Friday, April 11, 2014

A Moment with Divinity

The Iron Law of Oligarchs, I believe it was called by a German thinker around a hundred years ago.  His argument was that political parties would necessarily have to have leaders, or people at the top. And you can't have people at the top without some kind of a bureaucracy to maintain the authority of the people at the top. Bureaucracies, while they might be necessary structures, are not flexible structures. They are rigid, which means power is centralized. Otherwise, if you wanted something like a driving license or a passport you could get one, no questions asked. And you can argue all you want, but the iron law of oligarchs puts a slope into society that leads to a society that cares less and less for a definition of participatory democracy that has as it's underlying principle the idea of equality.  It's  like a 'we'll think for you because you're too stupid to understand idea of  democracy.'  And when it comes to defining 'corruption' a good definition, is not just all about the derailment of money.

Now, it would be OK, if leaders where the kind of wholehearted, warm, uncomplicated people that you might meet at the Farmers Market.  But leaders are not made that way. They are primarily motivated by an idea which expresses itself when you think about something like a Wolf around a herd of Sheep. And here you can bet that the Wolf will not be a vegetarian, nor will he use a napkin when he sits down to eat, unless if by doing so he might gain some advantage in something as quaint as a voting booth.  An answer to the question, 'what does one do about the iron law of oligarchs' was kind of attempted when a group of men tried to agree on  the American Constitution.  These men were of course leaders, or Wolves around Sheep, if you prefer.  And their final written document, like all written documents was and is subject to interpretation. And I guess too, what we all once called the Divine Right of Kings, has in the absence of Kings, become something more like the Divine Right of  Wealth. Damned sure Kropotkin is turning in his grave.

No comments: