|A 1902 drawing of society by Vilfredo Pareto, comprised of human molecules and wealth, moving or circulating (i.e. circulation of elites), akin to the atoms in a heat-induced Benard cell, in the form of a spinning top social pyramid. |
In 1902, Pareto, in his Socialist Systems, in elaboration on his earlier 1896 work, outlined wealth distribution principle ideas with the adjacent diagram—shown with added clarification annotated—and comments: 
“The curve of the distribution of wealth in our society, varies little from one era to another. What is called social pyramid is in reality a sort of spinning top, which the adjacent figure gives an idea. Rich occupying the summit, the poor are at the base. Abcgf the part of the curve we are only well known, thanks to the statistical data. The adef part is only speculative.(add discussion)
We have adopted the form indicated by Otto Ammon and which seems to us quite likely that the shape of the curve is not due to chance. It probably depends on the distribution of the physiological and psychological characteristics of men. Moreover. can, in part, relate to the theories of pure economics, that is to say, the choice of men (these choices are specifically related to the physiological and psychological characteristics) and the obstacles encountered in production.
Assuming men arranged in layers according to their wealth, figure abcgfed is the outer form of the social organism. From what we have said this form does not change much, it can be assumed nearly constant on average and for a short time. But the molecules that make up the social aggregate do not remain at rest; individuals get richer, others poorer. So quite extensive are the agitated movements within the social organism, which resembles, in this, a living organism. In the latter, the blood flow is rapidly moving some molecules, the absorption and secretion processes continually change the molecules composing the tissue, while the external shape of the body, such as an adult animal, feels only insignificant changes.
Assuming men arranged in layers according to other characters, such as their intelligence, their ability to study mathematics, their musical talent, poetic, literary, their moral character, etc., it is likely to have curves forms more or less similar to what we just found for the distribution of wealth.”
In 1906, Pareto observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; Pareto is said to have developed or arrived at the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained or harvested 80% of the peas. 
● Lazy ant study
1. (a) Pareto, Vilfredo. (1902). The Socialist Systems, Volume 1 (Les Systéms Socialistes, Volume 1) (diagram, pgs. 6-7). V. Giard & E. Briére.
(b) Pareto, Vilfredo. (1902). The Socialist Systems, Volume 2 (Les Systéms Socialistes, Volume 2). V. Giard & E. Briére.
2. Manganelli, Raymond and Hagen, Brian W. (2003). Solving the Corporate Value Enigma: A System to Unlock Shareholder Value (§: Pareto Rule, pg. 221). AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.