The Problem of Hollow Elites

the_problem_of_hollow_elitesThere are those who normally play a leadership role in society by representing the community. Such representative characters are those leaders who perceive the ideals, principles, and qualities that are desired and admired by a community or nation, and translate them into concrete programs of life and culture. Their importance cannot be underestimated since they play a major role in the progress of any community or nation.

The problem today is that the relationship between these figures and their communities has been broken. The decline of civil life in the last decades has led members of communities to no longer think in terms of society but in their isolated individual lives.

However, what has been especially devastating is the role of what Subscription8.1sociologist Charles Murray calls “hollow elites.” These representative figures often live financially successful lives, but are dysfunctional in relation to their social responsibilities. Murray notes that, “They have abdicated their responsibility to set and promulgate the standards. The most powerful and successful members of their class increasingly trade on the perks of their privileged positions without regard to the seemliness of that behavior” (Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010, New York: Crown Forum, 2012, p. 294).

In other words, Murray claims American society is coming apart because both the members of communities and hollow elites have failed in their responsibilities. This failure underscores the need for a return to order.


  • Francis Slobodnik

    What is an elite?  I would say a person of excellence.  These hollow or pseudo-elites only excel at making money and then living sometimes at the lowest common denominator.  Instead of using their wealth to help themselves excel in virtues, culture, education, and in wise experiences, they use their wealth to be lazy, to wear designer jeans and designer tennis shoes.  If they used to their wealth to excel in the things that really matter, how much better would society be?

    • Sergio F De Paz

      Very well stated Mr. Francis.It’s sad to see must of my copatriots “Cubanos Desterrados” (Cubans in Exile) excell in this country and fall fully into the category you so very well describe, using their wealth to  “wear designers jeans, tennis shoes, impresive cars” and see their pictures in the Sunday Social Pages of the liveral newapaper. Hope Divine Providence reverses this trend, for there is still time to Reurnn to Order.

      • Kimberly

        I’m getting a bit tired of people waiting for Divine Providence or the return of the Messiah to solve society’s problems. The Messiah has already graced us, and as for Divine Providence, our Creator has given us everything on this good earth that we need. Along with the brains to us it.