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What is the definition of the Iron Law of Oligarchy?

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Quick Answer

In political theory, the "Iron Law of Oligarchy" holds that in any organization or society, an elite will naturally emerge independently of democratic election. The theory holds that as businesses grow, so dow power, and as power grows, so does corruption

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The elite is referred to as an "organized minority," whereas the other members from whom the elite inevitably wrest control are referred to as the "unorganized majority."

The theory was introduced by the German sociologist, Robert Michels, in 1915, who was later to become a key supporter of Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy. Michels based his theory on the European political parties of his time, noting that the increase of an organization's complexity over time requires a specialized elite (or bureaucracy) and also curtails ordinary member participation in decision-making.

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