A comparison of the ideas of the elite theory and the democratic elite theory

Set out most extensively in his book Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-driven Political Systems, the theory begins by noting that in modern political systems the cost of acquiring political awareness is so great that no citizen can afford it.

elite and democracy

This gave rise to a large working class centered in large industrial cities and forced to live under sub-human conditions created by a cruel, competitive economy. This was contrary to the democratic principle which implies equal entitlement of each individual not only in the matter of choosing a government but also to the other advantages accruing from organized social life.

Power elite theory example

Therefore, in broad terms, the elite theory of politics hold that every society consist of two categories of men a the elite or the minority within a social collectivity such as a society, a state, a religious institution, a political party which exercises a preponderant of influence within the collectivity, and b the masses of the majority which is governed by the elite. Gaetano Mosca Mosca postulated that the people are necessarily divided into two groups: the rulers and the ruled. Thereafter, we will examine the concept of liberal democracy. He believed that all organizations were elitist and that elites have three basic principles that help in the bureaucratic structure of political organization: Need for leaders, specialized staff and facilities Utilization of facilities by leaders within their organization The importance of the psychological attributes of the leaders Contemporary elite theorists[ edit ] Elmer Eric Schattschneider[ edit ] Elmer Eric Schattschneider offered a strong critique of the American political theory of pluralism : Rather than an essentially democratic system in which the many competing interests of citizens are amply represented, if not advanced, by equally many competing interest groups , Schattschneider argued the pressure system is biased in favor of "the most educated and highest-income members of society", and showed that "the difference between those who participate in interest group activity and those who stand at the sidelines is much greater than between voters and nonvoters". Thus, while democracy is an old concept, liberalism is a recent one. Schumpeter, J. It is sometimes forgotten that later revolutionary ideologies held fast to the classic form of normative elitism, even borrowing the Platonic language of guardianship. Harris, P. Additionally, the elite may owe its position to conquest, like the Norman rulers of Saxon England after , or the Fulani conquest of the Hausa land in Northern Nigerian in They also spurned what they took to be his democratic faith in the ultimately decisive influence of the most numerous, the labouring class. By the late 19th century, attention to the empirical aspects of elite power complemented normative elitism without fundamentally altering it. This 7 view point is deducible from his famous passage regarded as the most concise statement of the general elitist position, the passage reads: Among the constant facts and the tendencies that are to be founding all political organisms, one is so obvious that it is apparent to the most casual eye.

Milton was admired by John Adamsthe American revolutionary, and in the s James Madison and Alexander Hamilton defended the new institutions of the U.

Dahl, R.

A comparison of the ideas of the elite theory and the democratic elite theory

Again, the classical elitist thesis does not merely assert that in a society the minority makes decisions and the majority obeys. He asserts, much like Hunter, that an elite class that owns and manages large income-producing properties like banks and corporations dominate the American power structure politically and economically. Publishers Ltd. On the other side the people can only act politically under the direction of a small group of leaders. Majoritarian democracy in strict sense of the term was in their view, an impossibility confirmed by the experience of history. Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. This 7 view point is deducible from his famous passage regarded as the most concise statement of the general elitist position, the passage reads: Among the constant facts and the tendencies that are to be founding all political organisms, one is so obvious that it is apparent to the most casual eye. However, given the limited scope of this work, only a brief commentary on the theories propounded by these theorists will be undertaken. During the electoral campaign, each party tries to convince voters it is the most suitable for managing the state business. His most recent work, Energy and Empire: The Politics of Nuclear and Solar Power in the United States demonstrates that economic elites tied their advocacy of the nuclear energy option to post American foreign policy goals, while at the same time these elites opposed government support for other forms of energy, such as solar, that cannot be dominated by one nation. Robert D.

Schumpeter, J. The result was the birth of a new theory elitist theory and practice democratic elitism of democracy Bachrach, ; cited in Ikpe, The state should not interfere unduly with social life.

elite theory example

Burnham attempts a scientific analysis of both elites and politics generally. But, the elite theory of politics was developed to the status of a theory in political science by two Italian sociologists, Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca For others, elites are the sole source of values in the society or constitute the integrating force in the community without which it may fall part.

In due course this class became conscious of its strength and insisted on a voice at the decision-making level.

types of elites

He said elites are an organized minority and that the masses are an unorganized majority.

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