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4 years ago
Discuss how elites maintain stratification, and point out the benefits and liabilities of each method.
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Elites can maintain stratification either through force, or through the control of ideology, information, and technology.
(1) Use of force can be very effective. Hitler's Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union are examples of this. But it is also expensive and difficult to maintain, and it becomes more and more difficult as time goes on. Eventually the regime sows the seeds of its own destruction. Nazi Germany is a good example of this, and an objective analysis of Stalin's regime would also support this premise.
(2) The use of ideology, technology, and information is more efficient and builds within itself. Ideology that says ours is the best government, that this government is all-knowing and all-wise, and that it is here to help you builds social solidarity and is passed from one generation to the next. A sense of patriotism subdues revolt. The control of information is an important part of maintaining this ideology. The use of technology also assists the elites. In today's world, it means the ability to spy on citizens using satellite surveillance, wiretaps, and a host of other means not available to the general public.     
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