Mythology of Elites, Elites in Mythology
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My interest in this topic was sparked by a talk on "The Foundation Myths of Voluntary Organisations". It seems there is a strong correspondence between the strength of the founding myth and the long-term success of the organisation. Organisations with relatively weak founding myths do not tend to thrive as well as those with a "good story" about their foundation.

Just before this talk, I had been reading about:-
A. Mythology, which I have previously read widely, but not 'studied'. I found an interesting classification of mythologies in a book by Alexander Eliot (cousin of TS Eliot)
B. Elites, where I have found an interesting synthesis of academic work in "Theories of the State", by Professors Dunleavy and O'Leary of the LSE.

I decided to see what connections might be made between these two fields, especially as the most successful organisations will tend to have both a set of founding myths and also an appropriate power structure - an elite or establishment who make all the most important decisions, and who have more power relative to those outside the elite.

In my reading, I have discovered from the above sources:-
1. Myths can be classified in a number of ways, but one of the most useful is:- Primitive, Pagan, Sacred and Scientific, and these contain implicit elites.
2. There are a number of major theories of the State, which have their own mythical levels:- Pluralism, the New Right, Elite Theory, Marxism, and neo-Pluralism
3. In particular, Elite Theory states that governance by a small elite group is normatively desirable. However different types of state give rise to different types of elites, and different opinions of the best type of elite.

I have tried to link myth and elite in the following pages:-

  I have divided this study into a number of pages for the internet:-

1.Mythology - introduction
2. classification of mythologies
3. elites in mythology
4. an example of levels in a myth
5. is science really mythological ?
6. Theories of the State - Introduction
7. pluralism
8. the new right
9. elite theory
10. Marxism
11. neo-pluralism
12. Summary - a hierarchical picture
13. a unitary theory ?

Your comments would be welcome either on the Post New Age message board or
by email

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