What is Elitist theory of Democracy and how it is differ from Pluralist theory?
It is stated that various scholars who have emphasized upon the theory of elitist model of democracy have emphasized upon the premise that in the world, there are different sections of the society and they can be divided into elites and non-elites. They have emphasized upon the premise that it may be said that in a democracy, it is the people who hold power, but in actuality it is the elites who are the power holders in any society.
They also said that elites are in the minority still they are able to rule over the non-elites who are in majority. It is stated that scholars emphasizes upon the premise that elites are those who has risen high in life and have shown their specialization in the field they work in.
It is stated that these elites become a ruling class and control wealth, power, prestige in society and at the same time are able to exercise their influence over the government. Scholars like Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca expressed their ideas about how there a exist difference between those who rule and those who get ruled.
It is stated that Pareto in his book ‘The Mind and Society’ emphasized upon the premise that are exist a difference between individuals death leads to them being categorized as superior and inferior where as Mosca, in his book ‘the Ruling class’ emphasized upon the premise now where the non elite sir animals for the elite section of the society, whereas Robert Michael, in his book ‘Iron Law theory’, emphasized upon the premise that in generality people is shy, timid, coward who doesn’t want to come to the forefront, thus look towards the leader to guide them as a result of which all they do is to elect their leaders from the elites either way choosing ones. Another prominent scholar, Joseph Schumpeter in his book ‘capitalism socialism and democracy’, have emphasized upon the premise that the political decisions are taken by the leaders and not by the people as a result of which we can say that democracy is not the government by the people rather it is the authority or mechanism through which leaders Express their will.
Pluralist theory of Democracy
It is stated that democracy is said to be the government of the people and as a result of which one can say that basic purpose will be defeated in case it leads to concentration of powers in the hands of a few as a result of which it is stated by the pluralist scholar that in a democracy power is not concentrated in the hands of few rather it is divided among different structures, groups and organinsation.
It is stated that pluralist theory of democracy is a protest against the elitist theory of democracy and, it is realized that the pluralist scholars like Bentley, Raymond Aron and Robert Dahl, have emphasized upon the premise that in a democracy various organizations exercise their powers and it’s not just the government that runs the nation rather there are others who have an impact of the working of the government.
It is stated that trade unions, pressure groups, opposition parties and other institutions have an effect on the working of democracy, thus we can say that it’s not the case of the minority ruling over the majority. Scholars have also emphasized upon the premise that, pluralist democracy is a socio- political system in which the power of the state is shared with the large number of private groups, interest organizations, and individuals who are represented by such organizations, thus, according to the scholars ‘pluralism’ is a system in which political powers are fragmented among the branches of government and it is shared between the state and the private groups of individuals.
It is stated that pluralist democracy emphasizes upon the premise that men are rational being and as a result of which are capable of exhibiting rational behavior and as a result of which must be consulted by the government at the time of decision making. Scholars emphasizes upon the premise that it is a human tendency to form associations and groups as a result of which it can be stated that human shall come together to examine the policies of the government and in case it is needed shall register their protest.
One can say that scholars supporting pluralist theory emphasizing upon the premise that governments cannot take unilateral decisions as the politics of any nation gets influenced by the socioeconomic scenario of the nation. It is clear that scholars like Robert Dahl, emphasized upon his concept of ‘policy’. He is pointing towards multiple centers of power that still exists in the nation thus, governance becomes a collective effort of governments, organizations and individuals.