An Analysis Of Political Elitism Essay Research

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An Analysis Of Political Elitism Essay, Research Paper An Analysis of Political Elitism It is easy to believe that the middle-class working individual, whether he or she is white collar or blue collar, wields little political power except for during an election. It is also easy to think that we don’t have true democracy; political representation elected by the people, for the people, and controlled by these people. This is an ideology that is often worn out. Instead, these elected representatives are controlled by political elites: high-ranking political “gladiators”, the media, lobbyists, and, though it may not seem evident, big business. It is, in essence, commonly believed by most. Some reasons why political elites at times dominate government groups will be examined

in this essay. Also, there will be an analysis of those who were political elites in Canada over the past centuries. Also, some new discoveries may be turned up that help us have a better understanding of this elitism. Finally, we will discuss if interest groups and minorities have real political power, or perhaps they are just given token compensation. Hopefully, by the end of this essay, there will be a better understanding of who really has political power in Canada. Though this paper is an analysis of elitism, we must also dissect the concept of democracy. Needless to say, without democracy in a political system, elitism would not exist. Democracy was a concept developed by the Greeks and the Romans during the classical period. It comes from the Greek word “demos”, which

means “the people”; and “kratien”, which means “to rule”. In essence, democracy is a nation’s people rule themselves through elected representatives. Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia remind us of an important point though. Though the words “democracy” and “republic” are used together universally, they are definitely not the same thing. For instance, Canada is defined as a constitutional monarchy. It is not a republic; yet, we use a democratic system. Another is China, whose official title is “The People’s Republic of China”; yet, China is far from democratic. Furthermore, democracy is seen as ambiguous. Democracy is not only a concept on which our great nation is based, but also it is a source for which government can use its authority, and it is also a

process. This is where elitism is spawned. Elitism can be seen, from a certain point of view, as people who are believed to important who “vest political power in their incumbents” (Van Loon, Whittington, 1981). From a sociological point of view, elitism deals with class structures. Marx describes these class structures and what makes certain individuals “High Class” or “important”: “The separation of ownership from the management and control of industry” (Penguin Books, 1994, p.58). Marxists see political elites as “bad guys” – theoretically, it is because they represent a small portion of the population and are believed to control most of the political power and money. However, Plato’s Republic offers a different standpoint. In his work, political elites

are seen as “good guys” – wise, virtuous, and knowledgeable. It is difficult to define elitism, however. The above definition, first and foremost, deals with financial status. What’s more, Plato’s opinions and definitions of elites are blatantly out of date. Though political elites are predominately high-class and wealthy, it does not explain interest groups and lobbyists. The men and women in these groups are, on the whole, not particularly “rich” or “important”. What makes them truly important or powerful is that they alter public opinion (The media works in the same way, however this will be discussed later). The idea that elites shape public opinion applies to all elites as well. Not to mention the fact that the majority of Canadians have negative attitudes