The elite are the few that have power in society, the masses are the many who do not. We shall call our national leaders elitist because they possess formal authority over large institutions that shape the lives of Americans. People everywhere are governed by an elite, by a chosen element of the population. The necessity of elitism derives from the general need for order in society, yet the central feature of the republican model is that elites make policy, not the masses. The elite model views the masses as largely passive, apathetic, and ill-informed about policy. Public opinion is easily manipulated by the elite dominated mass media, so that communication between elites and masses flows downward.

Political scientist and author, Michael Parenti says, "There is only one thing that the ruling classes in this country (the United States) have ever wanted and that is everything."

In most oppressive third world countries, real power remains concentrated in the hands of the small rich land-holding elites, backed up by the military who are willing to imprison, torture, and murder their opponents. As long as corporate economic interests are protected, any country can be armed by the United States. From conquest to the present, small elites have prospered by controlling the land and commanding a ready supply of very cheap labor, leaving the masses in misery. The United States supports the elites in these totalitarian governments because it is in their economic interests to do so. One by one, the human rights abuses of these oppressive regimes eventually get exposed and the U.S. is again left embarassed and looking like fools to the rest of the world.

Governments have fluctuated between electoral democracy and military dictatorship, but for the most part, political movements have been unable to seriously threaten the power of the elites. Moreover, those elites could count on the ready support of the U.S. Hence, for decades they have been able to afford to ignore the needs of the majority and suppress occasional protest from the oppressed.

President Reagan in mid 1983 appointed the Kissenger Commission. The commission sought a wide range of viewpoints on economic issues in Latin America but the commission's members met almost exclusively with the region's elites. Land reform and a preferential option for the poor could not be discussed in this situation because of the elitist prejudice and the desire to maintain the status-quo. All over the world, political power has been given to the elites in the name of freedom while the masses languish in poverty, sickness and death just so that others can live well.
[157, 160, 178]

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