| My interest in this topic was sparked by a talk
on "The Foundation Myths of Voluntary Organisations".
It seems there is a strong correspondence between the strength of
the founding myth and the long-term success of the organisation.
Organisations with relatively weak founding myths do not tend to
thrive as well as those with a "good story" about their
Just before this talk, I had been reading about:-
A. Mythology, which I have previously read widely, but
not 'studied'. I found an interesting classification of mythologies
in a book by Alexander Eliot (cousin of TS Eliot)
B. Elites, where I have found an interesting synthesis
of academic work in "Theories of the State", by Professors
Dunleavy and O'Leary of the LSE.
I decided to see what connections might be made between these
two fields, especially as the most successful organisations will
tend to have both a set of founding myths and also an appropriate
power structure - an elite or establishment who make all the most
important decisions, and who have more power relative to those
outside the elite.
In my reading, I have discovered from the above sources:-
1. Myths can be classified in a number of ways, but one of the
most useful is:- Primitive, Pagan, Sacred and Scientific, and
these contain implicit elites.
2. There are a number of major theories of the State, which have
their own mythical levels:- Pluralism, the New Right, Elite Theory,
Marxism, and neo-Pluralism
3. In particular, Elite Theory states that governance by a small
elite group is normatively desirable. However different types
of state give rise to different types of elites, and different
opinions of the best type of elite.
I have tried to link myth and elite in the following pages:-
||I have divided this study into a number of pages
for the internet:-
1.Mythology - introduction
2. classification of mythologies
3. elites in mythology
4. an example of levels in a myth
5. is science really mythological
6. Theories of the State - Introduction
8. the new right
9. elite theory
12. Summary - a hierarchical
13. a unitary theory ?
Your comments would be welcome either on the Post
New Age message board or