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Vilfredo Pareto
1848 - 1923

Sociologist and political philosopher. Pareto was an early inspiration to Mussolini, which later burdened his work with suspicion about his fascist tendencies and made him unfashionable. His best-known works include The Transformation of Democracy, Les Systemes Socialistes, and Treatise on Sociology.


The plutocracy has invented countless makeshift programs, such as generating enormous public debt that plutocrats know they will never be able to repay, levies on capital, taxes which exhaust the incomes of those who do not speculate, sumptuary laws which have historically proven useless, and other similar measures. The principal goal of each of these measures is to deceive the multitudes.

1920 - from The Transformation of Democracy
When a living creature loses the sentiments which, in given circumstances are necessary to it in order to maintain the struggle for life, this is a certain sign of degeneration, for the absence of these sentiments will, sooner or later, entail the extinction of the species.

from Les Systemes Socialistes
A sign which almost invariably presages the decadence of an aristocracy is the intrusion of humanitarian feelings and of affected sentimentalizing which render the aristocracy incapable of defending its position.

from Les Systemes Socialistes
The socialists of our day have clearly perceived that the revolution at the end of the eighteenth century led merely to the bourgeoisie's taking the place of the old elite. They exaggerate a good deal the burden of oppression imposed by the new masters, but they do sincerely believe that a new elite of politicians will stand by their promises better than those which have come and gone up to the present day. All revolutionaries proclaim, in turn, that previous revolutions have ultimately ended up by deceiving the people; it is their revolution alone which is the true revolution.

from Les Systemes Socialistes
The [class] struggle is not confined only to two classes: the proletariat and the capitalist; it occurs between an infinite number of groups with different interests, and above all between the elites contending for power.

from Les Systemes Socialistes