There have always been arguments in the field of sociology on whether the power elite or pluralist view is correct, and which should be used in determining various perspectives of society. According to modern Ethicists, it has been argued that the power elite model actually prevails over the concepts of the pluralist view in helping us understand matters of power, politics and society. In my opinion, I believe the power elite system should be considered in determining conflicting matters concerning our society.
C. Wright Mills, an American sociologist in his book The Power Elite, claims that there is a new perspective on power systems in the United States–with power being increasingly concentrated in the hands of three major bodies, which include: government leaders, the military forces and large economic corporations. Unlike what the pluralist view says: That policies are made conventionally through public debates and deliberations, a situation whereby the organization of power is democratic and dispersed; this conservative view has been replaced by authority and control that is channeled from a few specific groups. (C.W.Mills, 1956)
Similar to the case in America, from the 20th century, major state power and authority in most nations is generally from the political, military and economic realms of a particular state. These three institutional orders have concentrated power and authority in a more central and undemocratic style forming noticeable and evident power domineering bodies, which control society despite not being unified. Through general observation, it is evident that the major plans and activities of a state regarding education, politics, transportation, economical supremacy, civil establishments and infrastructure are encompassed by the top positions of a state’s power and authority system. Proving that the holders of these offices control a nation’s major activities and how they impact on people and the society at large.
Also, the power elite theory tends to agree to a great extent with the other society network theories. In that, it is obvious that all modern social orders are domineered by the leaders of the large bureaucratically controlled business organizations, the government and the armed forces. Unlike pluralists who view society as groups competing for policies in their interpretation of politics and government, the power elites see the power and control model as a pyramid of power with a small group of elites at the top making the major decisions for all others below, proving that just a single elite and not a collection of competing groups decides the major issues of the state as a whole for the sake of very citizen in society, leaving the minor issues for middle level and common people to decide upon. (Domhoff, 1990)
Despite claims of the power elite model being considered as a conspiracy group that only aims at fulfilling their own interests, they in actual sense respect constitutional doctrines and civil liberties in their operations. Hence, the power elite model holds more water as compared to the case of pluralism in determining conflicting matters in our society.