NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF AUTHORITY
According Max, Weber, there are three types of authority:
1. Traditional Authority
2. Authority Charismatic Authority
3. Legal-rational Authority
Traditional authority is seen in traditional societies such as kingdoms and empires. It receives its power from the tradition.
Charismatic authority receives its power from the person's charisma. A charismatic would communicate his people easily. It means having a certain types of properties that he can have some abilities. In the modern world, we are talking about legal-rational authority from the constitution. These concepts of authority, power, force are interrelated.
The word elite means a superior group in a society. Elitist theory explains a certain group with a high qualification, ability, and privilege position.
Pareto defines the concept of Elite as:
1. There is always inequality in every society
2. In every society there are the elites in minority that rule the majority Elite group is divided into two: the 'ruling elites' and the 'non-ruling elites'. This creates a social balance called the condition of equilibrium.
Elitist theory is a concept used to explain a certain group with a high qualification, ability, and hence within a privileged position.
According to Pareto the concept of Elite is defined in two
1. There are always privileged people in every society. This means that inequality is inevitable in social life (social stratification).
2. In every society there are elites in minority and masses that are ruled in majority.
The Elitist theory argues that the important decisions in liberal democracies are taken by a single ruling elite rather than being the outcome of competition between groups within society. The main tenets of 'Elitism', as adapted from Robert Michaels work include the following principles;
� Within all societies there exist one, or a few sets of powerful controlling elites. Regardless of the nature of the government or the economy, there is always oligarchy. The masses cannot and do not govern themselves.
� Although the elites are always a minority of the population, they control a large proportion of the available resources, are usually well organised, and co-heisve. Power is centralised in the hands of the elite members.
� Elites commonly employ all available means to protect and preserve their power and to enhance it wherever possible. They share power with others only when it is in their self interest, and they never voluntarily surrender power.
� To rule their society, elites employ a variety of techniques. These include dominating the economy, using police and military force, manipulating the educational system and the mass media, sanctioning or eliminating those who oppose them, and creating ideologies that legitimise their power and rule.
� Elites use their available means and their position of power to advance their own interests or the interests of their agency.
Two basic points which the elitist theorist refuses Marxism theory:
Theory of social classes claims:
1. Marxist 'Dominant class' is wrong because in modern industrialised societies there is a continuous elite circulation
2. Classes in society is important because social stratification exist in every society.
Basic contradiction between democratic and elitist theory:
1. Elitist theory says there is inequality in every society (social stratification) but democratic approach says there is equality
2. Elitist theory says that elite minority (chosen few) dominates but democratic approach says that 'majority rules' Robert Michaels 'bureaucratic authoritarian regime'.
Robert Michaels explained about the growing nature of bureaucratic regimes in modern welfare states.
1. The exercise of political rule by a small group of leaders, often backed by the military.
2. The reliance of the political rulers also on a large group of technical personnel (technocrats), who exercise much of the daily control over the operations of the society.
3. Boosting the economic growth of society when there is stagnation.
4. The repression of different classes, especially the increasing middle class.
Marxist theory represents one of the earliest attempts to explain distribution of political power in a society. According to Karl Marx political power in every civilised society is unevenly distributed. The ruling class monopolises the political power by the ownership of the means of production. Thus the political leader represents the dominant class. Socio-economic factors are the determinants of the distribution of political power. The social order however, is marked by a perpetual conflict between the ruler and ruled classes. This conflict is conditioned by the development of productive forces. This conflict is the basic reason behind the polarisation of classes between the capitalist and the working class. The nature of conflict determines changes in the distribution of power. Thus the Marxist theory is economic determinism. It seeks to intensify class conflict. It preaches violent revolution. Therefore, it was natural for the thinkers of the other world to challenge Marxist theory.