October 4, 2009

Ponderable Quote From "The Ruling Class" by Gaetano Mosca

Gaetano Mosca
April 1, 1858 – Nov. 8, 1941
The most insidious enemy of all aristocracies of birth is undoubtedly, idleness. Idleness generates softness and sensuality, stimulates frivolousness of mind and creates an aspiration to a life of pleasures unaccompanied by duties. When there is no daily pressure from an obligation to do a set task, and when the habit of work has not been formed in early years, it is hard to escape the traps of that deadly enemy. Yet aristocracies that cannot defend themselves adequately from idleness decline rapidly. They may succeed in retaining their ranks and offices nominally for some time, but when such functions are actually exercised by subalterns, the subalterns soon become the actual masters. It can only turn out that the man who acts, and knows how to act, will eventually succeed in commanding.
(Reprinted from The Ruling Class by Gaetano Mosca, p.421, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1939)