‘Lenin's Heir’, which provoked violent controversy in the American left-wing press, has not yet been reprinted in England, and I must return to it later.
It will be seen that Burnham's theory is not, strictly speaking, a new one.
The new ‘managerial’ societies will not consist of a patchwork of small, independent states, but of great super-states grouped round the main industrial centres in Europe, Asia, and America.
These super-states will fight among themselves for possession of the remaining uncaptured portions of the earth, but will probably be unable to conquer one another completely.
Machiavelli and his followers taught that in politics decency simply does not exist, and, by doing so, Burnham claims, made it possible to conduct political affairs more intelligently and less oppressively.
A ruling class which recognised that its real aim was to stay in power would also recognise that it would be more likely to succeed if it served the common good, and might avoid stiffening into a hereditary aristocracy.
Burnham lays much stress on Pareto's theory of the ‘circulation of the élites’.