The Iron Law of Oligarchy by Robert Michels

Elpidio Valdes

It’s time for some RealPolitik!

Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy is a book by the sociologist Robert Michels, published in 1911 and first introducing the concept of iron law of oligarchy.

This work analyses the power structures of organizations such as political parties and trade unions. Michels’s main argument is that all organizations, even those in theory most egalitarian and most committed to democracy – like socialist political parties – are in fact oligarchical, and dominated by a small group of leadership.

Let me share some of favorite parts:

Part 1: Leadership in Democratic Organizations

Democracy is inconceivable without organization. … Organization, based as it is upon the principle of least effort, that is to say, upon the greatest possible economy of energy, is the weapon of the weak in their struggle with the strong.

The chances of success in any…

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David Johnson: Skeptics and Seekers

A wonder interview!

Graceful Atheist

David Johnson
Click to play episode on anchor.fm



My guest this week is David Johnson, the co-host and creator of the Skeptics and Seekers podcast and blog. David is a former Church of Christ member and a pastor’s kid. He was baptized at 7, leading the church in song at 7, preaching at 12, the youth leader at 15 and assistant minister at 21.

Was I the real thing? Pathologically so.

His deconversion process began as he examined the Church of Christ’s doctrine against musical accompaniment in worship. He says “the little things, were the big things.” And if the little things were wrong, what else might be wrong?

You know, I think we might be wrong about that [instrumental accompaniment].
And that was hard for me.
It was hard in a way that I am not going to be able to express.
For me, if we were wrong about musical instruments…

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Poking fun at pascal’s Wager.

My god is bigger than your god! Na uh! Uh huh! Nananana!

Skeptical Exaddict

I saw this shared to that group filled with dummies, and it amuses me.

Sekhmet

What amuses me is it is an obvious poke at Pascal’s Wager, which posits that it is safer to bet that god exists than risk the “consequences”.

Of course the main problem with Pascal’s Wager, and I’ve written about it before so I won’t get too deep now, is that like many arguments in religious apologetics, it only works if you assume your god is the only “true” god and that you are indoctrinated but not really thinking. So you have to assume your god is real to justify assuming your god is real. Since many others were worshipped throughout history, the argument doesn’t actually make any sense, because the probability of being born into the right religion and then brainwashed to believe in the right god is miniscule, even if you assume a god…

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Six Reasons Why I’m Not a Christian

Ken Thackery’ articles are exceptionally well-written and should challenge believers and unbelievers to up their knowledge set.

Atheist's Guide to Christianity

I did think my blogging days were well & truly over. I’d said all I wanted to say about Christianity and its dubious origins, and I’d relegated myself to a casual blog reader who left occasional comments. However, recent unprovoked abusive comments from a certain blogger [see here and here] have caused me to saddle up and respond to this unwarranted & totally unprovoked abuse [see below for a flavour of these comments]

if you and s****** want my vote for most profoundly ignorant bloggers on WordPress”

“don’t have time to endlessly entertain your silliness”

reduces your credibility to less than worthless”

you seem more like an angry lunatic

“Sorry, Ken but you are a dime a dozen internet atheist and not worth the time”

I’ll start this blog by clarifying the central issue causing all this animosity. Christians claim Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem…

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The Christianity Myth

A superbly written article dismantling the claims of Christianity. A true must read! Please reblog, share.

Atheist's Guide to Christianity

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Why Gary Habermas is wrong when he claims the Gospel evidence can be trusted.

© 2014 KAG Thackerey All rights reserved

Introduction

The orthodox evidence used by Christians to validate Christian dogma, is re-evaluated in the light of our better understanding of temporal lobe epilepsy, and this same evidence, is then used to challenge the veracity of this Christian dogma. The book explains the existence of both Christianity and the New testament, without resorting to divine intervention. Christians will find the book challenging, but more open-minded readers, should find it both interesting & informative.  [Cited biblical passages are taken from the N.I.V Bible].

My Journey of Discovery Begins

As an agnostic church goer, I always doubted Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem as Christians claim. I eventually decided to research the origins of Christianity, hoping my new found knowledge would convince me to become a Christian. I first read Jesus…

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On Doctrine

TheCommonAtheist

In order to be effective, a doctrine must not be understood, but has rather to be believed in. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength“—Eric Hoffer

A doctrine to be effective must be viewed from the heart, not from the brain, to maintain staying power.

“The devout are always urged to seek truth with their hearts and not their minds

Rudolph Hess, when swearing in the entire Nazi party in 1934, exhorted the hearers: “Do not seek Adolf Hitler with your brains—all of you will find him with the strength of your hearts”.

It is obvious today more than ever that the true believer is just that—a believer that doesn’t understand the doctrine. Everyone else is doing it wrong sounds familiar, and many Christians are now despising Christianity—the outcome of the doctrine.

When we fully understand the doctrine (like we do the nazi…

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Credit—Yahweh!

TheCommonAtheist

If scientists find a way to fight pathogens made by God, thank god, however sacrilegious and faithless it is to interfere with gods plan.

If one casts a hurricane into another (apparently less righteous) neighborhood in the name of Jesus, thank god.

A man fell 40 stories while washing windows in New York City and survived by landing on his best friend, who also fell and was killed. God saved his life, therefore, god is great. It’s a miracle. The man said, “I know god now has a purpose for me”. After 20 or so surgeries, god healed him and now he is back to work.

A friend of mine has a horse that came down with a rare form of colic that is often fatal. After a week at the vet the horse is now home, but all along the way they requested Facebook prayers and documented every miracle…

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The Weekly Roundup – 2.7.20

The Amateur Exegete

You didn’t want it, ask for it, or need it, but nevertheless the Weekly Roundup has returned!

  • Andre Gagne (PhD, Université catholique de Louvain/Université de Montréal) posted the first in a series on eschatology entitled “Unraveling the ‘End Times,’” complete with that charming Canadian accent we’ve all come to love in our neighbors to the north. Gagne discusses various eschatological frameworks including preterism, historicism, idealism, and futurism, as well as the subject of the millennium which is variously interpreted by Christians. For example, I grew up a dispensational premillennialist of the Scofield/Larkin/Ruckmanite variety (Jesus returns before the 1,000 year reign of Rev. 20) but in my 20s moved to amillennialism (the “1,000” is symbolic of the post-Resurrection era before Jesus’ return). If you’re not familiar with Christian eschatology or if you just need a refresher, Gagne’s series so far looks like a great place to start!
  • The January…

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What Evidence Would Be Enough?

TheCommonAtheist

Which came first, the belief or the believer? Evidence for god would be some universal truth, however, the closest proximities to that are the core shamanistic principles and practices common throughout all corners of the world, developed over the millennia by their utility. Nobody had ever heard of Yahweh outside the near east, which begs a question.

Did your belief in god lead you to accept nature as evidence, or did nature lead you to conclude there is a god? If you believed first in god, you’ve fallen victim to the explainers. How many of you as a child, took a walk in the forest and thought, wow, this pinecone is evidence for god, without first being influenced that direction?

“In our standard view of things, consciousness exists only in the brains of highly evolved organisms, and hence consciousness exists only in a tiny part of the universe and only…

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Two New Elements Discovered

TheCommonAtheist

At the core of religion we find it relates to science after all. After peeling back the layers we find…nothing. No substance, no proof, no matter, no bliss, but “under intense geographic pressure to believe”. Delusionite©, discovered years ago in the ancient Near East, now has been added to the periodic table. “We have conclusive evidence of its existence by the invisible features that affect all other matters through exhaustive explaining

Having elements of stagnation, it appears mobile and spreads in viral epidemiology. Unfortunately it bonds easily with Pretendium©, which has no mass or atomic weight and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, causing hopeless waiting.

Belief is merely a guru challenge—a psychological barrier placed before humanity. Until we can transcend it’s limitations, we are not collectively responsible enough to handle the truth, so we occupy our time in endless debate over who has the best imagination.

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