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But if one considers the world movement as a whole, his conclusions are difficult to resist; and even in the United States the all-prevailing faith in laissez-faire may not survive the next great economic crisis. It has been urged against Burnham that he assigns far too much importance to the ‘managers’, in the narrow sense of the word-that is, factory bosses, planners and technicians — and seems to assume that even in Soviet Russia it is these people, and not the Communist Party chiefs, who are the real holders of power. However, this is a secondary error, and it is partially corrected in The Machiavellians. The real question is not whether the people who wipe their boots on us during the next fifty years are to be called managers, bureaucrats, or politicians: the question is whether capitalism, now obviously doomed, is to give way to oligarchy or to true democracy.  

George Orwell, from

Second Thoughts on James Burnham

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