The chief impetus of new political movements...

Is a rising elite trying to seize control of power from an existing elite. The ideas they use to gain their followers commitment and enthusiasm are what Pareto called "derivations": secondary phenomena of secondary importance.

4 comments:

  1. George Orwell discusses this in 1984, after saying that all societies are divided into three classes, the Low, the Middle, and the High:

    "For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again."

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    1. I wonder if Orwell had read Pareto?

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  2. Do the Kochs believe in laissez faire?

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    1. I have no idea. They very well may. In Pareto's schema, I don't see any reason that the elite propagating a derivation may not believe it themselves.

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