4 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
activities that support the system including those which may be temporarily opposed to the ruling party or elite while any action of the masses to upset the whole 'apple cart3 is 'mass action3. The first is democratic and the second is totalitarian in its potentiality and hence has to be avoided.
Many political theorists of the West have also argued that since it is impossible for everybody to compete, all that is necessary is to create the conditions whereby citizens are empowered to participate in the elections to choose their representatives. After having elected theii.,/ representatives there is no need for further participation by the peoplea because the elected representatives or the elites should be given sufficient^ elbowroom for adjustments and manouvre. After all, democracy is a* matter of adjustment, peaceful settlement of differences, consensus-build-j ing and conflict-resolution on the basis of 'give and take.' To be sure, the architectonics of politics is based on the theory that underneath the surface of any society there lies a wide area of consensus as generally manifested in the constitution or such other instrument. All the conflicts and differences are only on the surface and these are naturally resolved by the institutionalised 'legal' methods. For this type of democratic resolution of 'conflicts' the participation that is necessary is only the minimal one of supporting the 'system.' In fact, as is argued by some, it is necessary that there should be a certain amount of apathy and indifference.2 (Sweet are the uses of adversity!) Only under such conditions can the elite successfully work the system. Too much of participation leads to mass society!/ which, in turn. leads to the establishment of totalitarianism. This is a( perverted view of the 'masses' and their role in the making of history. As long as the masses are the objects of history because of their apathy, poverty and hence an apolitical attitude, which is what they naturally will exhibit in certain societies, and at certain periods, the elites will play their part. It is not intended here to go back to the age-old controversy starting fnom Plutarch, regarding the role of heroes in history, to Thomas Carlyle, Charles Kingsley and H W G Davis.8
These ideas that underplay the role of the masses would be discerned in most writings of Max Weber in his analysis of a universal bureaucracy and those of various other earlier elitists like Mosca and Pareto and also contemporarily in many Western writings. Mosca and Pareto became apologists of the rising Fascist and counter-revolutionary movements in their country. In the final analysis the argument advanced by the political theorists, that certain amount of elbowroom must be given to the leaders to adjust and manipulate differences in order to maintain stability and that mass participation inhibits this adjustment is but anj^tgjision of the elitist theories. When 'masses' are being discussed, it is not to be viewed as an amorphous conglomeration or a heterogenous multitude. Without a class definition of the 'masses' one would certainly be led to the conclusions drawn by the various critics of 'mass society.' A few examples are in order: J Ortega, Y Gasset4 speak of mass predominance leading to