Who Holds Power in the United Kingdom Today

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Who Holds Power in the United Kingdom Today

To approach this question it is essential to consider both the definitions of power and the various different domains within which they work. As power is central to the understanding of politics, it evokes fierce controversy over its meaning. Academics have argued that politics strives to resolve conflict by producing consensus over the issues in question. In contrast, the practice of politics may also be seen solely as a means of execising power, be it through particular coercive forces or a legitimate authoratitive body.

Political activity is omnipresent, existing on both micro level (as seen in the relationship between teacher and student) and on a
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'Egalatarian' ideas (i.e. socialism and democracy) are merely illusions, far from the truth of reality. Rather, elite theorists put forward the idea that elitism is the by-product of political apathy amongst the majority of the population. This lack of interest in politics is, and always has been an inherent characteristic within the structure of society. Hence, the materialisation of an 'representative' democracy. Under this guise of 'democracy', although the electorate is given choices through which to choose which elite should govern, it cannot however change the basis on which power will always be exercised by an elite. As Robert Michels (1876-1936) professed '...he who says organisation says oligarchy'.

Elitism further contends that political parties do not act as a vehical through which a variation of different interests may be expressed. Instead, elitists highlight the ineffiences of pluralism by pointing out that political parties have the power to prohibit certain views reaching the political agenda, especially those which are in direct conflict with the party's policy. Moreover, they argue that interest groups do not share equal status. For example, groups representing the homeless do not have as much political influence as those that represent the economically supreme and well-educated.

In contrast, Marxists argue that the system is fundamentally
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