In reviewing the work of James Burnham (best known for The Managerial Revolution), George Orwell says:
Power worship blurs political judgment because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.
If the Japanese have conquered south Asia, then they will keep south Asia for ever, if the Germans have captured Tobruk, they will infallibly capture Cairo; if the Russians are in Berlin, it will not be long before they are in London: and so on. This habit of mind leads also to the belief that things will happen more quickly, completely, and catastrophically than they ever do in practice.
Such a manner of thinking is bound to lead to mistaken prophecies, because even when it judges the direction of events rightly, it will miscalculate their tempo. Within the space of five years Burnham foretold the domination of Russia by Germany and of Germany by Russia. In each case he was obeying the same instinct: the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment, to accept the existing trend as irreversible. With this in mind one can criticize his theory in a broader way.
From Orwell’s essay James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution, originally published in 1946 as Second Thoughts on James Burnham. Included in the collection In Front of Your Nose: The Collected Essays and Letters of George Orwell, 1945-1950.