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The elites can spread their power if they want to. What does this tell you about...

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laceywiley | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2013 at 1:27 AM via web

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The elites can spread their power if they want to. What does this tell you about elites? Why would they want to spread their power to others not in the superelite category?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 16, 2013 at 1:48 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the fact that the elites could spread their power if they wished to is a telling statement of the nature of power they possess.  Power can be transferred.  It is not static.  It is not plastic.  Rather, power is a fluid element that can be shifting and changing, designed to include more people and be representative of more interests.  The real question is whether the elites would want to do this.  It has become clear that the current economic challenges and recovery process has developed a rather "hard" group of elites that might not wish to expand their power:

Our light-speed, globally connected economy has led to the rise of a new super-elite that consists, to a notable degree, of first- and second-generation wealth. Its members are hardworking, highly educated, jet-setting meritocrats who feel they are the deserving winners of a tough, worldwide economic competition—and many of them, as a result, have an ambivalent attitude toward those of us who didn’t succeed so spectacularly.

The globalization of the world's markets and their lack of regulation have helped to construct a setting in which the elites have emerged as powerful because "productivity gains are larger."  Global consolidation of business ventures have developed wealthier elites at an unprecedented rate of growth.  These individuals have accepted the conditions of meritocracy, and are not very willing to revert to a condition where regulation and distribution of economic power is evident.  They would rather remain where they are, where "today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves."  There does not seem to be much in way of indicating that the super-elites would not want to transfer power to others.  They would prefer to remain in a condition in which power is vested within them.  While power is fluid and while their ability to transfer this power is a dynamic element, it is evident that those who are "elites" are more interested in keeping and consolidating their power rather than sharing it.

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