Elitism is the belief or attitude that individuals who form an elite — a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality, high intellect, wealth, special skills, or experience — are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others. In the United States, the term elitism often refers to the concentration of power in the Northeast Corridor and on the West Coast, where the typical American elite resides – journalists, lawyers, doctors, high-level civil servants (such as White House aides), businesspeople, university lecturers, entrepreneurs, and financial advisors in the quaternary sector, often in established technological or political catchments of their higher education alma mater.
Alternatively, the term elitism may be used to describe a situation in which power is concentrated in the hands of a limited number of people. Oppositions of elitism include anti-elitism, egalitarianism, populism and political theory of pluralism.
Elite theory is the sociological or political science analysis of elite influence in society: elite theorists regard pluralism as a utopian ideal. Elitism is closely related to social class and what sociologists call social stratification, which in the Anglo Saxon tradition have long been anchored in the "blue blood" claims of hereditary nobility. Members of the upper classes are sometimes known as the social elite. The term elitism is also sometimes used to denote situations in which a group of people claiming to possess high abilities or simply an in-group or cadre grant themselves extra privileges at the expense of others. This form of elitism may be described as discrimination.
At present, the future is colonized by a tiny group of people, with citizens moving into a future shaped by this elite. I believe we should not go blindly into this future. (Robert Jungk).