The Comparison of Marxists and Elitists Accounts of Political Power.

859 Words Sep 18th, 2010 4 Pages
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
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This idea reminds of the Nietzsche’s Ubermensch, who is the one to power the others. The similarity of these ideas lies in the fact that in Elitist’s theory they assume that all people are not created equal: some are stronger, more intelligent, more artistic, etc. Of course, not all abilities lead to economic wealth or political power-however, those people who have the most of the particular abilities which a society rewards become the political elite. Here we can draw a line to cross out Marx’s idea that people are born equal and the only thing that makes them different is being attributed to certain social class and therefore, there personal characteristics defer the social structure-the economic structure. Another Elitist Gaetano Mosca proposed the idea that there is a ruling elite, so-called “Classe Politica” (political elite) and “Social forces”-those social and economic categories on whom the society depends on because of their particular abilities. In other words, not the whole layer of elite actually rules-political power is the representative one-social forces have a major influence in them. Moreover, political elite are also the representatives of the masses- all elites stabilize their rule by making it acceptable to the masses. This is achieved by “political formula”, e.g.:
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