The people that really impressed me were those who had willingly given up compensation because they wanted to practice generosity. But it was also a way they could bridle ambition and consumerism.
Can the fact that these few thousand people have an enormous influence really be justified?
Robert Michels was a German sociologist who studied socialist political parties in early 20th century in Europe. It stands to reason that if anybody is going to have an egalitarian ethos, where nobody is above anybody else, it's this kind of group. He expected that his research would confirm this belief.
Michels's most famous concept is the Iron Law of Oligarchy. This means that at the moment a group begins to organize, a power structure forms. In order to get things done, you are always going to have a small group of people with disproportionate privilege and power. It is how we work together in public life.
The reason I care deeply about having more serious Christians in positions of responsibility is because there are very few worldviews that preach a gospel of self-sacrifice, and none that are built around the very concept of self-sacrifice, like the Christian gospel.
The antidote to the pernicious effects of power is not giving up power. It is using power sacrificially. Why, then, would we not want more people who believe in that approach? Why would we not want more people like that setting the example in the upper reaches of society?