Trattato di Sociologia Generale [The Mind and Society]
Florence: G. Barbéra, 1916. First edition, first impression (in Italian). Octavo, two volumes. Original paper wrappers printed in black, partially unopened. Front joint of volume one repaired; closed tear to front wrapper of volume two, and repaired vertical split to book block of volume two; small library labels at head of each volume; some chipping to spines; a little light spotting internally. From the private library of economist Enrico Barone, with his stamp on front free endpaper of each volume. Very good. Item #41
First issue of Vilfredo Pareto’s (1848–1923) foundational work of elite theory from the library of influential Italian economist Enrico Barone (1859–1924). Pareto was an Italian civil engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and philosopher who made numerous groundbreaking contributions to the developing fields of economics and sociology. Perhaps his best-known work, Trattato di Sociologia Generale was first published in Italy in 1916, and was later published in English by Harcourt, Brace in 1935 in a four-volume edition edited by Arthur Livingston under the title The Mind and Society. Pareto’s Trattato develops one of the first cycle theory of elites, arguing that in every society—no matter how civilized or democratic, a small elite class will always emerge to rule the larger population, for human beings are not born equal with respect to capacities, talents, and other qualities. In this respect, the classless society envisioned by so many modern ideologies is an impossibility—every society will contain rulers, on the one hand, and the ruled on the other. Following his predecessor, Machiavelli, Pareto analyzed the elite class and their techniques by dividing the elites into two general (and competing) psychological types: lions and foxes. The lions represent those elites who would rule by force—those that prioritize tradition over innovation, force over calculation, and that are frequently associated with authoritarian regimes. Alternatively, foxes represent those elites who would rule by manipulation—those that emphasize cunning over power, change and speculation over stability, and that are often associated with more liberal regimes. In this respect, history is a revolving competition among the lions and foxes for the spoils of society. As Pareto is famous for having stated, “history is the graveyard of aristocracies.” Pareto would exercise a profound influence on later sociologists, political scientists, and elite theorists, including Gaetano Mosca, Robert Michels, James Burnham, and Samuel Francis. This first issue of the Trattato was owned by Italian economist Enrico Barone, the first economist to state the conditions under which a competitive market will be Pareto efficient by applying Pareto’s eponymous microeconomic concept of “Pareto efficiency.” Barone greatly admired (and would advance) the mathematical economics developed by Pareto, and ultimately made lasting contributions to the fields of modern international trade theory, the theory of the firm, welfare economics, and the theory of general economic equilibrium. A very important association copy of this pathbreaking work of elite theory, authored and owned by two important and influential Italian economic scholars.