Posted by: New Class Traitor | January 29, 2010

O’Sullivan’s law

Via an off-hand remark in the comments section of this article, I stumbled on this golden oldie: O’Sullivan’s Law. (John O’Sullivan is currently the executive editor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.)

Robert Michels — as any reader of James Burnham’s finest book, The Machiavellians, knows was the author of the Iron Law of Oligarchy. This states that in any organization the permanent officials will gradually obtain such influence that its day-to-day program will increasingly reflect their interests rather than its own stated philosophy. […] O’Sullivan’s First Law: All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing. I cite as supporting evidence the ACLU, the Ford Foundation, and the Episcopal Church. The reason is, of course, that people who staff such bodies tend to be the sort who don’t like private profit, business, making money, the current organization of society, and, by extension, the Western world. At which point Michels’s Iron Law of Oligarchy takes over — and the rest follows.

Is there any law which enables us to predict the behavior of right-wing organizations? As it happens, there is: Conquest’s Second Law (formulated by the Sovietologist Robert Conquest): The behavior of an organization can best be predicted by assuming it to be controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.


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