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Political Parties

Michels, Robert

Verlag: Free Press, 1966
ISBN 10: 0029212502 / ISBN 13: 9780029212509
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Titel: Political Parties

Verlag: Free Press

Erscheinungsdatum: 1966

Einband: Soft cover

Zustand: New


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The principle of self-government through political parties, the cornerstone of democracy, has come to be regarded as a solution to the problem of nationality. This is because the principle of nationality entails the acceptance of the idea of popular government. The importance of the principle of nationality is undeniable, and most of the national questions of Western Europe might be solved in accordance with this principle. Matters are complicated by geographical and strategical considerations, such as the difficulty of determining natural frontiers and the frequent need to establish strategic frontiers. Moreover, the principle of nationality cannot help us where nationalities barely exist or where they are entangled in inextricable confusion.

The present work is a critical discussion of the problem of democracy. Michels believes that democracy, as an intellectual theory and as a practical movement, has entered upon a critical phase from which exit will be extremely difficult. In this book he analyzes the tendencies that oppose the realization of democracy, and claims that these tendencies can be classified in three ways: dependence upon the nature of the individual; dependence upon the nature of the political structure; and dependence upon the nature of organization.

This edition, described by Morris Janowitz as a "classic of modern social science" and by Melvin Tumin as "the beginning of a tradition," offers a landmark study in political science. Following its original publication in 1910, the study and analysis of political parties was established as a new branch of science. Political Parties continues to be a foundation work in the literature and is a necessary addition to the libraries of contemporary political scientists, sociologists, and historians.

Robert Michels is considered a founder of political sociology. He was the author of a variety of books including German Social Democracy as an International Association and Proletariat and Bourgeoisie. He wrote regularly for The Archives of Social Science in Germany. Seymour Martin Lipset is Hazel Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at George Mason University and also senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the author of various works, including Political Man, The First New Nation, and most recently, American Exceptionalism.

Inhaltsangabe: Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1915. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER I INTRODUCTORY. THE CLASS STRUGGLE AND ITS DISINTEGRATING INFLUENCE UPON THE BOURGEOISIE The masses are not easily stirred. Great events pass before their eyes and revolutions are accomplished in economic life without their minds' undergoing profound modifications. Very slowly do they react to the influence of new conditions. For decades, and even for centuries, the masses continue to endure passively outworn political conditions which greatly impede legal and moral progress.1 Countries which from the economic point of view are fairly well advanced, often continue to endure for lengthy periods a political and constitutional regime which derives from an earlier economic phase. This is especially noteworthy in Germany, where an aristocratic and feudal form of government, the outcome of economic conditions which the country has outlived, has not yet been able to adapt itself to an economic development of the most advanced capitalist character. These historical phenomena, which at first sight appear paradoxical, arise from causes of two different orders. In the first place it may happen that classes or sub-classes representing an extinct economic form may survive from a time in which they were the authentic exponents of the then dominant economic relationships; they have been able to save from the wreck a sufficiency of moral prestige and effective political force to maintain their dominion in the new phase of economic and civil development, and to do this even in opposition to the expressed will of the majority of the people. These classes succeed in maintain 1' Unreflectingly, sometimes with a sigh, but often without a thought of the possibility of better things, the nations have borne for centuries, and continue to bear, all the burdens and all the shames imposed upon them by...

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