Politics Assignment 3 - Emma Cooper POL1004 Introduction to...

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Emma Cooper POL1004: Introduction to Politics, Tutorial #07 9 March 2012 Assignment #03 Words:316 What is a ruling class or elite? How do elites maintain power? Mosca refers to the elite as the “political class” (Zuckerman, 1977: 324). The political class is in the minority, executes all political tasks, “monopolises power”, enjoys the benefits of that power and controls the ruled (Bill & Hardgrave, 1981: 148). Mosca defines four types of elites: The military elite, the religious elite, the economic elite and the merit elite (Bill & Hardgrave, 1981: 149). According to Mosca, the political class maintains power through the society aiming to protect the elite from external threats and a political formula which validates their power. The elite must also rely on the fact that people tend to conform to their environment and the elite require the cooperation of the military. Most importantly, the elite maintain power through the “circulation of the elite” which is expanded on by Vilfredo Pareto (Bill & Hardgrave, 1981:150).
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