, as Spinoza insisted, we must know what it is not. In trying to understand what liberals and liberalism are, it is useful to take note of the unambiguous examples around us of non-liberals and non-liberalism. We are not quite all liberals, not yet at any rate.

{p. 33} Here and there on university faculties hardy non-liberals have planted conspicuous flags: F. A. Hayek, Leo Strauss, Milton Friedman at Chicago; David Rowe at Yale; Warren Nutter at Virginia; Karl Wittfogel at Washington; Robert Strausz-Hupe at Pennsylvania; Hugh Kenner at California; Walter Berns at Cornell; at Harvard itself, Edward C. Banfield. The company of retired generals and admirals seems to be rather an assembly point for non-liberals: Generals Douglas MacArthur, Albert C. Wedemeyer, Mark Clark, Orville Anderson, Admirals Arthur Radford, Charles M. Cooke, Arleigh Burke - indeed, a random gathering of ex-general officers, even with a number of active generals and admirals included, would be one of the few occasions on which a liberal might not feel altogether at home ...

{p. 34} In political and ideological range, the tendency that Americans call "liberalism" corresponds roughly to what the French call "progressisme," and bridges what are known in Europe and Latin America as "the Left" and "the Center."

{end}

Thatcherism and Reaganomics (privatization and deregulation) have removed the public-sector Managerialism Burnham wrote about in The Managerial Revolution, and replaced it with rule by company boards and anonymous creditors, many based in tax havens, not answerable to the public in any way. They've lined their own pockets, automated the farms, factories and offices, thrown the workers to the wind, and immersed most countries in foreign debt.

George Orwell and Big Brother laws: orwell.html.

Gaetano Mosca's book The Ruling Class: mosca.html.

Karl A. Wittfogel's book Oriental Despotism: wittfogel.html.

The secret society behind the Anglo-American Establishment: quigley.html.

The CIA infiltrating the Left; the genesis of the Mont Pelerin Society, the mother think-tank of the Thatcherite movement: cia-infiltrating-left.html.

James Burnham's book The Managerial Revolution is out of print. To order a second-hand copy through Abebooks: http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookSearch?an=james+burnham&tn=managerial+revolution.

Write to me at contact.html.

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