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Do we really have a democracy Well society is too large to have direct democracy Even representative democracy is hard to achieve on such a large scale Look at the voter turnout in the United States It is lower than ever If ordinary citizens arent making policy then who is One answer is the Elite Theory The Elite Theory is a theory that states that the elite of society controls public policy If the Elite Theory were correct it would consist of two parts The first part would be an uninterested public With the low voter turnout in the polls some people would argue that the American people arent interested The second part would be an Elite class that made almost all of the decisions Some scholars argue that the rich of today would be that elite class The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women they are in positions to make decisions having major consequences Whether they do or do not make such decisions is less important that the fact that they do occupy such pivotal positions their failure to act their failure to make decisions is itself an act that is often of greater consequences than the decisions they do makeWright p 4 The Elite have to have a way to gain access to the political system This can be done through the jobs of high standing that these people occupy Their power can be used to influence the common man by way of his job This is also done by campaign contributions There are no limits on the amount of money you can give to a political party Business and government have become more closely and explicitly connected neither can now be seen clearly as a distinct world Under American conditions the growth of executive government does not mean merely the enlargement of government has some
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