Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Power elite: “more equal” than the others

Chateau Beynac - power of the old days / © Luc Viatour

Considerations of conflict resolution, decision making, economics, and space converge in requiring large societies to be centralized. But centralization of power inevitably opens the door – for those who hold the power, are privy to information, make the decisions, and redistribute the goods – to exploit the resulting opportunities to reward themselves and their relatives… As early societies developed, those acquiring centralized power gradually established themselves as an elite, perhaps originating as one of the several formerly equal-ranked village clans that became “more equal” than the others.

Jared Diamond [Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, 1997]

Hellenic Parliament, Athens - contemporary power / © Gerard McGovern

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