Rightly haunted by the democratic elitism
of the cultural debates into which Hazlitt's politics almost invariably transposes, he also returns to the question in his Conclusion.
15; Peter Bachrach, The Theory of Democratic Elitism
(New York: Little, Brown, 1967); and Held, Models of Democracy, pp.
Beyond Right and Left: Democratic Elitism
in Mosca and Gramsci.
Noting that Arendt was no friend of mass democracy, Isaac plays her elitist and democratic sides off one another to tease out what he believes is a truly democratic elitism
. These Arendtian elites "are distinguished by their insulation from the many, not by their rule over them" (p.
Adopting an elitist view that hearkened back to the work of such earlier proponents of "the theory of democratic elitism" as Alexis de Tocqueville and Gaetano Mosca Schumpeter indicated that the greatest danger to democracy was "the rabble" with its "criminality or stupidity," and that the democratic method was useful primarily if it were so curtailed that such extremes, which made democracy as an end in itself rather than simply a method, were restrained by the development of more limiting democratic institutions.(5)
What took place between the 1970s and the early 1990s that caused Huntington, a proponent of democratic elitism, to shift from despair to triumphalism?
(1969), The Theory of Democratic Elitism
: A Critique.
Key, which in turn inspired so much of the scholarship on democratic elitism, the concept of the elite was "understood in curiously apolitical terms" - outside the institutional context of politics and independent of the party system (p.
The notion of democratic elitism was in fact based upon what the authors term the "error thesis." As they point out, most people support fundamental democratic rights in the abstract; but when it comes to a particular issue of free speech, they often desert their post.
Similarly, a section on "The Science of Liberal Politics" echoes the analysis of Bachrach's earlier The Theory of Democratic Elitism
(1967; now sadly out of print).