Russ Baker makes a useful point about how those in power maintain, and profit from, their power:
When this nation’s conversational gatekeepers speak of power elites shaping and dominating a political system, more often than not, they are referring to developing countries. There is a virtual taboo on exploring the true domestic reach of the wealthy, banking interests, the spy services, military and military contractors. Our elected leaders are routinely depicted as singular actors upon the stage of history. And we personalize everything, and get caught up in debate about what are in essence distractions—W’s purported religious conversion, his troubled relationship with his father, the genius of Karl Rove and “evil nature” of Dick Cheney. We prefer to view politics as if it were a sporting competition, and discourage efforts to better understand how elites in our own society maintain their wealth, power and influence.