By Maurice A . Finocchiaro
A learn of the relationship among Gaetano Mosca and Antonio Gramsci, retaining that they either belong to a similar political culture of democratic elitism. It argues that Gramsci's political concept is a confident critique of Mosca's.
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Extra info for Beyond Right and Left: Democratic Elitism in Mosca and Gramsci (Italian Literature and Thought)
40 Moreover, a definition might be worthless if considered by itself, but not if considered together with other principles in such a way that the whole collection sheds light on some domain of phenomena, is theoretically fruitful, or has explanatory power, predictive power, and empirical content. For example, it would be easy to make it look as if the law of inertia (also called the first law of motion) is devoid of content: we could begin by paraphrasing Isaac Newton's own statement of it, to the effect that every body persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled by an external force to change that state; the analyticity of this statement would be a consequence of the definition of a force as ultimately being nothing but that which changes a body's state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line; from this point of view the law would be saying simply that every body persists in its state of rest or uniform and rectilinear motion unless a change in this state occurs.
This, in turn, would leave the former evaluation as the only viable one. 44 A related objection turns on the explicability of Mosca's principle. "45 However, he goes on to point out that the explanation for why this is so is a more difficult question. He attributes to Mosca an explanation in terms of human nature, and then claims that this explanation need not be accepted. But if human nature is not the cause, the possibility exists that matters might happen otherwise, and thus that, in the future, elitist social division will not necessarily persist.
It is however not the whole but a mere part, although perhaps the most intelligible and enticing part. "50 I agree with Meisel on the substance of his observation, but I would question the critical, "mythological" tenor of his analysis. html6/20/2010 3:19:53 PM next page > page_38 < previous page page_38 next page > Page 38 emerged more than once in the present discussion, and now we hear Meisel expressing the same view. But we must also ask, Who is responsible for the myththat is, for the one-sided interpretation of Mosca's principle?