Robert Michels

Robert Michels

Born: 1876. Died: 1936.


Born to a wealthy German family, Robert Michels is a sociologist best known for his book Political Parties, which contains a description of the iron law of oligarchy, which states that political parties and other membership organizations inevitably tend toward oligarchy, authoritarianism, and bureaucracy.

He moved to Italy, where he became a revolutionary syndicalist.

He died in Rome, Italy in 1936.

Major Books of Robert Michels

- Amour et chasteté; essais sociologiques, 1914
- Boycottage International, 1936
- Corso di sociologia politica (First Lectures in Political Sociology), 1927
- Einfluss der faschistischen Arbeitsverfassung auf die Weltwirtschaft, 1929
- Elite e/o Democrazia, G. Volpe, 1972
- Grenzen der Geschlechtsmoral, (Sexual Ethics: A Study of Borderland Questions), 1914
- Imperialismo italiano, studi politico-demografici, 1914
- Organizzazione del commercio estero, 1925
- Patriotismus, prolegomena zu seiner soziologischen analyse, 1929
- Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy, 1915
- Probleme der Sozialphilosophie, 1914
- Proletariato e la borghesia nel movimento socialista italiano, 1908
- Sittlichkeit in ziffern? Kritik der moralstatistik, 1928
- Storia Critica del Socialismo Italiano Dagli Inizi Fino 1911, l926
- Syndicalisme & socialisme, 1908
- Verelendungstheorie; Studien und Untersuchungen zur internationalen Dogmengeschichte der Volkswirtschaft, with a foreword by Heinz Maus, 1970
- Zur Soziologie des Parteiwesens in der modernen Demokratie. Untersuchungen über die oligarchischen Tendenzen des Gruppenlebens, (Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy), 1911

Quotes from Robert Michels

- "Organization implies the tendency to oligarchy. ... As a result of organization, every party or professional union becomes divided into a minority of directors and a majority of directed." (from "Political Parties", 1925)


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