Circulation of Elites

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Circulation of Elites

In the field of social ideology, the concept of ‘circulation of the elite’ is a major contribution of Pareto. Through this concept, Pareto clarified the nature of different classes within the social structure on the one hand. On the other hand, he also analyzed the process of social change on the basis of change in the status of different classes. Thus, the concept of ‘circulation of elites’ presented by Pareto clarifies the theory of social change. Pareto pointed out that in every society there must be a clear stratification of high and low between different classes. In this, the highest class is the one who, through his cleverness, efficiency and influence, takes over the power.

This is called the governing elite. The second place is of those elites who have a prestigious place in their respective fields but they do not have any direct participation in governance. This is called the non-official elite. The third class is the low or non-elite class, in which workers, common employees and common people who live by their hard work are included. In fact, the behavior of common people or this third class is influenced by the first two categories of the elite. Thus, whenever one elite class is replaced by another elite class, then the process of change in the society becomes apparent. In other words, it can be said that the change in the status of various classes in the direction of power or governance takes place only between the categories of the elite, which we call official and non-official elite. This rotation in the status of elites explains the nature and cause of social change. Pareto gave importance to four elements or assumptions to explain the process of social change in the form of revolution of the elite. These have been called by Pareto as selfishness, specific drive, fallacious logic and social stratification. Explaining the interest, he said that “the behavior of different individuals or groups is governed by those interests by which they can get useful and enjoyable things. Its ultimate aim is to achieve prestige, respect and power.

The specific drivers are the motivations which to a large extent influence the movement of elites. Drivers are the most important. Fallacious arguments are the means by which a particular elite maintains itself in power. Whenever one elite is replaced by another elite in power or rule, these fallacious arguments Changes are also seen in the nature of social stratification. In the end, social stratification is an important element because in the form of social stratification itself, the society is divided into different classes and the status of these classes keeps on changing to get power and authority. Thus in order to understand the circulation of elites presented by Pareto, it is necessary to know what is meant by elite and what are the interests and specific drivers within the social stratification of different categories of elites. What causes change and rotation? Shakar THI Who is the Elite? Explaining this, Pareto wrote, “If a class is made of the people who get the most marks in a specific field of human activities, then it will be called elite.” 10 This means that politics, administration, business, In the field of art and intellectualism, the people who are most qualified, efficient and successful in their group are called ‘Abhijan’.

Thus highly successful and distinguished politician. Industrialists, artists, writers and businessmen form the elite class of the society. Explaining this, Timasheff has written, “Under the aristocracy come those people who perform the highest functions in different areas of the society or whose status is very high in their respective areas.” 11 Raymond Airon (R. Aron) has written in reference to Pareto’s ideas that “by elite we mean that small section of the society whose members get the highest position in the occupational stratification related to them.” Pareto accepted that the elite is an essential feature of all societies, but the characteristics of all the people coming in the elite are not completely similar to each other. On this basis, Pareto explained the elite by dividing it into two parts. Governing Elite and Non-Governing Elite: According to Pareto, the governing elite is the one whose members directly or indirectly exercise their power by participating in the activities of the government. These people occupy prestigious positions and

Influencing the policies of the administration. On the other hand, those persons are included in the non-governmental elite, who are neither part of the government nor do they have any direct relation with the administration, but still they have some influence on the government and the government in one way or the other. Must maintain. In this class, those people belonging to all the fields like political, economic, intellectual and military etc. are included, who occupy the highest positions. As the chart on page 222 shows, Pareto explained many of the characteristics of the official elite and non-official elite on psychological grounds, due to which there is a movement between these two classes. Agreeing with Machiavelli, Pareto pointed out that although the aristocracy plays an important role in controlling the general population. But this control is established either by deceit or by the use of force. If considered from this point of view, government elite, elite, government elite, non-governmental elite, fox, lion, deceit, deceit, power, method of control over the common man, children of behavior • Specific driver of combination, specific driver of stability of collectivity, taking advantage of opportunities and possibilities. In (speculator) traditions and practices, the nature of the members of the Vaastha (paige-moggy) class is like ‘foxes’ who after coming to power try to maintain their power through deceit and thus With the help of this, they establish their control over other classes. These people are influenced by the specific drivers of ‘combination’ and therefore believe in taking advantage of the opportunity and potential. For this reason, in the economic field, their nature is like that of speculators. This class takes more interest in material comforts than in idealistic goals and due to this gradually indifference and lack of courage towards its responsibilities starts arising in it. As a result of this, this class starts trying to maintain its power through sly propaganda. At the same time, he starts connecting political objectives with his economic interests in such a way that his hold on power can be strengthened. On the other hand, the members of the non-governmental elite are like lions in nature who try to gain and maintain power through the use of force. These people are influenced by the ‘specific drivers of stability of collectivity’.


Because of being loyal to the unity of their group, they have more faith in traditions and customs than in personal comforts. In the economic field, their nature is conservative and these people are mainly capital renters. In this way, under the elite, the official elite and the non-official elite are the two categories, between which the rotation of power goes on. How does the movement from bottom to top and top to bottom happen in the case of official and non-official elites? Explaining this, Pareto told that when an elite class remains in power for a long time, then out of two. It becomes necessary for a condition to arise. The first condition is that he should prevent those people from non-official elite class from coming in his class who are more efficient and influential and the second condition is that he should use the least amount of power to remain in power himself. Let it start Whichever method is used by the ruling elite class, it is sure that gradually the interest of this class starts increasing in different types of arts and material comforts. After some time these people start becoming more tolerant and generous. In addition, they do not use power for the common people to the extent of official elite which is necessary for social order. When these changes take place in the official elite, the non-official elite (lions) start motivating and organizing the masses against the official elite (foxes). If they get the support of the common people (non-elite), then with the help of the non-official ‘special drivers of stability of the collectivity’ elite, 11 some individuals of the non-official elite take the place of official elites and many official elites come to power. Get separated from the lower class or non-elite and come to a low position. Pareto again made it clear that if the government elites prevent the qualified and influential people from the lower classes of the society or non-government elites from coming in their class, then not only the balance of the society starts deteriorating but also the symptoms of decadence in the social system. begin to appear. This imbalance persists until the ruling elite do not give opportunities to highly qualified and influential persons to come into their ranks. Whether it is due to rapid social change or revolution, gradually the place of old ruling elite is taken by new qualified persons. In this regard, it is necessary to keep in mind that the way this cycle of circulation continues between the government and non-government elite, in the same way people who are very skilled, intelligent and capable in the general public or non-elite, also slowly – Gradually rising upwards, they first become members of the non-official elite and then reach the ranks of the official elite. Similarly official

People belonging to the masses, who are separated from power, can also reach the category of commoners due to lack of desired qualities. On this basis, Pareto has written that “History is a graveyard of aristocracies”. It means that a class of governing elite emerges in the society, its dominance increases, then it starts to decline and finally its place is taken by some other progressive elite. Pareto has called this change in the status of official and non-official elites as ‘Circulation of Elites’. Pareto recognized that the main reason for the rotation of the elites is the loss of influence among the governing elites of the specific drivers that lead them to power. Pareto clarified this fact by the example of political and economic field. Vivae (Mir) The rotation or cyclical change between different elites in the political sphere begins when the influence of the ‘specific drivers of stability of the collectivity’ begins to decrease in the official elite and in their place, their ‘behaviour’ is replaced by the specific drivers of combination. In other words, it can be said that in the initial stage the political elite, driven by specific drivers of stability of the group, make the social system stable by force, they gradually become clever. By means of (special drivers of combination) governance starts functioning. As the cunningness and treachery increases in the ruling class, similarly the non-governmental elite class attacks these clever foxes like a lion and asserts its dominance over the power. In this way, the cycle of traveling between lions and foxes goes on forever. Giving the example of European society, Pareto told that today the class which dominates the power here, their nature is like that of foxes. corrupt political There is abundance of elite and characterless lawyers, they have made their power by deceit and their ability to use power is gradually decreasing. Along with this, there is also the emergence of an elite group whose behavior is influenced by specific drivers of stability of the group and who can provide balance and stability to the social system through the use of power. It is clear that this new elite class will end the power of foxes and take their place themselves. Explaining the circulation in the economic field, Pareto wrote that just as the cycle of change in political fields runs between foxes and lions, in the same way this cycle runs between speculators and rentiers in the economic field. Is . Explaining his statement, Pareto told that there are two types of economic classes in every society. One can be called a ‘speculator’ and the other a ‘capitalist’. Speculative class is one in which specific drivers of combination predominate. It means that this class tries to take advantage of opportunities and possibilities and its tendency is to get maximum benefits for itself. The capitalist class is governed by specific drivers of stability and therefore keeps opposing the whims of the speculators. In this context, Pareto told that when the ruling elite class remains in power for some time, then its nature becomes that of speculators. When they start getting more and more profit for themselves and do not try to maintain economic stability, then the aggressive class of capitalist-enjoying elite starts attacking them and taking over the power. In this way, many people from government elite class start reaching non-government elite class and many people from non-government elite class start reaching government elite class. This is the tour of the elite. Pareto has accepted the process of circulation of elites as an essential condition in every society. Your statement is that for a stable social order, it is necessary that a proper balance of specific drivers of stability of the group and specific drivers of combination should be maintained in the elite of the highest category. This means that in the political field, where on the one hand there must be a judicious mix of lions and foxes, on the other hand, in the economic field, there should be such a balance between the speculators and the capital-enjoyers, that the desired control over the social system can be maintained. But in practice such a combination does not happen. The circulation among the elite classes is the result of this condition. Thus, Pareto believes that change neither occurs in a straight direction like evolution or progress, nor can change be explained on the basis of any one economic or cultural factor. Basically, the cause of change is change in behavior influenced by specific drivers and the pace of change is ‘cyclical’. According to Pareto, the repetition of this cycle is inevitable in human society that ‘the rule which starts by lions, turns into the rule of foxes and again comes under the authority of some other lions. In this way, nothing new happens in the society, but the political and economic balance keeps on deteriorating in a cyclical manner.


Criticism (Criticista) – – It is true that Pareto criticized the elites on the basis of a new approach.

Presented the cyclic theory of social change in the form of revolution, but Bottomore and some other scholars have also highlighted many defects of this theory. First of all, through this principle, Pareto made it clear that specific drivers determine the different behavior of individuals and this is the reason for the circulation of elite classes. Even after this, Pareto did not explain why and how the specific drivers themselves change. Secondly, Pareto in his theory has emphasized on circulation only between the official elite class and non-official elite class. He did not pay special attention to the people joining the elite class from the middle and lower class of the society. It is not sufficient to simply say that ‘the upward movement of individuals from the lower strata also occurs as a process influenced by specific drivers of group stability’. Thirdly, the facts on the basis of which Pareto explained the rise and fall of elites cannot be called more logical and authentic. In the end, it is clear from Pareto’s principle that unless a person from the lower or middle class becomes a member of the elite class, he cannot reach the official elite class. On the contrary, in the present democratic system, a person from the lower or middle class can directly reach the government elite class by becoming the chief minister or minister without getting the prestige of the elite. The theory presented by Pareto could not give any satisfactory solution to the revolution of the elite classes in these changed conditions.

As a psychological sociologist, the concepts presented by Pareto are an important contribution to sociology. The reality is that Pareto tried to give a new direction to social thought stream by combining the tradition of social and political theories of Italy Machiavile with the ideas of positivists like Comte and Spencer. Hua does not act as an independent social animal, but considers the internal motivations related to human nature as the criterion of his behaviour. On the other hand, positivist scholars emphasize on studying human behavior only through the method based on observation and experiment. While Pareto, influenced by Machiavelli, presented the concept of specific drivers and fallacious arguments, he tried to make sociological study scientific through logical experimental method. In this regard, Sorokin’s statement is that ‘by presenting human actions in two systematic categories like rational and non-rational, Pareto clarified the facts on the basis of which human behavior can be explained more rationally. ‘ It is often alleged that ‘Pareto’s thinking is the thinking of a fascist thinker’, but the reality is that many ideas presented by Pareto explain his liberal democratic values as well. Explaining the coordination of liberal and totalitarian ideas in his views, Raymond Aron states that “The concepts presented by Pareto on economic basis are liberal, whereas in the discussion of political concepts, his views appear authoritarian.” 18 True So it is that the concept of specific drives and fallacious arguments presented by Pareto is an important contribution to sociology and other social sciences. Through the theory of circulation of elites, Pareto not only analyzed the functional nature of the strata of the government, but also shed light on the drivers and motivations that result in changes in the status of elites. Baars has written that Pareto’s contribution represents an ideological epoch and is beyond comparison. Despite the important contribution to sociology, Pareto’s thought is considered to be full of many defects. His critics say that on the one hand, Pareto himself believed that we should remain neutral to study the irrational behavior of the individual through the logical-experimental method, but this is a statement of Pareto which he himself did not follow.

Whatever concepts are presented in his book ‘Treatise’, they are influenced by feelings and evaluative judgments. Kalverton wrote, “When Pareto deals with fallacious logic, his whole system of thought looks like a fallacy itself.” With reference to his argumentative-experimental method, Vine states that Although Pareto has considered subjectivity as the basis of scientific thinking, but the methodology presented by him lacks subjectivity. Sorokin goes so far as to say that Pareto’s concept of specific drives and fallacious logic, which is considered his most important contribution to sociology, is in itself a beautiful deception. These are concepts whose authenticity cannot be tested by the logical-experimental method presented by Pareto himself. It seems that Pareto himself created some specific drivers and put them in the concept of man in such a way that they can give the desired conclusions. to clothe it with the ‘veil of imagination’

Other than that nothing else can be said. Some critics are of the view that Pareto’s theory of circulation of elites is not only incomplete but it is based on wrong categories of elites. Pareto did not explain that the official and non-official elites themselves are also divided into several sub-categories and what conditions affect the change in their status. The reality is that the thinking of any thinker cannot be error free. There may be some faults or shortcomings in Pareto’s thinking too, but Pareto’s critics also believe that Pareto gave a new direction to sociological thinking by discussing social stratification and human behavior on psychological basis.

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