James Burnham

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Burnham, James


Born Nov. 22, 1905, in Chicago. American sociologist. University professor in New York (1929–53).

Burnham proposed the theory of a “managerial revolution” (the book The Managerial Revolution, 1941). Making a fetish of the real process of separation of the functions of management from those of ownership, he asserted that a new ruling class of organizers was rising (higher engineers, administrators, and managers). This class was allegedly independent of capitalist property and capable of administering in the interests of the whole society.

Burnham is essentially an apologist for state monopoly capitalism and the totalitarian power of the minority. He asserts that the relationships of dominance and subordination are necessary conditions for the existence of society. Burnham is an open enemy of Marxism and the socialist countries.


The Managerial Revolution. New York, 1941.
Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom. Toronto, 1943.
Containment or Liberation . . . ? Toronto, 1953.
Web of Subversion. Toronto, 1954.
Suicide of the West. New York, 1964.


Osipov, G. V. Tekhnika i obshchestvennyi progress. Moscow, 1959.
Gvishiani, D. M. Sotsiologiia biznesa. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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