Power reflects the wishes and outcomes one wants to realize. It is one of the universal dimensions in society. In this connection, it is necessary to examine the power in the US focusing on four fundamental theories of democracy, elite class theory, pluralist theory, and hyperpluralism.
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The elite class theory referred to as the functional concept of the society organized by more or less cohesive minorities having at their disposal the levers of power. However, such a power in society is a violation of the democratic rights of the people, a challenge to democracy, and the position that condemns the majority of the population for political passivity and turns into the manipulation by the ruling elite class (Ginsberg 127). The elite class society possesses complete power, namely, in the hands of owners and senior managers of industrial, commercial, and financial corporations.
Democracy means living in safety and enjoying both justice and liberty. Citizens are voting for their preferred representatives. It also supposes the recognition of the people as the source of power and suggests the power of the majority, of citizens’ equality, and the rule of law. Nevertheless, it seems that the theory of pluralism suits the US more than democracy.
The theory of political pluralism is not only the most widespread but also almost completely dominated in the American political science in the last decades. It continues to dominate and remains the most common explanation of US democracy’s existence. The pluralistic concept is relevant for American politicians and theorists of political science as its provisions are liberal. Not by chance, pluralism in modern US political science has become almost synonymous with democracy as the barriers between them are blurred to some extent.
The pluralism in the US assumes diversity and equal opportunities for each citizen. Consequently, people join in groups making the society decentralized, in other words, pluralistic. Power in the pluralistic society is also decentralized among different groups. Taking into account that the US society votes, has protected individual rights, freedom of choice, and reliance on self, in general, one can consider that the US has a pluralistic power distribution. It should be stressed that such a position has its disadvantages as well.
For example, it leads to the individualistic behaviors breaking families and loss of the home value (Dorabji 38). As one can also observe on the example of the US, in particular, California that suffers from unemployment and economic crisis that are the consequences of the pluralistic model as well (Walker and Lodha 62). Political pluralism tries to connect the democratic nature of the American society that has evolved as the ideals of democracy and ideology of technocratic industrial society. Pluralism draws an uncovered leading system, which allows people from the lower-class approach to climbing in the upper strata of society as Obama did (Wise 245). The above fact confirms the existence of the pluralistic power distribution, too.
However, the strengthening of the executive power, the growth of the bureaucratic machine, and a certain reduction of the role of representative institutions are alarming in the US. When there are a lot of elites, and they are found in every social stratum, society is seen as a balance of mitigating and cooperating forces of different groups and interests of each social group that are expressed by their elite. In this case, one can talk about the hyper pluralism.
Dorabji, Elena V. Betrayal: How Individualistic Pursuit of the American Dream Is Destroying America by Destroying Her Families. 15th ed. New York, NY: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Ginsberg, Benjamin. We the People: An Introduction to American Politics. 9th ed. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2013. Print.
Walker, Richard, and Suresh K. Lodha. The Atlas of California: Mapping the Challenges of a New Era. Berkeley, CA: U of California, 2013. Print.
Wise, Tim J. White like Me. Berkeley, CA: Soft Skull, 2013. Print.