Chapter 14


People and Government


Quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbatur.[1]

Writ of Summons to the British

Model Parliament of 1295


Democracy, in its original connotation, means rule by the people. Like all other political terms, however, it should not be taken at face value. How do the people rule? Even where people can assemble in the marketplace and deliberate on the affairs of the polis, as they did in the Greek city-states, perennial questions arise as to the number and qualifications of "the people." The Greek city-state was a democracy for the freemen. The slaves were not part of "the people," nor did the women and children take part in political deliberations. These facts already reduced "the people" to a minority (about 40,000 out of a population of some 300,000). Such restrictions were the norm for political participation up to modern times, and in some places still are.


What justifies these restrictions? One who discriminates against women or slaves might question whether "people" implies a simple count of bodies, and if so whether new-born children are also entitled to vote. The argument may sound ridiculous because it is drawn ad absurdum. But it becomes a valid concern as we move toward more fluid situations. Indeed, if it is ridiculous to inquire whether new-born children should vote, it is not at all absurd to inquire at what age a person should be considered mature enough to participate in political deliberations and what the criteria for maturity are. The answer, of course, is: It all depends. Life experience, education, the age at which a culture makes adult demands on the individual are among the determining factors. If, before a certain age, individuals are considered unfit for decision-making in public and political affairs, there must be certain standards to measure such fitness. These standards developed as traditional cultures observed symptoms of maturity and immaturity over long periods of time. If the symptoms classified as immature in terms of youth were detected in other social and human categories, members of those categories were also considered unfit for political decision-making. In the traditional settings, such symptoms were seen (in different degrees) in full grown slaves and women. The logical conclusion, then, was that slaves and women were biologically handicapped to participate in the political process because, even when grown up, they were less mature than the emancipated freemen. The indexes may have been very slight, but they suggested underdevelopment.


But not fully taken into account was the socialization factor and the handicaps of slaves and women due to their social positions and expected roles. Even modern quantitative measurements point to the traditional prejudices and "confirm what poets and novelists have often asserted, and the average layman long believed, namely, that men not only behave but 'think' differently from women."[2]  David Wechsler's study of 850 male and 850 female subjects showed slight discrepancies in favor of men in matters requiring reasoning and judgment, while women had a slight edge over men in areas relating to memory or imitative aptitudes. As for slavery we must bear in mind that it did not always coincide with race but rather with the social class of instrumentality, subservience and dispossession; and the two, race and lack of property, remained handicaps for political disenfranchisement up to modern times in many political cultures.


I. Representation


Beyond possible restrictions on the basis of age, sex, race and property (or class), the idea of democracy engenders a numeric paradox, as it is unlikely that all the people will agree with each other all the time on how to rule. The ideal of democracy could probably be unanimity; then nearest to it, consensus. But in a heterogeneous society decisions are likely to be made by a majority or even a plurality of those who bother to vote. Further, there are organizational factors qualifying a democracy. In the first place, the matter being deliberated by "the people" must be formulated, then executed. Second, if a political culture grows beyond a certain size, it will not be possible to assemble all its people, and delegates or representatives will have to deliberate in their behalf.


Electoral Arrangements


This numeric paradox has inspired the multitude of electoral systems adopted by different countries. These systems and voting processes draw their rationale from the realities of political cultures. There seems to be no universally "just" and foolproof system for all times and places. The degree to which an electoral system accommodates the two basic concerns of popular participation and effective government makes it appropriate for a given polity. Whether the system is effective and reasonable depends on the issues being decided, who is finally omitted from deciding them, whether those left out trust those inside, and whether those left out have real chances of eventually getting in. Let us look at some electoral rationales.


Where the electorate is homogeneous, where the issues are not valuationally controversial but have alternate modes of implementation, and where no matter who wins a general trust prevails among the voters, even a plurality system can suffice. Plurality implies that among more than two alternatives, whoever or whichever rallies the most votes will win, although not necessarily receiving a majority. Plurality is adopted as an electoral process even where the criteria of homogeneity and valuational consensus are not altogether met, such as in the parliamentary elections in Great Britain, Canada and the United States. Because plurality has the possible advantage of being expeditious and comparatively simple.  In 1968, Richard Nixon was elected president of the United States by slightly over one-fourth of the estimated voting-age population (31,785,480 votes out of an estimate of 120,006,000 eligible to vote).


In a heterogeneous society with diverse values and interests, does a voting process which in effect legitimizes an authority based on a minority satisfy the ideal of government of the people, by the people, for the people? Rousseau addressed his principle of the "general will" to this concern of not having a particular class or interest group minority take hold of the government. By basing political deliberations on the vote of the majority, the will of the people was legitimized into the general will. His criterion was that as sovereignty rested with "the people," their "weightier part" (numerically) would be the appropriate legitimizing body. Ever since the French Revolution many voting processes have been inspired by this majority rule. Where there are only two alternatives, there will generally be a majority winner (unless there is a tie which, especially in the case of popular elections, is hardly probable). With more than two contestants, none may win a majority on the first ballot, in which case a second ballot is needed. The second ballot can be arranged in different combinations. Majority rule can be waived in favor of plurality, where those whose candidate or issue does not seem to have a chance of winning are ideologically disposed to opt for a viable alternative nearest to their values and interests. Or, to insure more effective government, those not having achieved a certain percentage may be eliminated and the second ballot reduced to a few major contestants. Or only the two contestants with the largest plurality may be left to compete for a majority on the second ballot, as is the case in French presidential elections under the Fifth Republic. All these combinations reflect the social philosophy that there can be a second choice of ideology and values, and a compromise of interests.


The plurality and majority rules so far examined have been presented in a single-member-district context; that is, there is one outcome once voting is completed. But certain ideologies, values and interests in a heterogeneous society may not always find grounds for compromise, and if the final single outcome is based on a majority, by definition excluding the minority from control of the authority, there may arise the possibility of the tyranny of the majority. To alleviate this undemocratic shortcoming of single-member districts, electoral systems have been devised to provide for proportional representation. There are many such schemes. The basic social philosophy behind them is to permit a fair representation of different views, ideologies and interests. The system may be limitative in that it may require the parties participating in the elections to gather a minimum percentage of the votes to qualify for representation. The limitation may be inspired either by a desire to reduce dispersion of tendencies in the representative body and provide some degree of effectiveness in government, or by the conspiracy of a polity's prominent interests to keep smaller and less palatable ideologies out of the political process. Some proportional representation systems are cumulative, permitting transfer and accumulation of votes across electoral districts so that even if a party has not mustered enough votes in any electoral district it may eventually be represented. The cumulative system can also be combined with the minimum percentage requirement at the national level to secure, as much as possible, fair representation of the social currents without letting the representative body be handicapped by excessive fragmentation.



The transfer of votes in the cumulative system requires their grouping in recognizable categories and ideological labels beyond individual votes for individual candidates. This can lead to a list system in which political parties present a list of their candidates to the electorate, which then chooses parties rather than candidates. The voter is thus further removed from the representational process unless he is actively engaged in party politics. In some electoral systems, such as those of Belgium and the Netherlands, the voters, while voting for a party list, can also indicate their preference for given candidates on the list. Thus, when the votes are counted and each party allocated its seats, those seats will go to candidates who gathered more votes. Proportional representation, mentioned in Chapter Twelve as Mill's favorite but which has been found too complicated for practical purposes (or maybe, as Mill said, too favorable to elite participation in the political process) was the electoral system proposed by Thomas Hare in 1859. It provided for single transferable votes and personal representation. To be elected a candidate needed a minimum quota of ballots calculated on the basis of the electoral votes divided by the number of seats. The candidates could present themselves or be nominated individually, and the voters would not be limited to the candidates in their own district but could vote on all candidates in the country. They could list candidates in order of preference so that if their first choice had already received the number of votes established by the quota for election, the elector's votes could be counted towards their next choice. In this system the concern to make popular participation a flexible reality and the expectation of popular consciousness about the political process are very high. The fact remains, however, that whether it is simple plurality in a single=member district system, or cumulative proportional representation, their two intertwined concerns are: legitimizing authority through popular participation and making effective government possible. The two are compatible only to the extent that the electoral process has managed to turn "the people" into their socio-political realization--"the public."


The People and The Public


"People," as a political term, has the massive connotation of the body politic in a democracy. It is derived from the Latin word populus. No hairsplitting is intended, but a look into the origins of these words will help us understand some of their political implications. Populus in Latin also means a poplar (tree), probably because the masses resemble its multitude of leaves wavering in the wind. Another derivation of the word means plunder! "Public," on the other hand, is derived from the Latin word pubes, which means of ripe age; "puberty" is also derived from the same root. Democracy as the rule of the people will become a republic when, instead of rule by the masses of the people, the lawful body of their representatives exercises the business of government on their behalf. Madison distinguished between the two by saying that "in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person" while "in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents."[3]  The distinction, however, is not made only for organizational convenience, as a means to circumvent the impossibility of massive assembly, but also for valuational considerations, which we need to record here for later discussions; and for that, we shall further quote Madison:


The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.


The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.[4]


In the light of this contradistinction of the people and the public, the usage of the two terms "democracy" and "republic" has further evolved in modern times. Democracy does not so much mean a form of government, but a quality possessed by certain governments, while a republic is more a form of government. Democracy refers to: 1) the degree to which the people effectively participate in the choice of those who rule them, and also 2) the degree to which they have real possibilities of acceding to positions of authority themselves. This is the connotation we intend here. Thus, a monarchy may be a democracy if it is constitutional, with the monarch only a symbol and head of state, with the business of government handled by a parliamentary system based on popular suffrage, and with competing political parties. A republic, on the other hand, may restrict the "public" so that the business of government is confined to a few. The more "the people" as a social mass is recognized as "the public," i.e., a legally mature entity to participate in the business of government, the more a political culture can develop its aptitudes toward democracy. We stress political culture rather than political institution because, while some degree of maturity may result from additional responsibility, the latter does not automatically bring about the former, and therefore the simple fact of erecting institutions providing for democratic government does not necessarily produce a democratic political complex.[5]


This leads us to what we may call the democratic fallacy of representational mechanics, suggesting that just because people vote, they do not necessarily choose their representatives or participate in the political decision-making process; and the representative, because he has been elected by popular vote, does not necessarily represent "the people," nor does he necessarily participate in political decision-making. The ballot and the act of voting are symbols and rituals of democracy. The point is easily demonstrated by the electoral process in most communist-inspired regimes, where the voters are presented with a single list of candidates elaborated by the ruling party, where there is usually over ninety per cent participation in the voting process and over ninety per cent adherence to the party's single list, and where the representatives in popular assemblies usually endorse the political decision of the party oligarchy. In most Western "democracies" (as distinct from Eastern European political regimes) the rituals of selection of candidates, elections and responsive representation are more "democratically" employed for legitimization. However, that does not altogether alleviate the democratic fallacy of representational mechanics, the causes of which are the phenomena of the socio-political flux.


The realities of interests and their consciousness shape a political culture. "The people," in their majority, are not in the habit of considering political participation part of their daily, weekly, or even monthly established schedules.[6]  The grass-roots caucuses of political parties hardly ever gather a significant percentage of the actual voters. It is consequently "interests" rather than "the people" that concern themselves with the choice of candidates, and are eventually voted on at the voting booth. It is true that, as we saw, in terms of bourgeois culture, interests should be confounded with the people. A representative is then the point of convergence--or compromise --of interests, whether those of a political party that endorses him or of his constituency. That factor also decides his actions and judgments on policy matters as a representative. Where he is elected on a strictly disciplined party ticket (see our later discussion of political parties), he may have to vote obediently according to the party stand. In such a case the representa­tive is directly responsible to his party, through which he "represents" his constituency. But even in political cultures with loose-knit political par­ties, where the candidate has to rally enough votes by appealing to enough interests to get elected, he does not, once elected, necessarily represent his constituency nor all the interests that made his election possible.


To begin with, even if a candidate aspires to represent all his constituents and not only those who voted for him--in other words, he strives for an ideal unanimity or consensus on the issues--the fact remains that there must have been some discrepancy between the platform and interests upon which he re­ceived his mandate, and the views and interests of those who did not vote for him. Assuming, further, that the interests which converged on his election are in different degrees heterogeneous, which is the case in a pluralistic political culture, the representative will not even be able to conciliate in his actions and judgments all the time all those interests that voted for him. He may, for example, have rallied the votes of industrialists, both Catholic and Protestant, or makers of armaments as well as manufacturers of peace-time goods. Obliged to vote on such issues as abortion or the fate of an inter­national conflict, he may opt for a direction incompatible with the interests of some of those who voted for him (although, in the process, he may find some adherence on particular issues among those constituents who did not vote for him). The factors contributing to these discrepancies include:


1. The spatial/temporal dimension of representation: A polity resorts to representational mechanics to permit the spatially scattered multitude to participate indirectly in the political process. If the representative as­sembly were viewed as a gathering of mandated agents restricted to a particu­lar issue within the frame of strict instructions from their constituents, at every new stage of their debates they would have to go back and ask for new instructions. The more strictly such a process were applied, the more point­less would it make the representational mechanism. The broader the mandate of the representative to deal with issues in general and the longer his man­date, the freer he will be to deliberate "in behalf" of his constituents. However, the broader and the longer the mandate, the more fluid the "in behalf" part of the proposition will become, giving more plasticity to our next point.


2. The personal interests of the representative: The representative is not a robot. Like his constituents, he has human needs and drives. His needs for food, sex and shelter may be partly displaced by his ambitions (domina­tion drive) or sense of security (to maintain his power and position), but they are his human realities. They will influence his discharge of his duties. He will weigh his decisions in the light of his own interests as well as his standing and opportunities with the interests controlling his constituency and their potentials to support him. If his mandate is broad and long, he may shift his policies to those which suit his personal interests. On the other hand, he may also be motivated by the following consideration.


3. The "higher" national interests and values as he identifies them: These may, as noted in our discussion of bicameralism, motivate the representative with a broader and longer mandate to evaluate situations on the basis of valuational considerations, detached from the immediate interests of his constituents.


If we generalize these factors we will get an assembly of "representatives" not identical with the sum of its constituent parts. While these factors further confirm the democratic fallacy of representational mechanics, our emphasis of democratic fallacy should not discredit representational mechanics altogether. Like other political phenomena, representation aims at making possible what is otherwise impossible (the gathering of the multitude for political participation). In the process, like other socio-political phenomena, it does not exactly make possible what was impossible, but produces some verisimilitude to that effect. Its shape depends on the potentials of the political culture, including the political maturity of "the people." This quality may not be easily discernible. Will "the people'.' try to choose representatives in their own image, expecting them to have radii of understanding and identification coincident with theirs? The assumption is reasonable at a given level of popular expectation, emancipation, bourgeois class consciousness, and mistrust of those whose wider range of identity and understanding goes beyond the "popular" grasp. In the words of Ortega y Gasset, "the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will."[7]  Or are the people inclined to delegate their deliberative rights to whoever seems to have a better mind? The latter alternative may lead to contradictory conclusions: either the people have enough maturity and self-confidence to trust their own judgment about leaving their affairs to superior minds, or they consider themselves inept to deal with the business of government and abdicate their prerogatives to whoever claims the power to govern. The latter proposition may lead to autocracy (the opposite of democracy) because the extreme of popular abdication would be self-appointment by those who govern.


Where "the people" are inclined to choose those like themselves, collateral identification, interest and understanding between the represented and the representative are implied. In the elitist case, while the representative is to represent the interests of the represented, his radii of understanding, identification and interests are expected to be broader than the people, and his ways of securing their interests may escape their grasp. These are, of course, abstractions made to analyze different attitudes. In actual life people are motivated by a complex of factors in which both identity with the representative and his competence and superiority are combined.


In effect, whether the criterion is mediocrity (not necessarily in the pejorative sense, but in the sense that the elector is choosing the ordinary) or elitism (choosing the superior man), a lag is bound to develop between the angles of vision of the represented and the representative. For, as we saw, the mediocre representative will have to accommodate and compromise the views of. his different constituents within his own, and his elevation in the social hierarchy entails the broadening of his radii of understanding, identification and interests. This phenomenon handicaps the modicum of democracy, because whether the representative speaks in the name of and in behalf of the people and administers their affairs and government in the spirit of mediocrity or elitism (but particularly the latter), with his expected broader radius of vision he can claim that his actions stem from his vision of the ultimate good, the ideological goal, or long-term policies beyond the people's radius of understanding. He demands that they trust him farther than they can see, and thus the possibilities for abuse (corruption of power) are sown.[8]


Those elevated to higher social strata through involvement in the business of government may also develop, despite possible antagonisms arising from checks and balances of the different branches of government, a sense of identity based on their sharing of the same "business" interests. This likelihood confronts us beyond the danger of having people of like interests and class controlling the different branches of government, with the possibility that they will develop common characteristics and patterns of behavior. This phenomenon may lead to political professionalism and the growth of a bureaucratic and 'technocratic oligarchy perpetuating and upholding the "establishment" for its own--and their own--sake. The likelihood would, of course, seem greater where popular participation is limited. But it is such a pervasive reality of the socio-political flux that it grows even where sovereignty is supposed to lie with "the people." To grasp this social growth, let us review the salient criteria for popular participation and continue our inquiry.


II. Criteria For Popular Participation


If democracy evolves into elitism (aristocracy) and oligarchy, there must be social patterns and procedures by which the sovereign rights are "democratically" passed to the oligarchy which runs the machinery of the government. Indeed, certain conditions, when met in a certain spirit, can contribute to broader popular participation in the political process; but when not respected, these same conditions can serve increasingly as tools for elitist or oligarchic arrangements. The extreme, if the conditions and spirit do not exist or are not recognized, would be autocracy. On the basis of past chapters, we can broadly identify three areas--the social, the constitutional and the individual--where certain conditions determine the nature and degree of the popular participatory processes of government:


1. Social standards and framework.


a. First among these conditions are the level of economic development and distribution of wealth. In blunt terms, for the members of society to be interested in the political process "democratically," their stomachs must be satisfied.[9]  If they are hungry they may be politically apathetic and thus vulnerable to exploitation; or they may become hungry enough to revolt. Of course, our "stomach" metaphor stands for all aspects of economy and social justice. The economic factors do not influence the participatory process only at starvation level. When inflation hits the economy and real personal income goes down the electorate behaves negatively towards the party in power at the polls.[10]   Voters do not live by ideology alone--if much at all--and considering the broad impacts of economy on politics we may add, nor do the candidates. For example, in polities like the United States, where finances figure prominently in campaigns and elections, the uneven distribution of wealth can bring the "democratic" process under the control of those who control the economy. The disclosure laws of 1971 and subsequent Watergate-connected investigations of campaign funds revealed the large role of corporate and big-business interests in financing and influencing the elections and the candidates. The 1974 electoral reform laws, limiting contributions by private interests, are aimed at reducing some economic encroachments on the political process.



b. The general level of education is also a determining factor. Briefly, as Jefferson pointed out long ago, ignorance and democracy are incompatible.  But education, as we noted in our discussion of value-forming agencies, can, under certain circumstances of extensive control, railroad the members of society--not a very democratic process.


c. The extension of mass media and means of communication is a crucial condition. To participate intelligently in social and political affairs, the members of society must be informed and mobile (in both mind and body) to grasp the issues and problems. But, of course, sophisticated control of the media can distort information and handicap the democratic process.


d. Finally, there must be compatibility of value patterns and a social consensus as to the virtues of the democratic and pluralistic process of government. For, while the other social conditions may reasonably exist, if the prevailing political culture has monist tendencies or if a social faction seeks and attains dictatorial power, democracy will not be practicable. In 1933, the Germans voted themselves out of the parliamentary system. Now, if there is consensus for a democratic government, it will require certain constitutional prerequisites:


2. Constitutional framework.


a. Elections are the first prerequisite for a pluralistic government. Their outcomes, however, may run from a rubber stamp to a reasonable and just representation of "the people," depending on whether they are haphazard, arranged to fit appropriate occasions, or regular and periodic; whether they are without privacy, engendering intimidation, or are secret; and whether they present a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee or real alternatives. However, too short a span between elections can disrupt continuity; secrecy may favor duplicity; and too many choices may cause factional dispersion.


b. Separation of powers, in some effective form, is necessary to provide checks and balances during the period the powers are given their mandates, i.e., between elections. However, as we pointed out, powers may check and balance each other even if they are not subject to elections. Inversely, despite elections and separation of powers, there may be possibilities of collusion among like interests in charge of different sectors. But also, under different circumstances, acute antagonism and jealousy among the separated powers may cause disruption and paralysis of government.


c. Majority rule is another characteristic of pluralism. Properly applied, it can cure some ills that may arise from the separation of powers (such as excessive dispersion and conflict between branches) by, for example, giving the legislative majority the possibility of appointing the executive, as is the case in a cabinet form of government. But, of course, there may be problems in defining the majority in the social sense as well as within the governmental apparatus, and there is again the danger of collusion among branches.


d. Minority rights are directly related to majority rule. The assumption is that, politically speaking, the minority is the minority only because its approach to given problems at a given time did not receive a plurality of votes, yet it is still entitled, like the majority, to press its views democratically on the sovereign "people" and become, perhaps with a different composition, on a different issue and at a different time, the majority. Of course, certain inherent characteristics in the minority, such as ethnic, racial, religious or linguistic distinctions, may handicap it and make it likely to remain a minority, in which case it will need particular guarantees, such as a quota of participation in the government, to safeguard its identity and interests.


e. Recognition of opposition is an imperative constitutional prerequisite, for minority rights imply not the benevolence of the majority, but the prerogatives of those in the minority to defend their own rights and to criticize what they consider the majority's wrongdoings. The latter provides the occasion for the minority to show the public their arguments as to why they deserve to replace the incumbent majority. Recognition of the opposition can also remedy the possibilities of collusion among the different branches and sectors of government.[11]


The recognition of opposition leads to individual liberties because, in the last analysis, opposition to authority is composed of members who should enjoy basic liberties in order to play an effective critical role:


3. Individual liberty.


a. This area demands certain key freedoms, the first of which is freedom of the "person"--the simple right to be, to be alive. It is, at an elementary level, what the individual is thankful for in an organized society; not to be mugged, robbed or killed. It is basically the reason Hobbes gave for the institution of the Leviathan. But the civil authority instituted to protect life can itself become a threat to the individual, and a point may be reached where the members of society may be thankful they are not subjected to arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, torture and summary executions. The writ of habeas corpus implies first and foremost that the jailer has the body, alive! Freedom of the person in relation to political authority involves such questions as innocence until guilt is proven, the circumstances under which one tray be required to bear arms and go to the front to shoot and be shot at, and the limits that can be imposed on one's movement (such as the question of whether a passport is a right or a privilege).


b. Freedom to give free range to thought may seem an obvious prerequisite and an inalienable freedom. Not so if you consider the extreme case of brainwashing. While brainwashing in the literal sense of psychological conditioning of a subject under strict control has had limited incidence, it dramatizes the possibility of conditioning the thinking process through propaganda, distorted or incomplete information, and news intoxication. It is directly related to the freedom to formulate an opinion.


c. The freedom to formulate an opinion differs from the above, though, because it implies the additional dimension of choice. When one thinks, one does not necessarily formulate opinions. Thinking can be merely computational. The mathematician or the physicist thinks in order to add and subtract and the results are, so to speak, built in--not a matter of opinion. Indeed, totalitarian regimes have often hoped that their scientists would think but have no opinions. Of course, thinking and forming opinions can hardly be dissociated, and usually the control of one influences the other. But let us say that in a pluralist society the sergeant should not care what you think as long as you say, "Yes, sir," to his opinion and act accordingly (although these days he does care, and armies manipulate the thoughts of their recruits too).


d. Freedom of expression (both oral and written) is the next requirement so that the opinion can be aired. The freedom of expression in itself, even without further impact, is, at least psychologically, better than the silence of opinion. We are breaking down these closely interrelated individual liberties to show how at each stage they can constitute real or fictive freedoms. Being able to express one's opinion may indeed lessen the psychological weight of silence, but it will be of no social or political avail if it cannot be communicated.  We must thus introduce the further freedom of communication, intertwined with the freedom of expression but not altogether synonymous with it.


e. Freedom of communication means that the spoken word can be heard and the written word can be read. For that, channels of communication are needed, and they may be more or less controlled. Controls need not be direct censorship but may be interwoven with the prevailing social patterns. Beyond the material facilities to be supplied, communication can be curbed through tacit control of publishers, broadcasting organizations and value-forming agencies, without giving the impression that the freedom of expression has been tampered with. Not every opinion is broadcast nor is every written word published. If such curbs are not imposed blatantly on the basis of obvious value-judgments and open censorship, a greater verisimilitude of both freedom of expression and of communication will exist. The unpublished author may blame himself for falling short of the standards and may doubt his talents, while in reality he is handicapped because he deviates from the prevailing norms.


f. Freedom of association should be a normal follow-up of the expression and communication of opinion because the purpose of airing a view is to find like minds who can unite for action. This freedom, however, does not necessarily follow the others and may be subject to formal limitations, even where the other liberties are respected, particularly when it results in an assembly. (There have been such instances as the ban on the Communist Party in the German Federal Republic between 1956 and 1968, although Communist literature was not suppressed.)


g. Freedom of assembly is the stage of deliberation and action; the point where the liberties of the individual merge with those of the group--a major conversion point which joins our earlier discussions. It puts in perspective the other individual freedoms, beginning with the crucial ones of giving free range to thought and formulation of opinions. It was man's claim to thought, qualifying him as a political animal, which impelled our inquiry in Chapter Two. That attribute set us on the road winding through values and symbols within the total environment and culture. It permitted us to realize that human thought, in socio-political terms, was not available in its pure state, but was reified by social semantics within valuational and symbolic patterns, enhanced by value-forming agencies in the context of group dynamics. These social factors condition and restrict individual thought. Freedom of assembly reflects these factors and even in the broadest sense implies limitations.[12]  It is limitative not only because of the assembly's potentials to shape individual thought and values but also because of the sheer need of numerical combination for any individual thought to have a practical outcome.


From the Individual to the Group: Political Parties


The conversion from individual to group action has two essential characteristics. First, those who associate with each other, even if they have similar opinions, will have to make some opinion adjustments to fit the principles for which their association or, in political terms, their party stands. However, as noted in Chapter Seven, these principles may be more or less fluid. Some parties such as Communist and some Socialist parties, may proclaim strict ideologies, while others may have a broad spectrum of principles accommodating different shades of opinions, as do the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States.[13]  In this latter case, the party draws support rather from the second characteristic of an association, its instrumentality for action, and in the case of a political party, for political action: accession to political control.[14]  Of course, the party has to present an outline, no matter how broad, of certain principles and policies, because when an association is constituted for action, that action should be given some semblance of direction. Thus, broadly speaking, a party is a group created by the people's association for political action, and as such will show the symptoms of the group. There will be need for representation, leadership, formulation of principles and policies, strategies and tactics-all this influencing the party members whose individual freedom to give free range to their thoughts and to formulate opinions will be conditioned by their association. In the process the top of the party hierarchy assumes leverage for political action with a broader radius of vision and understanding than the base, thus preparing to exercise governmental authority if elected.


The degree of discrepancy in the views of different strata of the party and the possibilities for the higher levels to impose their views on the lower, and eventually on the voters, will depend on the nature of the party and its social and constitutional environment. The political party's goal, we must remember, is to gain political control within the range of possibilities offered by the constitutional framework and social standards, thus providing for the "democratic" passage of the sovereign rights from "the people" to the ruling oligarchy: the party should be voted into office.


We can, of course, conceive of an extreme where one ruling party imposes strict discipline on its members and controls the elections, as has been generally true of the regimes controlled by Communist parties. The oligarchy in such instances is the ruling body of the party with which the bureaucratic apparatus is fused and confused. We thus return to the monist conception of government, where the ruling oligarchy, in the name of an ideology whose principles it formulates and interprets, exercises (or at least attempts) totalitarian control over all aspects of life in the country by populating the governmental bureaucracy and using it to control the social framework (including, besides the party apparatus, other value-forming agencies such as education and mass media) and the constitutional framework (including the elections and the "elected" bodies).


In different total environments, however, political cultures lend themselves to less rigid patterns of social and political fermentations and dynamics. In the pluralist contexts, the higher strata of political parties cannot afford, at least openly, to dictate from above drastic changes in the principles and nature of the party. A party in a pluralistic context is not a government. It aims at control of the government, for which it needs the vote of the electors. It should try to reflect the basic characteristics which identify it and on the basis of which it attracts popular votes. For example, when a party is identified with stricter and well-defined principles, too much wheeling and dealing by the party bosses, compromising their principles to broaden the influence of the party, can either weaken the party or change its nature and structure, either make it lose voters or, if it gains voters and wins the election, weaken its position in government and handicap it in carrying out programs commensurate with its principles. Similarly, if a party organized on a broad spectrum of principles, mainly to serve as an instrument for political action, to attract the plurality of the voters, and to gain control of the government, started shrinking the spectrum of its principles when such action was not called for--i.e., when a polarization would not attract the majority of voters--is likely to lose voters.[15]  Thus, the party pattern, with its own oligarchic variations and tendencies depending on particular political cultures--provides the democratic hyphen between the sovereign people and the governmental machinery.


From the Party to the Government


Our discussion of the two interrelated characteristics of political parties, namely, the strictness or broadness of their principles and their degree of service orientation as platforms for political contest, leads us again to political philosophies about the government's role in organizing social life. The program of a political party reflects what the party and those who vote for it believe the government should do. However, what a party will do once in power depends not only on its ideas about government but on the exclusivity of its program.  When a party has strict principles, based on particular beliefs, ideologies, myths or traditions radically distinct from those of other parties, even if its principles aim at the ultimate abolition of the government, it will have to use the machinery of government to bring its principles to bear on different aspects of life within the polity. Thus, paradoxically but understandably, parties advocating total governmental control of society, such as Fascists, and those aspiring to the final withering away of the state, such as Communists, both use governmental machinery to control the society and build the kind of society their principles call for.


On the other hand, parties accommodating a wide spectrum of principles tend to encourage diffusion of power within different social sectors and the use of government as a regulatory body. Aiming mainly to gain control of the government, they try to rally many interests which, in the eventuality of success, will want the government to promote their concerns but not infringe their freedom of action. The result is usually a loose party reflecting a compromise among interests that are more likely to combine with each other as distinct from other combinations. Incidentally, the process may evolve towards a two-party system because where a party serves mainly as a rallying point to gain governmental control, those satisfied with a particular government join to support it--because of their interest rather than their principles--while the dissatisfied will join to defeat it. Of the British political party pattern, for example, Moodie says: "Historically it was in the interests of the crown and its chief advisers to try to unify their supporters, an attempt that encouraged a similar unification among their parliamentary opponents if they were to be successful."[16]


This pattern has a pragmatic rationale, if one may say so, in that what secures the reasonableness of a polity is opposition and criticism, which can be achieved simply by providing two sides. While this rationale may apply at the level of conflicting interests, it may not altogether resolve the problem of variegated principles. Remember our discussion of the conversion of interests into values in Chapter Four and the latency of values to change. Even where the two-party pattern prevails, as in the United States and Britain, smaller parties with stricter principles survive. In themselves, they may have little potential to expand in traditionally pluralistic and pragmatic political cultures, but they remain indicators of extremes of principles-and interests--which could break away if the two major loose-knit parties, seeking to broaden their electoral base, overlapped to the point of becoming unrecognizable.


The diffusion of power promoted by the leagues of interest groups within a loose-knit party tends, when the party gains control, to turn the government into a regulatory agency responding to the pressures of the various interest groups--favoring more those that supported its party, but not neglecting those that did not support it but may in the future. Diffusion of power thus not only tends to confine the areas of governmental activities, but also shifts some weight from the party--which we called the hyphen between "the people" and the government--to the interest groups. Such a pattern is the outcome of total environmental factors, taking different forms in different political cultures. The situation we have just depicted implies a certain stage of social evolution in modern terms.


Where the pattern of political parties has evolved to be dominated by parties with a wide spectrum of principles, the implication is that the political culture approaches consensus/conflict/dissent pattern we developed in Chapter Eleven rather than sharp antagonisms. That is, through the long political conflicts, compromises and cooperations, the political parties have come to a broad understanding, not only on the rules of the game, but also on the basic moral and ethical norms at the root of their different social and political principles, and the modalities for their compromise. Thus, for example, today the two major American parties, although different in their priorities and ways of going about solving social and political problems, basically claim to uphold the principles of free and competitive enterprise, and yet recognize the necessity for governmental responsibility where social justice is implicated. The Republicans lean more heavily on the first principle, the Democrats on the second[17] --that is, if we generalize about the two parties and look only at their modal constituents. Otherwise, because of their broad spectrums, each houses under the same roof both people who believe in the least governmental interference in social and economic affairs, leaving them to the free play of liberal economy, and those who believe in governmental limitations on competitive, private interest-oriented activities, for the sake of public good, or rather in consideration of those social strata which could suffer because of excessive freedom of private interests.


In different political cultures, notably with different social philosophies about the role of the government, different political party patterns develop. In Britain, for example, we saw how the parliamentary process grew out of the duality -- and duel -- of those who defended the royal prerogatives and the bourgeoisie who wanted their finger in the affairs of government, mainly to become master of their own affairs. This evolution crystallized the conservative faction -- later the Conservative Party -- which wanted to conserve what had traditionally existed, and the liberal faction -- later the Liberal Party -- which valued a liberal economy and free enterprise. As each broadened its popular base (a process which, together with industrial development, prompted the emancipation of the larger population and focused on their problems in electoral platforms), social movements emerged, eventually developing into a third party -- the Labor Party -- upholding the principle of social justice and socialist management of the country. After a period of transition in the early twentieth century, the Labor Party displaced the Liberal Party to become, together with the Conservatives, one of the two major British political parties.


The British two-party pattern reflects earlier points about political and public attitudes favoring this pattern, among them the character of the British parliamentary process. Inspired by the pragmatic approach to the need for criticism and opposition, the arrangement provides for essentially two components in the House of Commons -- one, the majority in power, and the other, an opposition recognized as an integral part of the legislature, watching for the shortcomings, fallacies and loopholes in the policies and actions of the party in power and serving as the parliamentary opposition loyal to the kingdom and the people. The two-party pattern is further enhanced by the British electoral arrangements, namely the "Cube Law" whereby the proportion of seats the winning party receives in Parliament is the cube of the proportion of votes cast for it, a rule that clearly favors the winning party and handicaps the others, with the discrimination growing as the number of votes for the contesting parties diminishes.[18]


In Western Europe, as we have briefly reviewed, political, economic and social evolutions took sharper turns and, together with class consciousness of antagonistic groups, produced multiparty patterns largely composed of parties with strict principles (myths, ideologies, traditions). Patterns are different, of course, in different political settings, but generally they cover a variety of principles ranging from the restoration of the traditional regimes, organization of the society on the basis of religious precepts, economic liberalism or limited socialism, to communism. Their principles are what each party believes a government should be and do. We saw, however, that within the European conjunctures, different beliefs, myths and ideologies clashed and compromised, because abstractions of declared principles submit to human and social realities. Party hierarchies modify their ends to avail themselves of means. The coexistence and confrontation of parties with strict principles may lead to coalitions--mostly between fairly compatible parties which agree that their adversaries' accession to power would harm them and cause social upheavals beyond what they could tolerate. Sometimes, in moments of crisis, coalitions between less compatible parties also take place.


Thus, the evolution of Western European party coalitions has generally tended toward practices similar to those of the loosely knit parties with broad spectrums of principles. In some countries like post-World War II West Germany, a two-major-party pattern has emerged,[19] and in France since the advent of the Fifth Republic, a coalition of right of center parties with a wide spectrum of principles has controlled the government and had some influence on the rapprochement of otherwise feuding Communist and Socialist parties on the opposition side. By and by, even the Communist parties of some countries such as Italy and France are accepting the bourgeois rules of the game and recognizing that in case of accession to power--probably in coalition with other parties, but even if alone--they may not be able to implement their totalitarian programs without disrupting the intricate com­plex of economic and social interests to the point of cutting their own throats. In effect, these Communist parties have slowly merged into the prevailing bourgeois symbiosis.


A political party in power, then, does not do what it theoretically wants to do, but what it can do--unless, of course, it has played the parliamentarian game to gain power and abolish the system, as did the National Socialist Party in Germany in 1933. But this latter possibility can occur only under certain total environmental conditions. In the context of Western European political cultures with developed party affiliations and intricate power complexes, even when one party can muster a majority and take control of the government, it has to adapt its policies more or less away from its abstract principles to fit into the social realities, the existing governmental bureaucracy, the constitutional checks and balances and the pressure of other political parties. Their common ground is the business of government and whether they compete, compromise or collaborate, they have to learn, master and absorb the ways of government: what we called in Chapter Three the specialization to control. In that context, those who aspire to this specialization develop common outlooks.


III. The "Business" of Government: Politicians and Bureaucrats


In its benign form, the common outlook of those in the business of government makes coalition governments by communist and liberal, conservative and social­ist or monarchist and republican parties possible. It is reflected in the attitude of compromise that may be adopted by politicians despite their ideologies that split the people at the base, and thus rounds some of the edges of their conflicts to get on with the business of government. The less there are edges and the more the collusion coincides with class identifica­tion, the more the nature of government may move from democratic to oligar­chic patterns. There may still be popular participation in the installation of authorities, but the people will be "informed" and "advised" as to whom they should choose to hold authority and who will safeguard their best interests. The assumption is that, after all, whether mediocre or elite, those in the higher strata of social order, with their broader foresight and vision, are better placed to see who would serve best at representation and government. Informing and advising is not necessarily an outright imposition, but a process of conditioning and persuasion, notably through the value­-forming agencies, as we discussed earlier. The elect will know better who the elite are. This was, in essence, the early premise of aristocracy[20] -­which eventually corrupted elitism with the assumption of hereditary quali­ties for government--and has also been the argument of regimes based on the rule of one ideological party.


While at a revolutionary and dynamic stage of social flux such a tendency may be qualified as elitist, its perpetuation can evolve into an oligarchy, i.e., rule by a few--not necessarily the best qualified. To perpetuate their authority, those who govern will develop symbols and rituals of identifica­tion and qualification which, while giving them cohesion, will make their group hard to penetrate. The more it becomes closed with its own criteria of affiliation, the less will its intrinsic qualities of excellence be measur­able by social standards, but will be asserted because of its political control.


The ruling class will be elite because .it is in power. That, as we saw in our discussion of power, can be a convincing argument in politics. While antagonisms may exist among the components of an oligarchy, the conflicts and compromises will be like those between industrialists competing for a market. Their interests may clash and, where their survival is threatened by the competition, they may try to eliminate each other. But if one cannot eliminate the other, or if such elimination weakens the position of the survivor, allowing more dangerous and less compatible competitors to arise, they may agree to control the market (read "polity") through an oligopoly (read "oligarchy"). Even when one eliminates the other, the successor is likely to absorb the components of the defunct competitor because they are usable and instrumental.


The common outlook of those in the business of government does not necessarily imply that they will totally identify with each other beyond certain bounds of their ideological, religious and economic differences. But where and to the extent they do, the machinery of government falls into oligarchic control, which will tend towards exclusivity as the "governing" common characteristics of its components become more prominent, overshadowing their particular identities. Oligarchy has both a class and a professional component; a community of outlook among those who are in the business of government. Michels argued that it is a class in itself, perpetuating itself and recruiting itself.[21]  It is a class all right, but with the particular trait that even where it does not consciously perpetuate itself, it grows out of the circumstances, because it is a social category on which organized society depends. In the generic sense, this political class is a phenomenon of the body politic. A society needs to be run, and those assigned to run it, or attracted to it, develop an angle of vision and interests and cultivate certain behavior and attitudes.[22]  In the structural sense, this political class may require particular qualifications which may be tacitly or expressly instituted. The convergence of the generic and structural dimensions of political and bureaucratic oligarchy with pluralism may be more or less fluid depending on the particular political culture.


Of course, extreme fluidity, as our earlier discussions have revealed, is not a reality. We may, for example, consider American political culture as fluid enough to permit those with a bent for it to join or let themselves be recruited into the political current. We soon find out, however, that certain backgrounds, milieux and means are more likely to introduce the individual into the political oligarchy. Of the thirty-nine United States presidents, for example, twenty-two practiced law; and the overwhelming majority of senators and congressmen have legal backgrounds. However, the social class background of the American politicians and bureaucrats has remained comparatively fluid. The relatively fluid political recruitment process has permitted the political class to coincide more easily with the economically dominant class. Where the political "class" is more structured, with symbols, rules and rituals of recruitment, it can develop more distinctly from the economically dominant class, coinciding with it more or less. The Confucian state examinations in traditional China and their products, the Mandarin class, provide the most striking examples of a distinct and powerful political class--combined with the courtly aristocracy and military war lords.


We discussed in Chapter Seven the development of the business of government in the early middle ages in Europe, with ecclesiastic, clerical and aristocratic combinations. This political oligarchy was recruited from different classes, with some dealing in public administration, others with the legal and organizational aspects of government. When the social and economic conditions in Europe evolved to make the bourgeoisie economically dominant, the business of government was not altogether wrested out of the hands of a political oligarchy which, even when overthrown as the agent of the old regime, had to be partly recomposed and reinstated by the new social and economic currents to deal with the business of government and to form and initiate the new political class. Many of the deputies of the French Third Estate during the revolution were liberal aristocrats and clergymen. Among them was the striking Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun, who floated with the changing tides and became successively popular representative to the National Assembly in 1789, Napoleon's minister of foreign relations in 1798, head of the provisional government in 1814 (which forfeited the Napoleonic empire and called on Louis XVIII to restore the old regime), negotiator for peace on behalf of France at the Congress of Vienna, and French ambassador to London under Louis Philippe in the 1830's. Michels reported in 1908 that the French Republic had a good number of aristocrats in its diplomatic service and armed forces, and that no less than sixty-one of the 584 deputies in the French legislature belonged to the old aristocracy.[23]  Many of the present French fonctionnaires claim aristocratic descendence.[24]  In reality, however, they are more products of the bourgeois culture in terms of their social roles, but are conscious of their traditional governmental technocracy.


The governmental oligarchy or the political class within a society has a managerial quality which, to some extent, remains distinct from the economic, social and other currents, interacts with them and, while being influenced by them, influences them in its turn. Where it has remained less structured, it is more easily intertwined with the other social currents--although that is the exception rather than the rule; and even in the United States where there has been less of a governmental and bureaucratic tradition, those in the business of government, whether executives, judges or politicians, develop behavioral and attitudinal traits and "class" consciousness, thus comprising "the establishment."


As it becomes more structured, the political oligarchy develops its own jargon, symbols and modes of behavior which are socially identifiable and, at the same time, both accepted and resented by those who submit to it. The French call the governmental class "ils" (they), and the British call it "they."[25] "They" are best off in their "establishment" milieu if they have had the right background and have learned the tricks of the trade. In France, the business of government has had a long tradition with its own tacit and explicit processes of formation, selection and recruitment--to a large degree because of the governmental control and organization of the educational system. Certain educational backgrounds and training patterns are not only indispensable for becoming part of the administrative machinery of government, but are favorable assets for an active political life in general.[26]  Although the British Civil Service has not had a systematic structure comparable to the French and those of other continental polities, mainly because of its particular evolution and characteristics, it has, because of Britain's past role as a world power and an imperial administration, and the complexities of modern bureaucracy, gained considerable status and leverage in the country's political life.[27]


It may seem that starting with democracy as direct popular participation in politics which can evolve into "aristocracy" (elitism) and oligarchy, we are implying that this oligarchy--or political class--is synonymous with the bureaucratic apparatus of the government. Synonymous it is not, because it is, as such, not the holder of sovereignty, which is supposed to be held by those the governmental bureaucracy is to serve. If we have given an impression that the machinery of government is omnipotent, it is because bureaucracy does indeed, in many ways, appear to escape the force of gravity of those who are invested with sovereign rights and instead has them gravitate around it.[28]  The Fourth French Republic was a succession of unstable ministerial cabinets which came and went at the whim of the National Assembly, but political organization was maintained because of a stable bureaucratic infrastructure. The phenomenon is not new. De Tocqueville had already remarked over a century ago that "since [1789] the administrative system has always stood firm amid the debacles of political systems."[29]  The Fifth Republic has further enhanced the role of technocrats and bureaucrats in policy-making while instituting appropriate controls for detailed policy evaluation within the executive branch rather than the legislative.[30]


As for the British, as Max Nicholson puts it, "British administration has... very gradually changed from that of a picked band of permanent officials operating under the aegis of a succession of individual Ministers to that of a succession of Ministers being grafted more or less temporarily on to the permanent and firmly structured organism of a Department of State."[31]  Nicholson asks to what extent the "true authority to exercise sovereignty, which long since passed from the Crown to Parliament, and thence to the Cabinet and thence largely to the Prime Minister, has in Practice passed once more from the Ministerial level as a whole to the permanent heads of the Civil Service?"[32]  He then depicts a portrait in which, indeed, the minister is not always the party who has his way in the administration of his area of responsibilities.


The governmental bureaucracy and technocracy are not, of course, all there is to the political oligarchy, but one of the basic dimensions making oligarchy the most likely pattern of political participation, representation and control.[33]  Even the autocratic form, at the opposite end of the spectrum from democracy, will have to tend towards oligarchy, be it only for the indispensability of bureaucratic and technocratic delegation of power. Indeed, autocracy, in the sense of self-appointment to government, can be only a passing moment; and to evolve from what amounts to a usurpation into a functioning machinery, it will have to rely on a bureaucracy, hence become dependent on it, and in one way or another share power with it.


The phenomenon has recurred throughout history, and while the institutional turgescence (see next chapter) of a bureaucratic oligarchy may at times cause a state to decline, the leftovers of that bureaucracy, if they still bear some competence, can secure some continuity for the culture and personality of the defunct state. Germany after World War II presents, to some extent, a recent example. Even though the Nazi officials were partly eliminated, there were those, like Adenauer, of the pre-Nazi era who could assure the continuity of the German political identity. Another more remote, but perhaps more striking example is the Persian governmental bureaucracy and technocracy which, through the ages, since the Achemenid Empire's collapse in the fourth century B.C., served successive waves of less sophisticated invaders and autocrats and adapted itself to each rule, but at the same time converted them to acceptable governments for the country and secured not only a modicum of continuity for the culture, but also its propagation in the neighboring areas through the powers-that-be.[34]  Similar roles of the bureaucratic apparatus can be evoked in China and to some extent in Italy after the collapse of the Roman Empire. While in China the role of the Mandarins in the continuity of the political culture is more identifiable than it is in Persia, the vicissitudes it encountered were less momentous, disruptive and colorful than those of the Iranian plateau. As for Italy, the dispersion of the Roman culture in Europe and the development and intertwining with it of the Germanic and Christian patterns make identification of the predominant strain of classical Roman bureaucratic class (although existing) more complex.


As our illustration of the preponderance of bureaucracy, technocracy and political activism in a polity has evolved within the context of degrees of popular participation, running along the spectrum of democracy, aristocracy (elitism), oligarchy and autocracy, it has reverted us to our discussion of the specialization to control, suggesting the tendency of polities towards oligarchy in political participation and government. However, we need to distinguish between political preponderance of a bureaucratic oligarchy and its possible social pervasion. One does not automatically imply the other. The development of political control into social control depends on the complex of factors we have reviewed so far. A bureaucratic oligarchy at the service of a monolithic tax-taking empire presenting a "confusion" of powers may wield great military and administrative control but not interfere with broad areas of social activities. Also limited may be the social role of a government bureaucracy in a polity with diffusion of power in a liberal economy, as was the case of the United States in decades past. The bureaucratic oligarchy may increasingly gain leverage in social activities where the prevailing political philosophy calls for greater concernment (as discussed in Chapter Twelve), resulting from complexity and heterogeneity of a technologically developing society and/or imposed by an extreme monolithic totalitarian control.


IV. The Role of Government


In our discussion of political parties, we referred to their philosophies, reflecting some of the modern political thoughts covered earlier. Some, as we saw, would claim a goal of total abolition of the state, which, we noticed, could paradoxically turn into totalitarian policies similar to some at the other end of the spectrum advocating total state control over social life. Between these extremes is a range of possibilities for more or less diffusion of power, depending on the political cultures and combinations of party philosophies. The extremes and the possibilities between them provide the range of what can be expected of government.[35]


There is, at one extreme, the nonexistence of government, i.e., anarchy. Our discussions in Chapter Twelve revealed that anarchy in the ideal sense of ultimate human consciousness, and order and justice without government, is unlikely for social organization. Not only are other human needs and drives not always compatible with the sociological needs for order and justice, but the very fact of social relations calls for organization; organization implies distribution of tasks; distribution of tasks in any reasonably complicated social situation will call for specialization, in turn causing differentiations which, as we have seen, will set standards and hierarchies. Hierarchy produces classification and hence classes, which then institute an authority to safeguard the privileges of certain classes. This is, in effect, a Marxian simplification of the process. We have seen that the political dimension is more complex. In fact, beyond the ideal stage, the anarchist thinkers themselves have more or less recognized the need for the ground rules of social organization--which they have wanted to be apolitical.


To the question, "What will these people who talk of abolishing government put in place of it?" Proudhon answers:


It is industrial organization that we will put in place of government ....

In place of laws, we will put contracts.-- No more laws voted by a majority, nor even unanimously; each citizen, each town, each industrial union, makes its own laws.

In place of political powers, we will put economic forces.

In place of the ancient classes of nobles, burghers, and peasants, or of business men and working men, we will put the general titles and special departments of industry: Agriculture, Manufacture, Commerce, &c.

In place of public force, we will put collective force.

In place of standing armies, see will put industrial associations.

In place of police, we will put identity of interests.

In place of political centralization, we will put economic centralization.[36]


In effect, Proudhon proposes a combination of cooperative communal and professional interest groups within the broad context of a network of multinational corporations. According to anarchists the obstacle to this scheme, we noted, is political government which has to be abolished. This proposition, however, defeats the purpose of an anarchist party's participation in the political process. We saw that this apparent paradox is circumvented by Communist parties which aim at gaining control of the government and using it to abolish private property capitalism, consequently causing its instrument, the state, to wither away. The snag in these approaches is that politics is taken as something dismountable from within the social context, and private property capitalism as its only inspiration. Private property and manipulation of capital are only part of the components which feed power, which in turn is converted into authority. The aggressive man who runs for office does not necessarily have capitalistic aims. His aims, more often than not, are psychological. They are what Françoise Giroud identified as the dilatation of ME, for power, position and recognition.[37]  The society gives in a little and uses a lot of his ambitions and psychological bent for its own organization.


As we have seen, politics is an integral, interwoven part of the social flux. Its essence is the need for authority (you may call it whatever you like) and, depending on the political culture and its total environment, it may be dispersed arid diffused more or less, but only to certain limits. Indeed, the diffusion of power in the United States ironically presents some of the characteristics of the society Proudhon had in mind. The federal, stage and local governments are impregnated with the economic power of industrial corporations run by ambitious executives who do not necessarily represent the views of any particular capitalist but of capitalism per se and anonymous shareholders. The workers' unions are also run by an oligarchy of aggressive executives. These interest groups influence the parties and, through their lobbies, the government. With a cynical twist, we may find that the military-industrial complex has gone a long way toward replacing standing armies with industrial associations. Of course, this is not what Proudhon had in mind. He meant industrial competition instead of war. But in many ways, the multinational corporations are developing in that direction. As gunboat diplomacy becomes increasingly obsolete for imposing economic supremacy, the multinational corporations find the fiction of sovereignty rather in the way of their expansion. Thus, with the development of the complex, modern, industrial society, a diffusion of power may seem to take place.


The statement, as usual, needs qualification. The central government does not wither away; it may even grow bigger and more proliferous because, as the society grows in material complexity and interest groups become politically involved and mesh, the government is called upon to regulate a greater number of fields. As it does, depending on the magnitude of the interplaying power complexes within the society, it may extend its authority within the different fields of its competence to the structure or substance of those fields.[38]  It is the breadth of the fields and the depth of governmental involvement in their structure or substance that can indicate the nature of governmental control within a spectrum going from the ideal state of anarchy to totalitarianism. The degree of control also depends on the prevailing political philosophies within a culture. We may conceive a chart indicating breadth and depth of governmental involvement (see below).


Our chart shows how, in modern political terms, the state is likely to become pervasive without initial totalitarian intentions, and yet how the proliferation of its intervention in different social, economic, educational, cultural and other domains can easily tip over into excessive control.


The totalitarian concept of the state (I say "state" because the ultimate totalitarian goal is to unify all aspects of life, of which the government is only the political instrument) was posited by Mussolini as follows:


A single party, so that economic discipline may be accompanied by political discipline and so that rising above contrasting interests all may be bound together by a common faith.


Nor is this enough. After the single party there must be the totalitarian State, that is to say the State which absorbs all the energies, all the interests, all the hopes of a people in order to transform and potentiate them.


And this is not yet enough. The third and last and most important condition is to live a period of high ideal tension.[39]


Government responsibilities


At the Nuremburg Trials, Albert Speer, German minister for armaments and war production and Hitler's architect, depicted Hitler's totalitarianism as follows:


...Hitler's dictatorship differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history. His was the first dictatorship in the present period of modern technical development, a dictatorship which made complete use of all technical means for the domination of its own country.


Through technical devices like the radio and the loudspeaker, eighty million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man ....


Earlier dictators needed highly qualified assistants, even at the lowest level, men who could think and act independently. The totalitarian system in the period of modern technical development can dispense with them; the means of communication alone make it possible to mechanize the lower leadership. As a result of this there arises the new type of the uncritical recipient of orders ....Another result was the far-reaching supervision of the citizens of the State and the maintenance of a high degree of secrecy for criminal acts.


The nightmare of many a man that one day nations could be dominated by technical means was all but realized in Hitler's totalitarian system.[40]


However, totalitarianism does not necessarily imply the imposition of a monolithic state on a country by a party using sophisticated mass media and modern propaganda techniques. A theocratic state can attain high degrees of control without electronic gadgets. Once the mind is conquered, it can serve as the agent of the authority without many intermediaries. Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist societies have at times created totalitarian authorities through the power of religion. Totalitarianism is rather a concept which refers to the relationship-between the individual and the social authority. In that sense a community, or a commune in the communist sense, may constitute a total entity regulating all aspects of life through a homogeneous value pattern-thus constituting the point where the ideals of anarchy and totalitarianism converge.


*      *      *


Our loop thus comes to its point of departure at the beginning of the last chapter. We began at the heights of sovereignty and, while keeping in the background the complex canvas of the socio-political flux we had painted in the preceding chapters, traced the contours of political institutions from the state and the different aspects of government down to the people, and then, in this chapter up again through an overview of "democratic" popular representation and political parties back to the state. Out of our discussion of polity, a three-dimensional pattern has emerged, which we could visually summarize thus:

Fig. 14.1


On the basis of what we have covered, we may note that different levels of different dimensions in Fig. 14.1 combine to reflect the realities of particular political cultures. As we have seen, some combinations are more likely than others, and some, at the extremes, are more theoretical than practical. None, however, presents any ready-made formula of government for all times and all places. Not only because the total environment of a polity is ever-evolving, but also because its institutions and authority patterns are themselves made of man, and man escapes simple architectural and mathematical formulations.


[1] "Let that which touches all be approved by all."

[2] David Wechsler, The Measurement and Appraisal of Adult Intelligence, 4th ed. (Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1958), p. 148.

[3] The Federalist, No. 14.

[4] The Federalist, No. 10. See also Alfred De Grazia, Public and Republic: Political Representation in America (New York: Knopf, 1951).

[5] On democracy see, for example, Thomas Jefferson, On Democracy, ed. Saul K. Padover (New York: Penguin, 1946); A. D. Lindsay, The Modern Democratic State, Vol. I (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1943); and Henry B. Mayo, An Introduction to Democratic Theory (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1960).

[6] Sidney Verba and Norman H. Nie, Participation in America (New York: Harper and Row, 1972).

[7] José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses (New York: Norton, 1960), p. 18.

[8] On the question of representation, see notably Carl J. Friedrich, The New image of the Common Man (Boston: Beacon, 1950); also his Man and His Government., notably Ch. 17; and his Constitutional Government and Democracy: Theory and Practice in Europe and America, 4th ed. (Waltham, Mass.: Blaisdell, 1968), notably Ch. 14; Hanna F. Pitkin, The Concept of Representation (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1967); John P. Roche and Murray S. Stedman, Jr., The Dynamics of Democratic Government (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954); and Robert J. Pranger, The Eclipse of Citizenship: Power and Participation in Contemporary Politics (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968).

[9] Giuseppe DiPalma, Apathy and Participation (New York: Free Press, 1970).

[10] Gerald H. Kramer, "Short-term Fluctuations in U. S. Voting Behavior," in APSR, 65:131-143 (1971).

[11] See Robert A. Dahl, ed., Political Oppositions in Western Democracies (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1966), notably Chs. 11, 12 and 13; and also his Regimes and Oppositions (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1973).

[12] For a discussion of this phenomenon in terms of group dynamics see, for example, Grant McConnell, Private Power and American Democracy (New York: Knopf, 1966); Theodore J. Lowi, The End of Liberalism: Ideology, Policy, and the Crisis of Public Authority (New York: Norton, 1969) and his The Politics of Disorder (New York: Basic Books, 1971).

[13] Kay Lawson, The Comparative Study of Political Parties (New York: St. Martin's, 1976).

[14] David Butler and Donald Stokes, Political Change in Britain: Forces Shaping Electoral Choice (London: Macmillan, 1969).

[15] For some basic studies of political parties see Austin Ranney and Willmoore Kendall, Democracy and the American Party System (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1956); Maurice Duverger, Political Parties (London: Methuen, 1954); also his Party Politics and Pressure groups; Seymour M. Lipset, "Party Systems and the Representation of Social Groups," European Journal of Sociology, 1:5085 (1960); Frank J. Sorauf, Political Parties in the American System (Boston: Little, Brown, 1964); Samuel J. Eldersveld, Political Parties: A Behavioral Analysis (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964); and Joseph La Palombara and Myron Weiner, eds., Political Parties and Political Development (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1966).

[16] Moodie, The Government of Great Britain, p. 64.

[17] See notably Key, Public Opinion, p. 67.

[18] For further details see M. G. Kendall and A. Stuart, "The Law of the Cubic Proportion in Election Results," British Journal of Sociology, 1:183196 (1950); also D. E. Butler, The Electoral System in Britain Since 1928 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963).

[19] The contrast between the fragility of the democratic and parliamentary process during the Weimar Republic in Germany after World War I and the rather effective patterns of government in West Germany after World War II can, of course, be attributed to a number of factors. Among them we might mention that the Weimar Republic had the Prussian components of the German political culture, with its authoritarian traditions favoring the National Socialists' para-military approaches to political activism, while the division of Germany into East and West after World War II left the Federal Republic with the western Lander, which since the French Revolution have had a longer exposure to modern democratic and parliamentary forms of government. The River Elbe in Germany has often been considered the appropriate demarcation line between Western and Eastern Europe.

[20]  "Aristo-cracy" in Greek means rule by the élite.

[21] Michels, Political Parties, notably pp. 377 ff.

[22] For a discussion of this topic see Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1951); and B. L. Wynia, "Federal Bureaucrats' Attitudes Toward a Democratic Ideology," in Public Administration, 34:156-162 (1974).

[23] Michels, Political Parties, p. 379.

[24] Francois de Negroni, La France Noble (Paris: Sevil, 1974).

[25] See, for example, Laurence Wylie, Village in the Vaucluse, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1964), for the case of France; and Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy (Fairlawn, N.J.: Essential Books, 1957), notably pp. 62 ff., for the case of Britain.

[26] The French system of the grandes écoles, among them l'Ecole Polytechnique, Eocle Normale Supérieure and Ecole Nationale d'A dministration in particular, not only produces the bulk of the French public administrators--often referred to as the "mandarins" in analogy with the traditional Confucian civil service which virtually ran China--but forms many others outside the strict governmental structures who influence the country's political currents.

[27] See notably Frank J. Goodnow, Politics and Administration: A Study in Government (New York: Macmillan, 1900); Charles S. Hyneman, Bureaucracy in a Democracy (New York: Harper, 1950); Philip Selznick, Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation (Evanston, Ill.: Row, Peterson, 1957); James G. March and Herbert A. Simon, Organizations (New York: Wiley, 1959); Brian Chapman, The Profession of Government: The Public Service in Europe (London: Allen & Unwin, 1959); and F. Ridley and Jean Blondel, Public Administration in France (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1964).

[28] For a discussion of bureaucracy and its relation to the elective body see Samuel Krislov, Representative Bureaucracy (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1974).

[29] Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor, 1955), p. 202.

[30] See notably Victor Silvera, "Reflexion sur la stabilite gouvernementale et l'action administrative depuis 1958," La Revue Administrative, 17:554-555 (1964); and Michel Crozier, The Bureaucratic Phenomenon (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1964).

[31] Max Nicholson, The System: The Misgovernment of Modern Britain (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), p. 187.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Guy Benveniste, The Politics of Expertise (Berkeley: Glendessary, 1972).

[34] Besides the well-known initiation of Alexander into a Persian kingly Weltanschauung, as related by Plutarch and others, the successive waves of Arabs, Turks and Mongol invaders used Persian administrators to control their newly conquered empire.  See, for example, E. Denison Ross, The Persians (Oxford: Clarendon, 1931); A Mirror for Princes (New York: button, 1951); Nizam A1-Mulk, The Book of Government or Rules for Kings, 1086-1091, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960); Ala-ad-Din 'Ata-Malik Juvaini, The History of the World-Conqueror, 1252-1260?, 2 vols, (Manchester, England: Manchester Univ. Press, 1958); and Gaston Wiet, "L'Islam" in Histoire Universelle II, 37-139.

[35] See notably the articles on the subject in The American Scholar, 19: (1950), by Louis M. Hacker, "The Limits of Intervention," 481-486; Charles E. Lindblom,, "Empirical Problems and Particular Goals," 486-488; and Max Lerner, "State Capitalism and Business Capitalism," 488-491.

[36] Proudhon, The General Idea of the Revolution, Seventh Study.

[37] Francoise Giroud, La Comedie du Pouvoir (Paris: Fayard, 1977), p. 231.

[38] Most Western European governments have instituted economic and social control through planning organisms of some kind. Examples of such bodies are the French Commissariat General de Planification, the British National Economic Development Council, the Dutch Central Planning Bureau and the Italian National Economic Program Commission.

[39] Address to the National Corporative Council, Nov. 14, 1933, in Mussolini, Fascism, pp. 60-61.

[40] Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, XXII, pp. 406-407, quoted in Bullock, Hitler, p. 380. On totalitarianism see also Harry Eckstein and David E. Apter, "Totalitarianism and Autocracy: Introduction," in their Comparative Politics: A Reader (New York: Free Press, 1963), pp. 433-440; and Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1966) .