Iron law of institutions

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The iron law of institutions states:[1]

The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution "fail" while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to "succeed" if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

It was formulated by Jonathan Schwarz to describe Nancy Pelosi's unwillingness to consult with Iraq War protestors. It has not yet been passed by any congress or parliament.

John Milton said much the same (through his character, Lucifer):

It is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

  • The West Wing episode "Shutdown" depicts the scenario quite well.

[edit] Footnotes

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