Power Elite

Topics: Democracy, Sociology, Political philosophy Pages: 4 (1379 words) Published: December 26, 2008
The Power Elite
In the modern world, most of the countries have democratic government, which means that decisions are made by the people, who rule and govern the state. However, there is not a single state that practices perfect democracy due to different reasons. Governments are too big, which makes it very complex for every citizen to have a voice in decisions. Or, governments are claimed to be democratic, but in practice they can be close to authoritarian or even totalitarian regimes where one person has a power to make and enforce laws. Political power is not allocated evenly among all members of society, so, in this or that way, governments tend to fall in the hands of the few, whom we can call the elite or the power elite. Power can be defined as the ability to effect and control the behavior of others. Elite, is a relatively small dominant group in a big society that usually made up from the upper class members of society.[1] The theory of power elite claims that power is concentrated in the hands of a few and composed of people who occupy the top positions in society and have access to political power. In other words this theory claims that a single elite group decides “who gets what and how”.[2] I will try to argue that political power belongs to a single elite group and show that the principle of power elite theory exists and works in many societies and try to contrast it to the pluralist view. Due to the complexity and impracticality of participatory democracy in large modern societies, governments fall into the hands of a few, or the minority who control the government. Italian Political scientist, Gaetano Mosca, argued that in all societies – from the least developed to the most advanced and powerful, there are two classes of people: the class that rules and the class that is ruled. The class that rules is less numerous and carries out the function of making political, economic and social decisions. And the vast majority is under the...

Bibliography: 5. C. Wright Mills, the Power Elite (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956
[2] Political Science: an introduction/ Michael G. Roskin…[et al.], p.84
[3] Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class (New York: McGraw Hill, 1939), p
[4] C. Wright Mills, the Power Elite (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956, p. 8
[5] C
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