Week one discussion one   Khalil Ross 1. Compare and contrast [Similarities and differences] the key

Week one discussion one  

Khalil Ross

1. Compare and contrast [Similarities and differences] the key components of the theories of elitism and pluralism.

Hey Class,

              Elitism is the understanding and agreement that an individual, typically in the upper echelons of society, will create a set of rules and make decisions for the welfare of the majority of elites. The main things that elitism cares for are individual liberty, individual property and limited government. Elites typically think that the lower echelons are poorly educated and lack information giving the elites the moral “right” to guide and lead. Pluralism is the belief that there are multiple groups of Elites and they are still in charge of decisions but that the decisions those Elite make should be geared for their elite group’s interests. Pluralism believes that relation to an elite group indicates vested interest and choosing a “side.” The Biggest differences of elitism versus pluralism in my opinion is that elitism only cares that any elite individual is holding positions of power making decisions for the Elite Class. While, pluralism is the concept of elites groups competing for resources and power for making decisions that are in line with their elite group’s interests. Thanks for reading and good luck in the upcoming class.

Week 1 Topic 1


Alexie Hall

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In comparing elitism and pluralism, fundamental differences in their views of power and society become evident. Elitism suggests that society is divided between a small elite with power and the masses without it. Power is concentrated in a limited set of institutional leaders who share common backgrounds, such as wealth and education. Interaction among leaders involves consensus over values and goals, with disagreements focused on means. Leadership sources stem from shared experiences and control of institutional resources, including corporations, banks, media giants, and government.

On the other hand, pluralism posits that society consists of multiple competing groups across economic, identity, religious, and ideological categories. Power is dispersed among various leadership groups engaging in bargaining and compromise over societal decisions. Interaction involves conflict and competition over values, goals, and means. Leadership sources in pluralism highlight diversity in backgrounds, activism in organizations, and the continuous formation of new groups, with interest groups, parties, and government branches as principal institutions of power.

Regarding political influence, elitism envisions a downward flow from elites to the masses through mass media, educational institutions, and cultural organizations. Public policy in elitism reflects elite preferences, modified by altruism and a desire to maintain the political system. Conversely, pluralism sees an upward flow from the masses to elites through interest groups, parties, elections, and modern technologies. Public policy in pluralism reflects a balance of competing interest groups, with changes occurring as these groups gain or lose influence. Ultimately, while elitism emphasizes a concentrated elite making decisions, pluralism underscores the dynamic interplay of multiple groups influencing policy outcomes through competition and cooperation.


Dye, T. R., Zeigler, L. H., & Schubert, L. (2016). 
The irony of democracy: An uncommon introduction to American politics. Cengage Learning.



Mario Perez

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Elites were dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation because it gave too much power to the states, especially over key financial areas such as trade, commerce, taxes, and printing their own money, which caused many issues with debt, credit, repayment, and rebellion. Some of the delegated powers included, “power to declare war, to send and receive ambassadors, to make treaties, to fix standards of weights and measures, to regulate the value of coins, to manage Native American affairs… to regulate commerce and to levy taxes, ” (Schubert, Dye, and Zeigler, p. 23, 2015). Furthermore, the elites were concerned that the states had much more power than the central government, which created challenges for them in the international community.

Since the elites were among the wealthiest in the country, they were concerned that their assets, land, finances, and power within the central government were threatened by the Articles of Confederation. The weakness of the document motivated them to write a new constitution that would shift the power from the states to the central government so that they would have power over the financial system and taxes, and rise as a country internationally, all while protecting their wealth and positions. The power to tax, protecting money, credit, and land from Native Americans, and revolutions from class wars and rebellions, as well as the power to create the military, and creating a system that ensured a strong central government were key motivators to write the constitution (Schubert, et. al., pp. 36-38, 2015). The most significant motivator was ensuring that they benefitted politically and economically from a new document. “The elites would not have developed and supported the Constitution if they had not stood to gain substantially from it,” (Schubert, et. al., p. 35, 2015).


Schubert, L., Dye, T. R., & Zeigler, H. (2015). 
The Irony of Democracy: An Uncommon Introduction to American Politics (17th ed.). Cengage Learning US. 

Week One Discussion 2


Jaquis Tigner

1. Explain why elites were dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation. How did their concern with the weakness of the document motivate them to write a new constitution?

The main reason elites were unhappy with the Articles of Confederation was that they didn’t think they provided a strong and permanent foundation for government. The 1777 adoption of the Articles resulted in a feeble federal government and increased power for the individual states. A number of issues were brought about by this decentralized system, including the incapacity to impose taxes, control trade, and keep a standing army.

Elites’ discontent was rooted in worries about the country’s ability to handle problems and the stability of the economy. Economic interests were frequently hampered and national disputes went unsolved in the absence of a strong central authority. Economic instability resulted from the government’s inability to fulfill its financial obligations due to the absence of a steady source of income.

Enraged by these inadequacies, elites, who frequently possessed substantial economic and political power, yearned for a stronger, more centralized government. To solve these issues, the 1787 Constitutional Convention was called. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and other prominent delegates sought to draft a constitution that would establish a more powerful national government that could uphold law and order, defend property rights, and promote economic expansion.

The convention resulted in the creation of the United States Constitution, which addressed the shortcomings of the Articles by establishing a more centralized government with the ability to impose taxes, control trade, and have a permanent army. Because of the elites’ discontent with the Articles of Confederation, a new constitution was drafted with the intention of providing a stronger and more stable basis for the nascent nation.

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