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How The Elite Maintain Power

Updated on December 12, 2012

Thought process of the masses

There has to be certain beliefs in place in order for the elite to maintain their privileged position. The main keys used to introduce and maintain these ideas are brute force, ingenuity and control of ideological information .. The least effective method is brute force. Although a central ideology is no longer an effectivre tool for controlling the masses, the elite rely on different methods of introduction to justify their position.

Controlling Ideas

An ideology is a complex belief system using religious, political and economic structures as dissemination ports for the general public. Remarkably control of the thought process of the masses, through selective release and control of information is far more effective than brute force. The acceptance of this collective belief is what Marx called false consciousness. Which is a subjective understanding that does not accord with ones physical situation. Never realizing their current situation is continuously engineered by a select few. Only through class consciousness with an awareness of their common plight will they begin to question the legitimacy of such a system.

One of the main tools of shaping ideas is the manipulation of information released to the media. Another term for information biasing is propaganda. Which doesn’t necessarily mean the information is untrue, it is merely worded to bias public perception to obtain a desired outcome.
The atmospheric effect is the tendency to accept or reject an argument based on the way it is presented.

Example……A woman brutally shot and killed her husband while involved in a domestic dispute.

Example….A loving wife shot and killed her husband while defending herself during a domestic altercation..

Example……Several people were shot and killed by government forces during a peaceful protest.

Example………Government forces shot and killed several protestors after being pelted with rocks and bottles.

Social Networks

Another main ingredient in maintaining social stratification are social networks. Friendships, associations, fraternities and business contacts perpetuates social and financial inequalities. William Domhaff in a study between 1990 thru 1998 documented how members of the elite multiplied their opportunities, because of contacts made with people of similar or better backgrounds. By sharing similar information and backgrounds helps pass advantages from one generation to the next.

Bill Gates Mother, Mary a former school teacher, served on the same charity board as the chairman of IBM. It was through his mother that Bill Gates met the CEO of IBM. The software giant Microsoft was the direct result of that meeting.

In contrast social networks of the poor can only perpetuate poverty, despair and hopelessness. It is through the premise of their false consciousness they tend to believe circumstances far beyond their control is responsible for their situation.

Redistribution Effect

Although there are many government policies that suppress, divide and redistribute, there are none more unpopular than taxes. During the first four years of his presidency Ronald Regan’s administration enacted a tax law system that increased the income for the wealthy and decreased the income for the poor. According to the CBO in 1982 an average family of four with an annual income less than 10,000 had a loss of 270.00 as benefit cuts outweighed gains. On the other hand the same size families with an income of 80,000 or more made 7,070.00 as a direct result of the cuts. In 1961 president Kennedy used policy as a stabilizer by asking congress to cut taxes to help stimulate the economy.

In 1991 the federal reserve did a study that showed a dramatic change in the distribution of wealth in America. It showed the rich got richer the middle class stagnated and the poor got poorer. The average net worth of a family earning more than 50,000 per year rose from 176,000 to 185,000. Families earning less than 10,000 net worth fell from 3,800 to 2,300 dollars and those earning between 20,000 to 30,000 net worth rose from 36,900 to 37,000.

In Summary

Ordinary people are driven by forces in society they neither understand or control.
Forces that are deeply embodied in governmental institutions, economic equilibrium and social values supported by ideologies that have become an accepted way of life through learned values and behavior control.

If we took the most powerful people in the world and separated them from their supporting institutions, and denied the positive media coverage that supports the entitlement ideology they would be poor and powerless. In order to have power one needs the support of a well organized institution.
Wealth is a product of power. Power is a product of acceptance.


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