Top-Rated Free Essay

EE Schattschneider

Powerful Essays
The Political Science of E. E. Schattschneider: A Review Essay Author(s): David Adamany
Reviewed work(s):
Source: The American Political Science Review, Vol. 66, No. 4 (Dec., 1972), pp. 1321-1335 Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL:
Accessed: 20/12/2012 14:18

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

American Political Science Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to
The American Political Science Review.

This content downloaded on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:18:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

The Political Science of E. E. Schattschneider : A Review Essay*
U niversity of W isconsin at M adison

Of his own work, E. E. Schattschneider ( 1892-1971 ) once said, "I suppose the most important thing I have done in my field is that I have talked longer and harder and more persis­ tently and enthusiastically about political par­ ties than anyone else alive.'' 1 It was an assess­ ment very wide of the mark. Yet, he remains today almost exclusively identified with the idea of party reform, of a responsible two-pa rty sys­ tem.
It is true, also, that Schattschneider's literary style sometimes diverted attention from the scope and power of his work. Often lyrical, epi­ grammatic, and metaphorical, Schattsch neid­ er's writing is in a literary league quite apart from modern scholarship.2 What contemporary political scientist would say:
The boss is as American as a jazz band.'
The party in Congress is like a Mexican army; everyone in it takes care of himself. When the enemy appears he may fight, ru n or parley as he thinks best. This is the kind of a rmy that can be overwhelmed by one man assisted by a boy beat­ ing a dishpan.•
[The parties] let themselves be ha rried by pres­ sure grou ps as a timid whale might be pursued by a school of minnows.'
Political science, like Genesis, begins with chaos but it does not end there.';
American Business and Public Policy slays a choice ollection of political dragons: economic deter­ mi nism is manhandled; myths abou t lobbyists and businessmen, a nd a Jot of folklore about coneress­ men a re destroyed. It kil ls off or wounds a ;mall army of pressu re boys and grou pists, and torpedoes
* I am indebted to my Wesleyan colleagues, Rich­ ard W. Boyd , Fred I. Greenstein, and Clement E. Vose, for their helpful comments on ea rlier d rafts of this paper.
1 The Wesleyan Argus, March 5, 1971, p. 2. 'Schattschneider's standard for his own writi ng was its forcefulness and persuasiveness when read aloud. His method was to read his work to his wife Florence and then to revise passages to improve their rhetorical quality.
3 E. E. Schattschneider, Party Government ( New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Wi nston, 1942), p. 106.
4 Party Government, p. 196.
.; Part y Government, p. 197.
" E. E. Schattschneider, "Intensity, Visibility, Di­ rection and Scope," American Political Science Re­ view, 51 (December, 1957), 935. at least a boatload of pu blic opinionists . All friends of democracy will applaud the slaughter.;
The schoolboy who wrote that Congress is the ant­ onym of Progress probably expressed about as well as anyone can the sense of frustration most Ameri­ cans have when they think about the national legislature.'
The compulsion to know everything is the road to insanity."
Philosophers have beguiled us with tales about the origi n of government about as convincing as the fables we tell children about where babies come from."
. . . when Congress takes time to pass a bill "in­ creasing the penalty for making false oaths for the purpose of bathing at the government bath house at Hot Springs, Arkansas," one has a feel­ ing that we may be using a cyclotron to warm up a cup of coffee.11
A political party which . . . does not capitalize on its successes by mobilizing the whole power of the government is a monstrosity reflecting the stupidity of professional politicians who a re more interested in the petty spoils of office than they a rc in the control of the richest and most power­ ful government i n the world-like a n army of ba rbarians who, having overru n t he city of Balti­ more, content themselves with pl u ndering a dime store."
To manage pressures is to govern; to let pressures run wild is to abdicate .''

These a re phrases of advocacy. But as an empi rical political scientist, democratic philos­ opher, academic i n novator, pol itical commen­ tator, and theorist of cha nge, Schattsch neider
7 E. E. Schattschneider, rev. of American Business and Public Policy by Raymond Bauer, Ithiel de Sola Pool, and Lewis Dexter, Public Opinion Quarterly, 29 (Summer, 1965) , 343.
8 E. E . Schattschneider, "Congress i n Conflict,"
T he Yale Review, 41 (December, 1951) , 181.
" E. E. Schattschneider, T he Semi-Sovereign Peo ple
(New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1960) , p. 137. 10 E. E. Schattschneider, Two H undred Million Americans in Search of a Government (New York :
Holt, Rinehart and Wi nston, 1967) , p. 5.
11 "Congress in Conflict," p. 187.
'' E. E . Schattschneider, The Struggle for Part y Government (College Park : University of Maryland, 1948) , p, 31.
13 E. E. Schattschneider, Politics, Pressures and the Tariff ( New York : Prentice-Hall, 1935) , p. 2°93.


This content download ed on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:18:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1322 The America n Political Science Review Vol. 66

ranged fa r beyond his notable pleas for more responsible parties.
The explication of Schattschneider 's wide­ ranging commenta ry holds special dangers. His work reached across three a nd a half turbulent decades: his first book was published i n 1935 and his last i n 1969. In different ti mes and con­ texts, men change thei r mi nds without givi ng notice to the world , and the commentator may mistakenly treat as a static body of thought that which is in fact dynamic .
It appears, for instance, that Schatt­ schneider's views about pressu re groups evolved grad ually from the harshest condemna­ tion to a recognition that i n the "creative pro­ cess" of policy mak i ng , pressure groups, "the most easily organized groups," may be vehicles for thrusti ng i nto the pu blic a rena problems that have failed of solution in the private sec­ tor.
There is, in addition. the special possibility of going astray in discussing the work of one who combines the role of theorist with that of activist. The Comm ittee on Political Parties , for instance, in "Towa rd a More Responsible Two­ Party System," apparently preferred a defin i­ tion of party mem bershi p that encompassed all registered party voters. Schattsch neider , who was chairman of the Committee and a member of its d rafti ng committee , had previously been outspoken in his belief that pa rty membership should incl ude only party activists. A ustin Ran­ ney poses the dilemma for interpretation : Schattschneider might have "simply changed his mind," or perhaps he "was outvoted on this point in the Committee's deliberations, and be­ i ng. as he is, a good majoritarian-democrat, went along with the Committee majority. "14
One steers carefully. then, among expres­ sions of advocacy in searchi ng for the core the­ ory from which Schattschneider derived his stances; and this is nowhere more difficult than in considering "Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System," in which Schattschneider took a leadi ng ha nd, but which was finally a collegi al effort.

The Advocate as Political Scientist
At least since 1950, the ma jorit y sentiment i n political science has been that advocacy and pol i tic a l st udies a re incompa ti ble . Schatt­ schneider. however, espoused the opposite pri n­ ci ple . Advocac y is i nheren t i n pol itical science becau se su bjects of st udy, methods of i n vestiga-

" Austi n Ran ney, The Doctrine of Res pon sible Part y Col'ern111e11t ( Urbana: Univ ersity of Illi noi s Press. 1953) , p. 1 8, note 29. Ran ney pref ers the second view of Schattschneider's posi tion. tion, and standards of evaluation are all value laden . Schattschneider , whose argument thus antici pated by almost two decades the contem­ porary "radical" critique of empirical political science, forcefully denied that social scientists could escape thei r underlyi ng value assu mp­ tions .
. . . it is usually much more d ifficult to discover the right question tha n it is to find the a nswer. It is precisely at this point that the unexamined and unstat ed assum ptions we mak e are most likely to defeat us, for the questions we ask grow out of the assumptions we make. . . . The assumptions we make tend to determine what we investigate , what kind of techniques we use , and how we eval uate the evidence."
For Schattsch neider the "right question" was clear enough. a nd from it flowed the opportu­ nity to generate a nd test hypotheses about poli­ tics and then to eval uate political institutions and processes .
The most legitimate question to be asked in a democracy is :-how can people get control of t he gove rn ment In a ny other kind of system. this q uestion ca n not be asked at all."'
From this broad question of the relationship of people and government, Schattsch neider then mad e certain assu mptions about the role of political parties in a democracy. This was a n untitled version of contemporary function al­ ism.17 Although party reformers have been sometimes criticized for their fail u re to specify whether the "fu nctions" they ascribe to parties are activities which parties actually perform or those which pa rties should perform in a demo­ cratic system,1 ' Schattschneider's position is un­ am biguous.
I assume that parties are designed to take ove. the general control of the government, that it i u Struggle for Part y Government, p. 21. All italics in quoted material are Schattschneider's emphases .
'" Struggle for Party Government, p. 22 .
11 Schattschneider's work was identified as a "func­ tional " approach by one of his earliest reviewers.
F. A . Hermans, rev. of Party Government, by E. E.
Schattschneider , Review of Politics, 4 ( April. 1942) ,
241. On the other hand, a commenta ry on the de­ velopment of functionalism in political science does not include Schattschneider among the early users of that theory. See Martin Landau, "On the Use of Functional Analysis in American Political Science,'' Social Res earch, 35 (Spring, 1958), 48-75. The con­ f usion about the meaning of functionalism in the study of parties is discu ssed by Ran ney , Doctrin e of R esponsi hle Party Government, pp. 8-9, 157. See also, Frank Sorauf, "Political Parties and Political Analysis," The A111erican Part y Sys tems, ed. Williarr' Nisbet Chambers and Walter Dean Burnham ( Ne" York : Oxford University Press, 1967) , pp. 48-55.
"Ranney , Doctrine of Responsible Part y Govern
111e11t , pp. 8-10, 157.

Thi s content downloaded on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14: 18:06 PM A ll use subject to JSTOR Tenn s and Condirions

1972 The Political Science of E. E. Schattschneider 1323

:he function of parlies lo govern. It seems to me that the investigation of parties ought to begin with a conception of the purposes of the whole political enterprise to be used as a standard of measure­ ment. The standard of measurement to be applied to political parties is therefore:- are the parties able to govern in fact?"
Thus, striving for control of government is both what parties do, although often imper­ fectly, and what they are supposed to do. The application of the general standard of measure­ ment which Schattschneider advances, then, is whether parties govern in fact-by struggling to win office, do parties in fact provide the peo­ ple a means to control the government?
Schattschneider's concern about the hidden assumptions of political research and his belief that political studies should be guided by the
;eneral question of "how can people get con­ rol of the government" are perhaps best illus­
_ rated by his critique of early public opinion studies. He warned in biting language that these studies had condemned the public as ignorant about political affairs without even specifying what the people must know to make democracy work.
One implication of public opinion studies ought to be resisted by all friends of freedom and de­ mocracy; the implication that democracy is a failure because the people are too ignorant to answer in­ telligently all the questions asked by the pollsters. This is a professorial invention for imposing pro­ fessorial standards on the political system and de­ serves to be treated with extreme suspicion. Only a pedagogue would suppose that the people must pass some kind of examination to qualify for participa ­ tion in a democracy. Who, after all, are these self­ appointed censors who assume that they are in a nosition to flunk the whole human race? Their atti- Jde would be less presumptuous if they could ome up with a list of things that people must know.
\"ho can say what the man on the street must know about public affairs? The whole theory of knowledge underlying these assumptions is pedantic . Democ­ racy was m ade for the peopl e, not the peopl e for democracy. Democracy is something for ordinary people regardless of wheth er or not the pedants approve of them ."'
The problem is not one of research , but one of assumptions, definitions and theory. It arises from "a confusion of ideas about wh at people need to know, what the role of the public in a democracy is, how the public functions in a de­ mocracy."21
Schattschneider's critique was not, it should be emphasized, a hostility toward voting stud-
10 Struggle for Party Government, p. 23.
"' Semi-Sovereign People, p. 135.
21 Semi-Sovereign People, p. 136.

ies, but a demonstration of the hidden assump­ tions and values which lurk in all political re­ search, especially in the evaluation of data. Schattschneider's analysis of the "business and upper-class bias of the pressure system," for in­ stance, was based partly on surveys of the oc­ cupations and the socioeconomic ranks of in­ terest group members.22 This research had a clear application to the central question of po­ litical science: the pressure group system, with its business and upper-class bias, does not pro­ vide a way for the people to get control of gov­ ernment.
Similarly, Schattschneider's use of voting studies to demonstrate "the Jaw of the imper­ fect political mobilization of social groups" was more than a clever manipulation of data to de­ termine the electoral influence of organized in­ terest groups. The impulse for his investigation was a belief that neither government nor politi­ cal parties needed to be as responsive to inter­ est groups as they traditionally had been, for the electoral claims of such groups were vastly exaggerated.23
The way in which Schattschneider's basic as­ sumptions informed his research is perhaps most apparent in his best known empirical proposition, his explanation of the two-party system in America .24 The combination of single member districts ·and plurality elections, he ar­ gued, exaggerates the victory of the majority party by awarding it more seats than its per­ centage of the vote, and it "discriminates mod­ erately against the second party but against the third , fourth, and fifth parties the force of this tendency is multiplied to the point of extin­ guishing their chance of winning seats alto­ gether."2" Only a minor party with strongly concentrated sectional strength can hope to win seats. And the presidential election system, be­ cause it rewards national majorities, under­ mines sectional third parties because, even if they are strong enough to win congressional seats in their electoral bastions, they are "doomed to permanent f utility . . . in the pursuit of the most important single objective of party strat­ egy,"26 the presidency .
The structural causes of two-partyism were not, however, merely an interesting observation on the operation of American politics. They were , for Schattschneider, worthy of investiga­ tion to show the elements of permanence in the Americ an two-part y system and thus to argue

" Semi-Sovereign People, pp. 30-36. 21Semi-Sovereign People, pp. 49-52. " Part y Government, pp. 67-90.
" Part y Government, p. 75.
'" Part y Government, p. 83.

This content downloaded on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:18:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Tenn s and Conditions

1324 The America n Political Science Review Vol. 66

the likelihood that more centralized, responsi­ ble, and issue-oriented parties would not de­ st roy two-pa rtyism , fueli ng the rise of many small ideological parties i n a multipa rty com­ petitive pattern.
The Political Scientist as Democrat
As al ready shown, Schattschneider, both as advocate and political scientist, was guided pri­ marily by his preference for democr acy . But what kind of democracy? Schattschneider 's greatest cont ribution to democratic thought in contemporary pol itical science was not in for­ mulating a definition or advancing a new per­ spective, but rather in reopening a n issue that had mainly laid dorma nt i n America n political studies since the second decade of the centu ry. The issue is a com monplace today: how can popula r sovereignty be exercised in a modern nation-state?
The problem a rose , Schattsch neider asserted , because ". . . the cont roversy about democracy
. . . antedates the rise of modern democracy," with the result that "[t]he mai n lines of the a r­ gument were laid down long before an yone had ever seen a real [modern] democratic govern­ ment at work."27 Consequently, as the nation­ state emerged, democrats conti nued to think in classical terms. Democracy was defined as "government by the people." But classical de­ mocracy was ill-suited to modern nations, for the process of govern ment "by the people" in Athens-whose total population was 30,000, of whom th ree-fourth s were slaves-has little rele­ vance to modern nation-states. The classical concept of govern ment by the people, of popu­ lar sovereignty exercised by di rect participation i n affairs. was kept alive during the rise of de­ mocracy in America by the i nfl uential writings of Jea n-Jacques Rousseau, by the practice of town meeti ngs i n New Engla nd, a nd by the rhetoric of politicia ns like Li ncoln, who contin­ u ally renewed the image of "government by the people ."2 ' The pervasiveness of the classical ideal of democracy has led to contin ual confu­ sion about the proper role of the people in American democracy.
The cont rary model of democracy was cap­ tured , according to Schattschneider, by Jeffer­ son's ph rase. "government by consent of the governed.""0 This is a conceptualization that is possible i n a modern state where nu mbers make t1-ie classical notion of democracy absurd . But even when it was recognized by democrats that some system of representation would nee-
27 Party Government. p. 13.
Two Hundred Million A 111erica11s, pp. 58-61.
T wo Hund red M illion Ameri cans, p. 58. essa rily replace direct pa rticipation by citizens , few obstacles were seen to the full and precise translation of pu blic preferences into public policy. The way in which this translation would occur evoked little interest among political phi­ losophers. The result, Schattsch neider argued, was a disaster for modern political theory .
So certain were the philosophers t hat the people would in fact use thei r new powers that the whole cont roversy has been concen trated on the com pe­ tence of the masses to di rect publ ic affai rs. At th is point ocea ns of in k have been wasted . . . . The classical definition of democracy left a great, un ­ ex plored, u ndiscovered breach i n the theory of modern democracy, the zone between the sovereign people and t he governmen t which is the habitat of the parties."'
Leavi ng aside for the moment Schattschneid­ er's assu mption that the "zone between the sov ereign people a nd the government" necessa ril) is or should be filled by political parties, the general poi nt of his argu ment was in 1942 a revival of a cent ral issue of democracy that contin ues today to be t he most perplexi ng ques­ tion of political theory explored by empirical studies. What a re the linkages between the sov­ ereign people and govern ment in a democracy? How should they a nd how do they work?
Schattsch neider's answer explicitly discarded the a rgument that what is needed to st rengthen democracy i n America is to ed ucate a nd inter­ est everyone to an extent that "voters ca n th ink about politics the way a United States senator might think about it."" The whole theory of k nowledge u nderlying such expectations falsi­ fies the real ity of modern l ife. People su rvive i n the contem porary world by distinguishi ng be­ t ween what they must k now and what they de> not need to k now or ca n not k now . In their pn vate lives they a re requi red to "place confi dence daily i n a thousa nd ways in pha rmacists. surgeon s, pilots, ba nk clerks, engineers, pl um­ bers, tech nicia ns, lawyers, . . . [T]hey realize that it is not necessa ry to k now how to make a television set i n order to buy one intelligently."""
Similarl y , the people can not k now enough actually to govern. Indeed. "there is no escape from the problem of ignorance because nobod y k nows enough to run the government." "" Publ ic officials k now only slightly more than the ordi­ na ry citizen , a nd one who becomes a n expert fails the classical test of citizenship because "an expert is a person who chooses to be ignora nt about ma ny things so that he may k now all
"' Party Government, pp. 14-15. " Semi-Sovereign People , p. 133. " Semi-Sovereign People. p. 137. '" Semi-So vereign People, p. 136.

1972 The Pol itical Science of E. E. Schattschneider 1325

about one.""4 The role of the citizen in public affai rs is, therefore, the same as i n private mat­ ters. In both, "[o]u r su rvival depends on ou r ability to judge things by thei r results and ou r abil ity to establish relations of confidence a nd responsi bility so that we ca n take advantage of what other people k now."''"
Schattschneider's analysis poi nts u p a st rik­ i ng parallel between the modern radical expo­ nents of participatory democracy and the ea rly students of public opin ion : both fou nd the pu b­ lic ignorant a nd decla red a crisis of democracy. The pollsters, of course. blamed the pu blic and prescribed education; the radicals blamed Es­ tablishment institutions and preached mass pa r­ ticipation in open meetings empowered to de­ cide all public questions.
Neither seems to understa nd Schattschneid­ er's poi nt that the people ca n not know enough to decide everyth i ng. 'The crisis here," Schattsch neider a rgues, "is not a crisis in de­ mocracy but a crisis i n theory. ""6 And the path for serious political thi nkers is to "re-examine the chasm between theory a nd practice because it is at least as likely that the ideal is wrong as it is that the reality is bad ."37
Hence the need for a redefinition of popula r sovereignty in a context of what the people are able and willing to do and to k now in a com­ plex modern world. In the nation-state, then,
Democracy is a competiti1•e political system in ll'hich competing leaders and organizations define the alternatives of public policy in such a way that the public can partici pate in the decision­ mak ing process . . . . Conflict, com petition, orga­ nization a nd leadership a re the ingredients of a working definition of democracy.""
It is this need-the need for leadershi p and orga nization to define a nd submit alternative pu blic policies so that the people may choose a mong them as best they can-that led Schattschneider to resurrect the doctri ne of re­ sponsible parties and to advocate it so vigor­ ousl y that the debate vi rtually dom inated politi­ cal science for a decade . His critique of i nterest groups, too, flowed from his preference for ma­ jority policy decisions made th rough electoral processes organized by the pa rties rather tha n for decisions a rrived at in the more restricted arena of pressure politics.
Schattschneider's preference for responsible pa rties and his critique of interest groups raise two fu rther q uestions about the natu re of his
" Semi-Sovereign People, pp. 136-137.
"' Semi-Sovereign People , p. 137. "' Semi-Sovereign People, p. 134. " Semi-Sovereign People, p. 131. 38 Semi-Sovereign People, p. 141.

democratic theory: whether the rule of majori­ ties is u nlimited, a nd what protection should be accorded civil liberties. Austin Ranney has a r­ gued that the responsible pa rty school assumed that the American people preferred u nlimited rule by popula r ma jorities but that in "Towa rd A More Responsi ble Two-Pa rty System" such underl ying issues of democra tic theory were avoided. "9 He remi nds us also that responsi ble pa rties a re an old idea whose time seems never to have come, partly because the American people have not been fully willing to accept majority rule democracy. Such students of par­ ties as A. Lawrence Lowell have believed that the nonmajoritarian nature of pa rties serves well the antimajoritaria n biases of the Ameri­ can people .
It is not clear, of cou rse, that the public actu­ ally favors Lowell's version of mi nority rights, an institutionalized a nd absolutely effective mi­ nority veto over pu blic policy. Americans might alternatively hold some vision of democ­ racy encompassing both majority rule and mi­ nority rights, even though the internal cont ra­ d ictions of th is vision have been shown both by Ran ney and Kendall, and by Dahl. 10 Nonethe­ less, as long as Americans cling to ideals of de­ mocracy, regardless of how logically weak, that a re incom pati ble with u nli mited majority rule, the responsible pa rty model remai ns chimerical. Popula r acceptance of majority rule democracy is, in short, the precondition of party reform.
Schattschneider was u nambiguous about his preference for u nlimited majority rule; he did not, like the Re port , lay the issue aside as un­ necessa ry for resolution in the advocacy of re­ sponsible pa rties. "There is no democratic rea­ son for slighting the rule in majority rule," he said.41 Political science has been ma rked by a fea r of power per se. A nd this has caused aca­ demicians to recoil from responsi ble pa rties a nd other reforms of government which explic­ itl y vest full power in government leaders a nd political organizations.
Schattsch neider believed that this fea r of power, a nd thus of majority rule democracy,

"Austin Ranney, "Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System: A Commentary," American Po­ litical Science Review, 45 (March, 1951), 498-499.
'° Austin Ranney and Willmoore Kendall, Democ­ racy and the American Party System (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1956) , pp. 29-37; and Robert A . Dahl, A Preface to Democratic Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), chap. . .1. See also a criticism of the Ranney-Kendall pos1t1on by Thomas Landon Thorson, "Epilogue on Absolute Majority Rule," Journal of Politics, 23 (August, 1961 ), 557-565; and Ranney's response in the same volume, "Postlude to an Epilogue," pp. 566-569.
" Struggle for Part y Government , p. 9.

1326 The American Political Science Review Vol. 66

had been transmitted by teaching and perhaps by tradition to a large body of the American public. Parties were tainted in the public mind precisely because they did offer the possibility of mobilizing the full power of government. This was the main obstacle to the reconstruc­ tion of parties in the responsible party mold. "Let us concede that the American people will never create a powerful party system unless they want one."42 They must first discover that the problems of the nation require a political solution, "that the parties are fit instruments for this use," and that it is not "immoral to orga­ nize the democratic forces of the nation."43
Schattschneider's advocacy of majority rule democracy was accom panied by occasional evi­ dences of a strong belief in civil liberties . But nowhere did he consider the potential implicit in unlimited majority rule for the infringement of these liberties. Indeed, he discussed liberty only in relationshi p to promoting majority rule, to assuring the free political action necessary to organize and present alternatives for public ap­ proval. Thus, in Part y Government, he pointed out that the Founding Fathers had constructed a Constitution with a dual attitude toward par­ ties:
[They] ref used to suppress the parties by destroy­ i ng the fu ndamental liberties in which parties orig­ inate. They or their immediate successors accepted amendments that guaranteed civil liberties and thus established a system of party tolerance, i.e ., the right to agitate and to organize. This is the pro­ party aspect of the system."

The separation of powers, on the other hand, was the antiparty aspect, because it was de­ signed to exhaust and frustrate the efforts of parties to win full control of the government and to use that control actually to govern .4 "
Freedom of speech, press, a nd association are also essential for the process of education that must continually occur in successful de­ mocracies both to permit mi norities to seek ma­ jority status and to allow majorities to convince minorities to consent to thei r decisions.46 Even pressure groups. so severely criticized in most of his works, are recognized as within the am­ bit of civil liberties. Schattschneider denounces pressure politics but defends the right of pres­ sure groups to be heard because that right "is i ntimately associated with a battery of highly valued restrictions on arbitary government and

" Struggle for Party Government, p. 12. " Struggle for Part y Government, p. 12. " Party Government, p. 7.
" Party Government , p. 7.
•• T wo Hundred M illion Americans, p. 88. is closely related to the idea of government by consent. "4 7
Schattschneider's apparent unconcern with the potential clash between civil liberties and majority rule can be fully u nderstood only in the light of his attitude on the question of whether democracy is a form of government or a moral system. This issue has occasioned end­ less confusion in discussions of democracy, for popular sovereignty and majority rule cannot be first principles if democracy is conceived as requiring decisions that conform to certain so­ cial, economic, or moral philosophies. Yet Schattschneider, the unrelenting advocate of majority rule, professed that democracy was in­ deed a moral system . His argument was framed in such a way, however, that it did not require any denigration of the majority rule principle. 48 Simply put, "democracy is first a state of mind."19 It "begins as an act of imagination about people."" 0 This act of imagination is em­ bodied i n the Judeo-Christian tradition, the cul­ ture of ancient Greece, the common law, the history of western Europe , the Gettsyburg Ad­ dress, and a host of other sources that have shaped American thought. The essence of de­ mocracy as a moral system is the recognition that men are equal--"equal in the one dimen­ sion that counts: each is a human being, infi­ nitely precious · because he is human.""'
From this act of imagination flows a moral consensus upon which Schattschneider, too of­ ten viewed simply as a conflict theorist, rests the democratic state. "As a moral system de­ mocracy is an experiment in the creation of a community . . . .""2 And the conflict over pol­ icy, which allows the people by majority vote to control the' government, is possible only within the context of such a community, whose consensus is found in the attitudes of demo­ cratic citizens toward one another.
"To put it very bluntly, democracy is about the love of people.""" The essential prerequisite
Party Government , p. 203.
4' Schattschneider's views about democrary as a moral system were first elaborated in a discussion with Dr. Julian Hart of Yale in "Democracy as a Moral System," one in a series of television broad­ casts entitled "The American Government and the Pursuit of Happiness" conducted by Schattschneider on The National Broadcasting Company in 1957 and 1958. Schattschneider won a Freedoms Foundation Award for the series. Some of these ideas also ap­ pear in Semi-Sovereign People, pp. 104-109. But the main discussion is found in T wo Hund red M illion Americans, chap. 3.
T wo Hundred M illion Americans, p. 42. "' Two Hundred Million America11s, p. 46. 51 T wo Hundred M illion Americans, p. 45 .
52 T wo Hund red M illion A111erica11s, p. 47.
"' T wo H1mdred M illion America11s, p. 43.

1972 The Political Science of E. E. Schattschneider 1327

for a democratic society is an attitude toward, a love of, people by their fellows. If this is sus­ ceptible to empirical testing, no political scien­ tist has bothered with it. Yet it stands in a hu­ mane tradition of western political thought that ought not to be readily discarded in delibera­ tions about politics . And it seems somehow a more startling assumption about the nature of democracy when it comes from a leading em­ pirical political scientist of the modem day rather than from a scholar associated with the more traditional approach to political philoso­ phy.
Schattschneider's belief in democracy as a moral system illuminates the majoritarian atti­ tude toward civil liberties:
Democracy is based on a profound insight into human n'lture , the realization that all men are sinful, all are imperfect . all are prejudiced, and none knows the whole truth. That is why we need liberty and why we have an obligation to hear all men. Liberty gives us a chance to learn from other people, to become aware of ou r own limita­ tions, and to correct our bias. Even when we dis­ agree with other people we like to think that they speak from good motives, and while we realize that all men are limited , we do not let ourselves imagine that any man is bad. Democracy is a po­ litical system for people who are not too sure that they are right."
Liberty, in short, rests finally on democratic at­ titudes toward others and toward oneself. Love for others combined with a recognition of one's own limitations make freedom necessary. Insti­ tutional vetoes are thus unnecessary to protect the essential liberties of minorities because the keystone in m ajority rule democracy is a domi­ nant attitude which uphold s minority rights.

Parties, Pressure Groups, and Democracy
Schattschneider's preference for majori ty­ rule democracy pervades his commentary on political parties and pressure groups.. He sharply distinguishes the two.
Political parties characteristically undert ake to get control of the government by nominating can­ didates and electing them to office; the object is to get power by winning elections. "'
On the other hand, pressure grou ps are not or­ ganized to take over a govern ment in its entirety; they seek to accom plish specific. relatively nar­ row tasks. to influence policy at selected point s,

·" Two Hundred Million Americans , p. 53.
"' E. E. Schattschneider, "Pressure Groups Versus Political Parties," The Annals, 259 (September, 1948) ,
17. See also, Party Government, pp. 35-39 for a discussion of the nature of parties.

and do not aim at winning the general power to govern ."'
Parties win the power to govern only when they mobilize majorities. Their legitimacy cannot therefore be questioned, and the policies they make either are sanctioned by majorities or are at least reviewable by them at the next election. Special interest groups, on the other hand, can­ not make any claim to represent a body of citi­ zens entitled to set public policy, for they are inherently minority organizations . If they were not, they would displace parties by contesting elections and winning control of government.
Some theorists have objected that electoral majorities, even in a responsible party system, might be merely coalitions of minorities. Schattschneider apparently anticipated this ar­ gument, as later paragraphs show, by emphasiz­ ing the role of leaders in defining election-day alternatives and conducting the government, and by arguing that electoral cleavages involve an ordering of priorities in which members of coalitions subordinate other goals to the objec­ tive (s) around which they are united. This sec­ ond argument must await further explication in the next section of this paper .
But the earlier discussion of the people's role in a democracy illuminates Schattschneider 's first point. By carefully stating the principles on which they seek public support and by appeal­ ing directly to the electorate, the party leader­ ship group that wins office has a majority sanc­ tion for its entire policy-at least as compared to the mand ate that can be asserted for any other polic y by any alternative leadership group. Furthermore, because elections involve "relation s of confidence and responsibility," elected officials can lay claim to popular trust, subject of course to review i n the next election, for decision s on policy matters which were not salient during the campaign.
The interest-group system is the arena not only of minorities. but of particul ar minorities . Small in scope, encompassing few Americans, it h as a probusiness and upper-class bias . The bu siness community is far more completely and

"' Party Government, pp. 187-188. Note Schatt­ schneider 's assertion in the same book, pp. 189-190, that pressure politics is not an attempt by a grou p to become a majority, but rather an attempt by a minority to control policy. He also distinguishes pub­ lic interest groups, i.e., those whose members will accrue no direct gain from the causes they espouse and which are not limited in membership to those who h ave such direct interests, from special interest groups which are limited to members who will gain directly from the policies advanced by the group. Semi-So vereign People, pp. 25-29. Also, "Pressure Groups Versus Political Parties," p. 20.

1328 The American Political Science Review Vol. 66

far better organized than other segments of the population.'" Furthermore, "[t]here is over­ whelming evidence that participation in volun­ tary organizations is related to upper social and economic status . . .""" and "even non-b"Usiness organizations reflect an upper-class tendency."00 The methods of special interest groups dis­ tort democracy and majority rule. In his study of the tariff, Schattschnider reported that the method of giving notice about congressional committee hearings and of conducting these hearings favored groups with experienced lob­ byists in Washington. Privileged groups ob­ tained semiconfidential information from con­ gressmen, often because they supported them in previous election campaigns or had other inside Pressu re groups exaggerate the size of their membership and the unanimity of their interests."' In some cases, association leaders represented positions to congressional committees that had not been approved by their membership or their duly constituted gov­ erning bodies. In one case, at least, Schattsch­ neider discovered the "representation of the one by the many" in which "the whole group acts in behalf of one of its members" in lobby­ ing Congress.·; Congressional committees seemed uninterested in the real size or internal cohesion of groups appearing before them, and the process of representation was thus badly distorted. But more than the bias and methods of the pressure system condemn it. The popularity of the group theory of politics, Schattschneider ar­ gued , has obscured the difference between the public interest and the private interests. The group theorists "describe a majority as a mere aggregate of special interest groups." This is empirically fallacious. according to Schattsch­ neider, because the sum of the organized spe­ cial interests is not a majority of the people ; and it is probably impossible, in any case, to find common grounds to bring together enough groups to make a ma jority. ""
Private and special interests must be subordi­ nated to the public interest-"to the great com­ mon interests of the nation'' at times when there is concern throughout the nation for its continued survival. In the contemporary world ,
"' Semi-Sovereif( n Peopl e, pp. 30-32.
" Semi-Sovereif(n People, p. 32.
50 Semi-Sovereif( n People, p. 33.
"" Politics, Pressures and the Tariff . pp . 164-184.
•1 Politics. Press11res and the Tariff. pp. 226-249.
Also. Party Government. pp. 199-203.
" Politics. Pr ess11res and the Tariff. pp. 271-278.
Quoted materi a l at p. 271.
"' E. E. Schattschneider, "Political Parties and th e Public Interest." The Annals. 280 ( M a rch . 1952 ) , 22-25
[t]he dominant anxieties in the community are neither local or special . . . we share these anxieties with most of our fellow citizens because the ulti­ mate question involved in them is the future of the community and all it implies.'
Concepts of "the public interest" are treacher­ ous in a democracy, for they suggest that there is a "right answer" or "correct policy" apart from the decisions of majorities. Indeed, the public interest as a fixed, substantive policy is incompatible with Schattschneider's adherence to majority-rule democracy.
Schattschneider seems, however , to make a different point. Among the public interests of the nation are, first, both "the common interest in seeing that there is fair play among private interests"n" and the "body of common agree­ ment . . . known as the 'consensus' without which . . . no democratic system can survive."6n But beyond procedural rules and agreed first principles , there are also broad substantive poli­ cies, about which people might differ , that ad­ dress themselves to the commonly recognized problems which threaten the nation's survival.
The nature of modern public policy (economic stabilization, control of inflation, war mobilization of the economy, the integration of defense and foreign policy ) creates a new kind of politic s. . . . The distinguishing characteristic of modern politics is that it is based on conflicts about the public in­ terest rather than on conflicts among special in­ terests. It is the principal f unction of politics to defend the public i nterest. The fact that both sides are concerned with the public interest conditions the conflicts tremendously . but it does not produce un animity . Conflicts about public policy are real because there a re real differences of opinion about wh at the best public interest is in any given situa­ tion . . . .i;'
The "public interest" in Schattschneider's second sense, then, is a displacement of the striving for narrow goals of special interest groups that has characterized much of Ameri­ can politics by controversy about issues of much broader public concern that relate to the ultimate survival of the nation . In this formula­ tion. the public interest is a majoritarian con­ cept, beca use it involves the whole public in po­ litical conflict over the appropri ate policies to meet national crises, and becau se it requi res the resol ution of such conflict s by majorities who prev ail in ass rtin g their view of the public in­ terest .
It is only a short step from this readin g of contemporary politics as domin ated by the
""Political Parties and the Public Interest," p. 23. "'"Political Parties and th e Public Interest." p. 22. '"Se111i-So vereif(n P eopl e, p. 23.
'" "Political Pa rties and the Public Interest ," p. 23.

1972 The Political Science of E. E. Schattschneider 1329

>truggle over the public interest to Schattsch­ neider's advocacy of party reform . "[P]arty government is good democratic doctrine be­ cause the parties are the special form of politi­ cal organization adapted to the mobilization of majorities." 68 The existing parties show the ne­ cessity of mobilizing a majority, for that is the key to victory in a two-party system. But the parties as presently constituted are defective, for they ". . . function effectively in electing candidates to office but govern badly because they do not mobilize effectively the men they elect to office."69
Parties must form ulate positions on the great issues of the day, submit them to the voters, and then implement those policies if rewarded with victory at the polls. Leadership and orga­ nization by parties in mobilizing majorities at he polls and in government are essential, for nodern democracy cannot be-as already pointed out-"government by the people" but only "government by consent of the governed."
The immobility and inertia of large masses are to pol itics what the law of gravity is to physics. This cha racteristic compels people to submit to a great chan nelization of the ex pression of their will, and is due to numbers, not to want of intelligence. An electorate of sixty million Aristotles would be equally restricted . . . . The people are a soverign whose vocabul ary is limited to two words, "Yes" and "No." This sovereign, moreover , can speak only when spoken to ."'
The failure of parties to govern in this way seemed to Schattschneider, when he wrote Part y Government in 1942, a reflection of their split personality. Their private personality is domi nated by the desire to wring patronage '"Ind plu nder from electoral victory, and the
>arties organize government effectively for this mrpose . The public personality of parties, on the other hand, involves formulating issues, submitting them to the electorate, and convert­ ing party victory i nto governmental policy. Here the parties fail because "a national leader­ ship strong enough to control part y majorities in Congress would also be strong enough to cut off the flow of patronage to the local bosses."7 '
Other factors contribute to the "failure of the system to convert party politics i nto party government." 7 Sectionalism and localism focus attention on special interests, consolidate re­ gional voting a rou nd those issues, and draw at­ tention away from la rger, national issues in-

"' Party Government, p. 208.
"9 Struggle for Party Govern111e11t , p. 29.
'0 Part y Government , p. 52.
" Party Goi·ernment , p. 1 37.
" Struggle for Party Govern111e11t, p. 29.

volving the public interest. This tendency to­ ward parochialism thwarts attempts to organize the party nationwide and to instill discipline in government around issues on which the party has made national appeals.7 3 Constitutional ar­ rangements, such as the separation of powers 74 a nd the regular scheduling of elections ( rather tha n their being called by the government as a test of policy ) ,75 f urther hinder party govern­ ment.
The nominating process, Schattschneider as­ serted, also weakens party government. Before the rise of Jacksonian democracy, the congres­ sional caucus permitted national pa rty leaders to make presidential nominations, th us uniting the president and his party in Congress. But the national party convention, on the other hand, is the arena of the state and local bosses who choose delegates; it decentralizes national poli­ tics by weakening the role of national party leaders.76 Nor are nominations by primary an improvement, for prima ries are dominated by local bosses and they suggest a theory of intra­ pa rty democracy by registered party members that has all the defects of the theory of "gov­ ernment by the people." It might be necessary, therefore, to develop parties within the parties to define and simplify the alternatives for regis­ tered party "mmbers." 77 The lesson is that nominations should be made by the active party members who wish to advance policies for electoral approval and who will then feel compelled to carry them out. "Democracy is not to be found in the parties but between the parties. "7 R
In the 1950s, Schattsch neider reported changes in America n politics that were erodi ng these old alignments and structures which had been a barrier to a policy-oriented, responsible party system. He welcomed the demise of sec­ tionalism,79 the decline of the old-style ma­ chine, "" the rise of class politics to replace sec­ tional alignments, 81 the development of na­ tional i nterest groups-especially organized la-

73 Party Government , pp. 111-123.
Party Government , pp. 7-9.
Part y Government , pp. 127-128.
70 Party Government , pp. 99-106. " Party Government, pp. 53-61. " Part y Government , p. 60.
" E. E. Schattschneider , "1954 : The Ike Party Fights to Live," The N ew Republic, February 23, 1953, pp. 15-17. See also, E. E. Schattschneider, "United States : The Function al Approach to Party Government," Modern Political Parties. ed. Sigmund Neuman (Chicago: University of Chic ago Press,
1956) ' pp . 209-214.
'° "Functional Approach to Party Government," p.
"' "1954: The Ike Party Fights to Live ," pp. 16-17.

1330 The A merican Political Science Review Vol. 66

bor-which attached themselves more or less permanently to one of the party coalitions;'" and the .emergence ?f issues such as employ­ ment policy and foreign affai rs that had nation­ wide impact on electoral behavior.'" Here, he believed, were the raw materials with which to build an issue-oriented, responsible party sys­ tem.
Schttschneider, as a leading figure i n the Committee on Political Parties, m ust be re­ garded as a cosponsor of its extensive proposals for institutional reform as a step toward pa rty goerment . But in his own writings, Schattsch­ e1der s approach was more modest in the par­ ticulars and far broader in its assumptions. He urg.ed the development of a party cabinet in which the party's congressional leaders would become the president's principal advisers . The chasm created by the separation of powers would be bndg.ed by each side's givi ng up some of its prerogatives i n order to win others: the pesidnt woul share his policy-maki ng power with his party m Congress, and they would, i n turn, be bound to pass the program agreed on.'' He opd also. that the system of presidential nom.matt?ns might be changed to create greater st.ability m the national party leadershi p and to give the congressional party a greater voice, al­ though he prescribed no mechanism for achiev­ ing either of these goals .'" The congressional agenda a nd committee st ructure, he held, sold be changed to displace the power of se­ ntonty leaders with the a uthority of pa rty lead­ ers."" Schattschneider's preference for nom i na­ tions by the party activists has already been mentioned. Essentially. however, Schattschneider be­ l ieved that party reform would be achieved, if at all.' by persuadi ng la rge n um bers of people that 1t was necessa ry for successful self-gover­ nance under modern condi tions. Thus, al­ hough. the parties "have been forced to operate m an mcom patible consti tutional system,"'' it is nonetheless true that
[t]he greatest difficulties in the way of the develop­ ment of party gove rn ment in the United States have been i ntellectual , not legal. It is not u nrea-

" " .Approac to Party Government," pp. 21 3-214.. A s1m1lar relattonship between the business community and the Republican Pa rty is considered in Semi-So vereign People, pp . 42-43.
"E. E. Schattschneider, "Pa rty Governm ent and Employment Policy," American Political Science Re­ view, 39 (December, 1945) , 1 147-1157. "Functional
Approach to Party Government," pp. 208, 21 3. Semi­ Sovereign People, pp. 88-89.
Struggl e for Party Government, p. 41.
Struggle for Part y Government, pp. 41-43.
"' "Congress in Conflict," pp. 188-193.
"' Part y Government, p. 207 . smable to supp?se that once a respectable sec­ tion of . the pu blic understands the issue, ways of romo mg party government t h rough the Constitu­ tion will be fou nd."

"What Does Change Look Like?""
Coupled with Schattschneider's belief that men can change thei r political arrangements if they have the will and intelligence is a theory
?f the dyn.a.mic quality of politics. "The dynam­ ics of poht1cs has its origi n in strife,"90 he ar­ gued, for without strife politics would be an un­ moving equilibri um. The first dimension of conflict is scope: how widespread conflict be­ comes, and who takes part. Since it is unlikely the addi tion ?f new participants to a fight will benefit all viewpoi nts equally, expanding the scope of conflict changes the balance of forces.9 1
Th scope of conflict is marked by a long­ stand mg struggle between opposing tendencie toward the "privatization" and "socialization" of conflict."" Private conflict is settled without the interention of public authority; it may be resolved m trms of economic competition, re­ ci procal dental of goods and services, private negotiations, a nd so forth . "Since contestants in private conflicts a re apt to be u nequal in strength, i t follows that the most power ful spe­ cial interests want private settlements because they are able to dictate the outcome as long as the conflict remai ns private . . . . It is the weak who wa nt to socialize conflict, i.e., to involve more and more people in the conflict u ntil the bala nce of forces is changed."9 " The socializa­ tion of conflict occurs when the losers in pri­ vate conflict invol ve public authority in the struggle . And i n a democracy, this "fli ght to government is perpetual." 04
In American life, a congeries of sent i ment: supports both the privatization and the social ization of conflict. Private power settlements are sanctioned by a long list of deeply rooted American ideals: indi vid ualism, free enterprise, and privacy are examples. Other ideas, how­ ever, support the socialization of conflict­ "ideas concerning eq uality, consistency, eq ual protection of the laws, justice, liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of speech a nd associa­ tion and civil rights . . . .""" Democracy is the
'·' Part y Government , pp. 209-21 0.
"Semi-Sovereign Peopl e, p. 114.
"" "I ntensity, Visibility, Direction and Scope," p.
""Intensity, Visibility, Direction and Scope," pp.
941-942. Also, Semi-Sovereign People, pp. 2-3.
"' Semi-Sovereign People, p. 7. "" Semi-So!'ereign People, p. 40. '" Semi-Sovereign Peopl e, p . 40. "" Semi-Sovereign People , p. 7.

1972 The Political Science of E. E. Schattschneider 1331

greatest force for the socialization of conflict, because it invites the whole public into every conflict that it wishes to enter.
A second dimension of conflict is visibility. The historical tendency of government, Schattsch neider argues, has been to mai ntai n a low profile. Painless taxes a re designed to divert the spotlight from how much government is do­ ing. The use of private "focal points at which remote controls may be applied,"96 is a way to obscure government regulatory policies admin­ istered by others (e.g., druggists i n narcotics regulation or financiers i n monetary policy) . But conflict is becoming more visible: public services and foreign affairs overshadow the reg­ ulatory role of government, and new adminis­ trative procedu res and different modes of politi­ cal combat emphasize all that government does. This enlarges the dynamic aspect in contempo­ rary politics.
Intensity is a thi rd dimension of conflict. Po­ l itical organization i n the Uni ted States has his­ torically assu med widespread public indiffer­ ence . But there has been a change in the agenda of government. Not only is government more expensive and larger, but it grapples with issues of the stability and survival of the social system. In such a context, especially when con­ flict becomes more visible , the intensity of pub­ lic feeling may change, and "a very slight change i n the temperatu re of the mass may have im portant consequences" for political or­ ganization and governmental action.97
Finally, there is the direction of conflict­ that is, the way in which people are divided into factions, parties, classes, and so forth .9" Many conflicts arise, of course, each dividing people in different ways. But Schattschneider is skeptical about too easy acceptance of the con­ cept of cross-cutti ng cleavages, for it assumes an "eq uality of conflicts" which "weakens all antagonisms i n the comm unity, produci ng a system of low-grade tensions."99 Some conflicts displace others, he argues; and the more visible and intense conflicts tend to override the less visible and less intense. As among conflicts, people m ust set priorities.
Once lines of division are drawn, each side tends to become u nified. To keep the coalition together, people m ust submerge conflicts to which they accord lesser priori ties. Consolida­ tion among those on the sa me side of a ma jor conflict is as natu ral a result of strife as division

"' "Intensity, Visibility. Direction and Scope.'' p. 938. "' •'Intensity, Visibility, Direction and Scope," p. 938. ""Intensity, Visibility, Direction and Scope," pp.
939-94 t. Also, Semi-Sovereign People , p . 147.
99 Semi-Sovereign People, p. 67.

between those who disagree. too This creates an element of stability in politics, characterized by ma jority and minority coalitions which have some permanence.
The dimensions of politics are, of course, re­ lated. Direction is determined by the visibility and intensity of conflicts. It is also determined by scope, since the line of conflict will be drawn by those who pa rticipate. New partici­ pants, with different priorities about the most important directions of conflict, can change the direction. Conversely, the direction of conflict has a bea ring on its scope, because a division about issues which a re irrelevant to numbers of people may well cause them sim ply to ignore the fight altogether.
The dimensions of conflict set the strategy of politics . Once a li ne of conflict is drawn, the leaders of the majority seek continuously to ex­ ploit the cleavage so that they can hold their coalition together. If the opposition merely fights along the same l i ne, the system becomes relativel y stable. But the strategy of opposition is to seek "a substitution of conflicts" by raising new issues which will exploit the inferior con­ flicts in the ma jority coalition by raising their intensity and visibility. Of course, a substitution of conflict which alters the scope of conflict by changing the number of partici pants could have the same effect.'
Schattsch neider demonstrated that the Re­ publican coalition of 1896 was based on just such a displacement of conflicts. Those who wanted to exploit class issues were outflanked when, after 1876, racial cleavages became dominant in the South, creating a one-party system dominated by conservative Bourbon Democrats. The campaign of 1896 drove Northern conservatives of both parties into the Republican ranks, thus i nsuring conservative hegemony in the Northeast. Western radicals were consequently unable to find allies in their attempt to organize a national majority coali­ tion on class lines. They had lost the "conflict of conflicts."101
Such displacement of conflicts is, for exam­ ple, the heart of the strategy u rged by Kevin Philips upon the contemporary Republican party .1oe He prescribes the substitution of the

100 Semi-Sovereign People, p. 64.
101 Semi-Sovereign People , pp. 78-96. Also, "Func­ tional Approach to Party Government ," pp. 201-
206. For a study of California alignment following Schattschneider's thesis, see Michael Rogin, "Cali­ fornia Populism and the 'System of 1896.' " Western Political Quarterlv , 22 (March, 1969), 170-196.
10• Kevin P. Phillips, The Emerging Re publican
Majority ( New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1969).

1332 The American Political Science Review Vol. 66

issues of race, welfare, crime, and protest, on which the domina nt Democratic pa rty is di­ vided, for the economic issues which a re the fou ndation of the majority Democratic coali­ tion . And the counterstrategy developed by Richard Scammon and Ben J. Wattenberg ad­ vises the Democrats to take hold of the Social Issue in such a way as to damp down the inten­ sity of feeling about it, thus permitting eco­ nomic issues to remain the major cleavage i n electoral politics. 103
The relationship between the di rection and the scope of conflict bea rs on popular participa­ tion in politics . Sectional politics depresses both party orga nization and electoral partici pation because the di rection of issues makes voting fu­ tile for minorities and uni nteresting for many i n the majority party.1° 1 But even the nationali­ zation of politics and the enla rgement of two­ pa rty competition does not bring full pa rticipa­ tion : 40 million Americans continue to abstain in a system where only 60 million pa rtici pate.
Schattschneider takes no comfort in this non­ partici pation. He rejects the theory that it mi r­ rors the satisfaction of the nonvoters. But even if that were true, he wa rns, mere satisfaction is not enough , for in the modern day, politics is shifti ng from the distribution of benefits to the apportionment of bu rdens, and a democracy must therefore find ways of "changing consent into su p port , because consent is no longer enough ."105 The abstention of the 40 million is a crisis of support which im perils American de­ mocracy:
The problem is serious because the forty million are the sof t underbelly of t he system. The seg­ ment of the popul ation that is least involved or most convinced that the system is loaded against it is the most likely poi nt of su bversion . This is the sick ness of democracy .'°"
Schattschneider's 40 million are drawn dis­ proportionately from among the you ng, the poor, and the racial minorities; and his warning in 1960 that "the present boycott . . . has broul!ht the political system very near to . . . the limit of tolerance of passive abstention
. . "107 was soon realized when some , who re­ flected the frust ration if not the philosophy of the nonvoters, t u rned from acq uiescence to tak­ ing their case into the streets. Here indeed was "the revolutiona ry potential " i n America!
103 Richard Scammon and Ben J. Wattenberg, The Real M ajorit y ( New York : Coward-McCann , 1970). 10• "Functional Approach to Party Government," pp . 203-205 .
'°' Semi-Sovereign People, pp. 111-112. Quoted passage at p. 112.
1°" Semi-Sovereign People, p. 104.
1•• Semi-Sovereign People , p . 109.
Schattschneider also identified with rema rk­ able prescience the causes of abstention among the potentially revol utionary 40 million. First, the bou ndaries of voti ng, he said, correspond roughly to the bounda ries of the social commu­ nity-that segment of the population who share values as well as goods. The others are ex­ cluded by a process port rayed by Schattsch­ neider in terms that might later have been ad­ vanced as a definition of "institutional racism."
If politics is thought of as pa rt of the total social experience of people, there must be a great deal about that experience that contradicts the demo­ cratic professions of the comm unity.
. . . The system operates la rgely through pro­ cesses of which people are unaware. Stratification and isolation a nd segregation are to a great extent the u nconscious by-products of the way the so­ cial system operates to organize the community . It is not necessa ry to spea k one u nkind or un­ gracious word to keep a poor man out of a rich man's chu rch or college or club or hotel. Anyone familiar with the compulsive standards of d ress and play in American schools ca n understand why the children of the poor d rop out of school even when school ing is free. It is not enough to say that the poor are not h ungry and cold . People can suffer from h umiliation and degradation as much as from hunger. . . .'"'
Second, although the 40 million are numer­ ous enough to change the di rection of conflict by enla rgi ng its scope, the organization of poli­ tics inhibits them, for
. . . the problem of nonvoting is to be fou nd in the way in which the alternatives are defined , the way i n which issues get referred to the public, the scale of competition and organization and above all what issues a re developed .10•
But neither the pressure system nor the nonpro­ gra m matic parties organize the 40 million or present them with meaningful alternatives that will draw them into the electoral process where their n umbers would be decisive .
This is only an exam ple of a la rger principle about conflict : all "organization is itself a mo­ bilization of bias in pre paration for action."11 0 The existing organization of politics reflects the bias of the 60 million . And the st rategy of poli­ tics is precisely to mai ntain such bias, for "the definition of the alternatives is the su preme in­ strument of power."11 1
Conflicts are kept out of the public arena by invoking well-established com m unity ideals . They are also checked by providing no

••3 Semi-Sovereign People , p . 108.
•09 Semi-Sovere ign People, p. 110. 11• Semi-Sovereign People , p. 30. 111 Semi-Sovereign People, p. 68.

1972 The Political Science of E. E. Schattschneider 1333

forum for them or by creating no public agency with power to do anything about them . Reduc­ ing visibility is another strategy: thus the se­ crecy of internal processes in the Supreme Court and the Cabinet, the confidentiality of diplomatic exchanges, and many of the proce­ dures of the legislature have this effect. Every organization and structure reflects bias, for it favors visibility for some grou ps exploiting some issues but not for others.
The direction of conflict hinges, finally, on "the morale, self-confidence and security of the individuals and groups who m ust challenge the dominant groups in the community in order to raise an opposition. People are not likely to start a fight if they are certain they are going to be severely penalized for their efforts. In this situation repression may assume the guise of a false unanimity." 112 This shutting off of conflict before it starts has been recently rediscovered i n political science in the concept of "nondeci­ sions" in which "demands for change in the ex­ isting allocation of benefits and privileges in the community can be suffocated before they are even voiced . . . ."11"
Although Schattsch neider thus illuminates the dimensions and processes of conflict, he does not give as satisfactory an explanation of how change occurs. On the one hand, his work emphasizes that change occu rs when men have the will and intelligence; thus parties can be re­ organized to govern effecti vely and to alter the direction and scope of conflict. On the other hand, he argues that the party system is "a fu nction of politics," by which he means that it reflects the dominant issues of the day rather than the pu rposeful leadersh ip and organization of politics. Th us the policy revolution of 1932 and the second revolution of World War II were not ini tiated by Democratic party leaders but were rather thrust on them from outside the political system. 111
This latter approach is elaborated i n T wo H undred M illion Americans in Search of a Government , in wh ich Schattschneider had ap­ parently begu n a new a nal ysis of the nature of politics and of change. "To a large extent," he wrote, "politics deals with t he results of changes that origi nate outside the poli t ical system. "m
The l ife of the nation is the sou rce of politics . . . . The cycle is a pt to begin i n the private sector be­ ca use that is where almost anyone can make a
'" Semi-Sovereign People, p. 8.
113 Peter Bachrach and Morton S. Baratz, Power and Povertv (New York: Oxford University Press, 1 970) ' p. 44.
'""Functional Approach to Party Government ." pp. 206-208.
"·' T wo Hundred M illion Americans, p. 92.

beginning by himself. The private l ife of t he com­ munity is the breeding ground of millions of initiatives; later when the chain reaction gets out of hand the government is involved.""
Delay is inherent in such a process, for it takes a long time for private agitation to be tested. If it catches on, there is finally a social­ ization of the conflict. Problems in the private sector involve more and more people; but pri­ vate attempts to deal with some of these prob­ lems are unsatisfactory. Pressu re groups, be­ cause they are easily organized, inject issues into the governmental process, where they are first dealt with by speeches in the legislature, the introduction of bills, hearings , inquiries, commissions, and the rest. Only then, if a n is­ sue stoked by individuals and interest groups becomes a contagion among the public, do par­ ties and candidates pick it up. Even then, con­ sideration of the problem is just beginning.11 7
The natu re and length of this process of change temper some of Schattschneider's ear­ lier conclusions about the need for swift action by majoritarian political structures. "Why is a Generation the Proper Period of Time for the Study of Politics?" he asks.118 Because "ideas govern the world." 119 Schattschneider shows how dramatically the vocabulary of politics changes from generation to generation. Changes in language reflect changes in ideas which in a democracy gradually impose them­ selves upon public i nstitutions and policy. 120 Not only m ust an idea be expou nded and intro­ duced into the public arena, it must be shaped and reshaped in the search for a majority. Ac­ ceptance of new ideas and changes in policy are li nked to the changing population .
Every yea r death extinguishes t he memories of nearly two million Americans .wh ile about fur million Americans a re born with no memories. How much obstinate, hardshell opinion is lost by this process of population replacement? . . . Time ref utes a million illusions . M uch of the resistance to change is caused by baseless fears about new people. new liberties, changes in the status of people a nd changes in the distribution of wealth. Ti me proves that many of these fea rs have been grou ndless; old conflicts are resolved a nd new policies ga in acceptance because people ca n not help lea rning and cha nging thei r mi nds."'
Nor does the process stop when a majori ty is assem bled and a policy enacted. In a noncoer­ cive democracy, the minority must continue to
116 T wo Hundred Million Americans, p. 93. m T wo H undred Million Americans, pp. 94-95.
'" T wo H undred Million Americans. chap. 5.
119 T wo H undred M illion Americans, p. 99.
'"' T wo H undred Million Americans , chap. 6.
"' T wo Hund red Million Americans. pp. 83-84.

1334 The American Political Science Review Vol. 66

be persuaded even after they have lost the vote. And policy must continually be reshaped to meet their most persuasive objections. As in building a majority, the consent of minorities is related to generational changes and the obsoles­ cence of old fears.
The timetable for change in a consensual democratic nation is a long one. The whole process of government with its structural OJ?­ plexities, becomes a vehicle, first, for soc1ahz­ ing conflict 122 and then for gradually ha er­ ing out and winning acceptance for maior ta­ rian policies. "Much of the sense of frustration that people feel about the American political system is due to the fact that they take a very short-range view of the political process." 12"
This analysis puts change in a long-term per­ spectivi:, expands the horizon of political analy­ sis far beyond the decision-making process,. and focuses anew on the importance of the pnvate sector in a democracy. But it is also at odds with Schattsch neider's earlier views. The people are expected to know a great deal about public affairs; change flows from widely based, long­ term public discussion rather than from party leaders who submit simplified and manageable alternatives to the voters.
The generational theory of change ign?:es, furthermore, the scope and bias of the political system. The upper-class bias of the presre system and the alienation of the 40 million from the electoral process mean that the disad­ vantaged will not be so capable of sustaining the extensive activity that is necessary to pro­ mote change. Michael Lipsky's study of protest as a political resource emphasizes th3:t groups representing the disadvantaged are _impover­ ished in the resources needed for ordmary po­ litical action and that they are most susceptible to the ravages of delay because thei r constiu­ ency lacks political effica y an is only margn,: ally within the soc10pohttcal ystem. - Schattschneider's most recent analysis seems, therefore, both to alter his earlier view about the role of the public in affai rs and to down play the differential effects on groups of the scope and bias of the system.
Perhaps Schattsch neider's comme.nta:y was addressed to those emerging authontana n de­ mands for immediate change on non negotiable terms just as his earlier writi ngs warned of te dangers to democracy of excludi ng the O r:nil­ lion. Time and circumstance may have mv1ted
"' "Intensity, Visibility, Direction and Scope," p. 94. m Two H undred M illion A mericans, p. 81.
"' Michael Lipsky, '"Protest as a Political Resou rce," American Political Science Review , 62 ( December, 1968), 1144-1158. him to turn his mind toward a different prob­ lem, but he left nonetheless a contradiction in his philosophy about the exerise of popul r sovereignty and about change m a democratic polity.

In Retrospect
E. E. Schattsch neider was one of those who, in the 1930s and 1940s, set political science on its present course. He disputed the worth of an older scholarship devoted entirely to the de­ scription of statutory and constitutional provi­ sions and of formal institutional arrangements. He propou nded a study of politics that ad­ vanced hypotheses and gathered data to test them.
But he was not a proponent of value-free po­ litical science. He believed, first, that prefer­ ences were inherent in the subjects studied, the assumptions beh ind the hypotheses .advanced, and the evaluation of data. More important, however, he argued that political science oug t to add ress questions of philosophy and publ c affairs that had beari ng on how democratic government should in. fact be.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Ee Cummings

    • 1470 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Kailee Ambrosia Mrs. Marsden Honors LAL I 11 May 2012 Edward Estlin Cummings also known as ee cummings is one of the most famous poets America has ever known. Born in Massachusetts in, this writer and painter formed a very unique style through his poetry. Cummings is famous because of his complex thoughts portrayed in his pieces. Often times Cummings lures in and distracts his readers by beginning with topics such as society or children, but as the poem progresses they take a turn into…

    • 1470 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    EE sched

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Homework Q1 W2-3 19/26 Jul 2012 Introduction to EE – Familiarising students with the EE guide (What EE is; What students, supervisors and the school’s roles are; approved subjects and assessment criteria) EE schedule distributed Speak to various subject teachers on the possibilities of doing EE in the subject area. Reflect on the subject area that you are keen on doing your EE on. Q1 W4-5 02/09 Aug 2012 Referencing Skills – APA Referencing Read EE Guide (General Guide – pgs 1-20) 11-27 Aug…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Best Essays

    EE Report FINAL

    • 7677 Words
    • 18 Pages

    References: ABOUT EE, 2014. Retrieved from EE: Allen, K Alvarez, L., Casielles, R., & Martin, A. (2011). Analysis of the role of complaint management in the context of relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 27 Issue 1/2, 143-164. Avery, J.,…

    • 7677 Words
    • 18 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Ee Bonds Case

    • 144 Words
    • 1 Page

    • I would also suggest selling your EE bonds and contributing the proceeds to the MOST 529 savings plan. The interest earned on Series EE US Savings bonds issues after December 31, 1989 are tax free when the bonds are redeemed to pay for qualified higher education expenses or rolled over into section 529 college savings plans, prepaid tuition plans, or Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. The EE bonds are currently worth $25,000 and earn a return of 3.5%. The projected rate of return for the…

    • 144 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Ee Economics

    • 2399 Words
    • 10 Pages

    IB Extended Essay 2013 “To what extent do the government policies in restricting consumption of automobiles affect the demand for automobiles in Beijing?” Word Count: 3869 Candidate: CHEN, Kexin Subject HL: Economics HL Supervisor: Christine Zhang School: Beijing Huijia Private school Abstract Research question: “To what extent do the government policies in restricting consumption…

    • 2399 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays


    • 14834 Words
    • 60 Pages

    INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE ORGANIZATION DIPLOMA PROGRAMME Chemistry For first examinations in 2003 Chemistry February 2001 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2001 International Baccalaureate Organization Route des Morillons 15 1218 Grand-Saconnex Geneva, SWITZERLAND CONTENTS PART 1—GROUP 4 INTRODUCTION 1 CURRICULUM MODEL 3 AIMS 6 OBJECTIVES 7 ACTION VERBS 8 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)…

    • 14834 Words
    • 60 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    sop ee

    • 1275 Words
    • 6 Pages

    “A dream acted upon by confidence becomes an ambition and that when followed with determination defines the purpose of existence in its entirety” It is with a sincere sense of gratitude towards the opportunity given to me, I pen down this statement. Education not only expands the horizons of one's knowledge but also simultaneously implants an insatiable desire to acquire more and more knowledge. The knowledge, which science and technology had provided for the mankind has always fascinated me and…

    • 1275 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    SOP EE

    • 682 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by the way things work, from dismantling and maintaining my own bike to modeling a lift for apartments as a part of a science exhibition; my curiosity was directed at unraveling the functioning of devices. Egged on by my parents and teachers and my innate predilection for science and technology, a mechanical engineering degree was the logical career choice. My under graduate program was a judicious mix of theory and practice. Subjects like Operation…

    • 682 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    EE Schedule

    • 436 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Home Improvement Store (ACME) Employee Scheduling Problem Background Information Acme Home Improvements, Inc. was founded in 1982 in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. By 2007 the company had 125 stores along the US East Coast from Florida to Maine. Its annual sales are currently $5,400,000,000 with $280,000,000 net income. The average store is about 100,000 square feet with an additional 10,000 square feet of outside garden center. The stores typically carry 40,000 different products from…

    • 436 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    EE Risk Assessment

    • 828 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering 3rd & 4th YEAR UNDERGRADUATE AND MASTERS DEGREE PROJECT RISK ASSESSMENT 1. A project risk assessment must be completed by the student and approved by their Supervisor before any work can commence. Once completed, the risk assessment form must be handed in to the Departmental Officer, 7th floor Departmental Office for record keeping. It will then be examined by the Departmental Safety Officer (DSO) Kenneth Tong. Note. Type in the information…

    • 828 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays