Sunday, April 29, 2007
Pareto & Mosca by James H. Meisel
As is easy to do these days, I found myself incensed and fascinated by the current political climate in the United States. The last few years have provided a fascinating study in the breakdown of the democratic process at the hands of a few corrupt elites. But it seems clear that this sort of behavior is nothing particularly new. It wasn’t new with Mills obseverved a similar clustering of Power Elites in the post Eisenhower days. It wasn’t new in the Roman Senate. Corrupt and elite individuals or cabals seem to have been excercising their power in ways which are not necessarily in line with the common weal for as long as monkeys have been talking to one another.
So I started blogging on the topic a little here: http://unfettereddiscourse.blogspot.com/
My great social and political science mentor, Columbia University graduate and ex-CIA analyst recommended that I check out Pareto & Mosca if I wanted to better understand some early Italian philosophers’ take on the relationships between the individual and the state, which seemed to have some significant bearing on the topic.
So I read and skimmed my way through this somewhat dusty tome, very impressed by how currently relevant the work of these two great minds still is today.
A fascinating if somewhat arcane look at two early social / political scientists.