The Comparison of Marxists' and the Elitists' Views of Political Power

Pages: 3 (851 words) Published: September 9, 2010
The comparison of Marxists and Elitists accounts of political power.

In this essay we will try to compare the Marxists and the Elitists views of political power and what makes these views different. Before we start analyzing it should be remarked that the Elitists approach is closely connected to the works and ideas of Gaetano Mosca, Roberts Michels and C. Wright Mills and the founder of such an approach to studying political power (W. Pareto), who opposed his ideas to those of Marx and Gramsci. Therefore, there is a conflict of ideas, which is to be unveiled in this essay. Firstly, Marxists approach to political power is to be briefly overviewed. The cornerstone of all Marx’s work is the base-superstructure model-every aspect of his work can be linked to it. In this model economy is the base and the rest was superstructure, which is determined by base. The superstructure is comprised of culture, education, politics, etc. So, in this respect Marx’s view can be reduced to stressing the economic determinism in the field of politics. Moreover, Marx saw the whole historical process, as the change in the modes of production (the forces of production + the means of production + social relationships of production) plus the increasing alienation of human beings. The change in modes of production according to Marx determined the political regime and the list of those, who govern the state. He saw the political power as the one based fully on economic backgrounds-the possession of the forces of production-the owners of labour forces. On the other hand, political power in Marx’s theory is used as the ideological weapon to put the “wrong goals” in the heads of the forces of production-the working class-and by this to alienate them from there real aims and goals for the sake of the ruling capitalist class. To cut this all to one sentence it could be said that economy determines everything, political power is not an exception. Now the Elitists approach will be briefly...
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