Vilfredo Pareto  

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"Who is this new god called Universal Suffrage?" Pareto asked at the beginning of this century [in The Mind and Society]. And he answered: "He is no more exactly definable, no less shrouded in mystery, no less beyond the pale of reality, than the hosts of other divinities; nor are there fewer or less patent contradictions in his theology than in theirs. Worshippers of Universal Suffrage are not led by their god. It is they who lead him— and by the nose, determining the forms in which he must manifest himself. Oftentimes proclaiming the sanctity of 'majority rule,' they resist 'majority rule' by obstructionist tactics, even though they form but small minorities, and burning incense to the Goddess Reason, they in no wise disdain, in certain cases, alliances with Chicanery, Fraud, and Corruption."^ Whatever the form of government, by whatever name it is called, it is always, according to the Italian sociologist, rule by some elite, a minority that rules either by deception or by violence. And many intellectuals today would agree with that judgment. Any view which regards democracy as having roots in objective reality is discarded as hopelessly naive, a form of self-deception from which the student of politics should seek emancipation." Moral Foundation of Democracy (1954) is a book by John Hallowell

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto (15 July 1848 – 19 August 1923) was an Italian philosopher, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and engineer. He made several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices. He was also responsible for popularising the use of the term "elite" in social analysis.

He introduced the concept of Pareto efficiency and helped develop the field of microeconomics. He was also the first to discover that income follows a Pareto distribution, which is a power law probability distribution. The Pareto principle was named after him, and it was built on observations of his such as that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by about 20% of the population. He also contributed to the fields of sociology and mathematics, according to the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot and Richard L. Hudson:

"His legacy as an economist was profound. Partly because of him, the field evolved from a branch of moral philosophy as practised by Adam Smith into a data intensive field of scientific research and mathematical equations. His books look more like modern economics than most other texts of that day: tables of statistics from across the world and ages, rows of integral signs and equations, intricate charts and graphs.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Vilfredo Pareto" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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