With every advance in centralization the man who uses his hands is brought under subjection by the man who wields the sword or pen. The secretariat begins as the servant and ends as the master, as every executive offi cer in our dominions laments. It is inevitable. In a loose aggregate of small parts where every family must fend for itself, it is the man whose muscles are hard, w hose hands are deft, and whose judgment sound that is valued most. . . . But when . . . social activities have to be coordinated from a center then it is necessary to pick out the pure brains, the men who specialize in thinking. For a thinker is really a man who spends his time making other people think as he does, and consequently act as he thinks. (Hocart [1936] 1970: 126)

This quotation comes from a book by the English anthropologist A. M. Hocart who wrote in the fi rst half of the twentieth century and who ignored the trend in anthropology that placed exclusive emphasis on the study of whole primitive societies and rejected as unscientifi c the study of the process of civilization itself. The general principle Hocart enunciates here is unmistakably instantiated in the peculiar political phenomenon known as the European Community (EC).