Who rules the state?

But the group can never, as a group, govern itself, cannot organize and exploit its potential power. For this, leaders are required, leaders with a vision of how the group may become even more stronger. And such leaders can appear only if certain individuals within the morally organized collective are themselves immoral, break the rules in pursuit of personal power. So the greatest chance of survival falls, paradoxically, to that collective which has achieved solidarity by morality and, at the same time, contains within itself a leaven of opportunists who will exploit that morality for personal power.

It comes about, therefore, that those individuals who are gifted and able, and who in the pursuit of power are not much burdened by loyalty to shared beliefs, who indeed are skilled at professing and representing these beliefs while at the same time violating them in pursuit of personal aggrandizement ... those people strive for and achieve leadership and come thereby to be in the position of controlling and directing the enormous power of the state.

(See Who is Machiavelian?)

--Allen Wheelis