"If one understands the history of decaying civilizations as purely the history of corrupted elites, it's only natural to believe that the problem lies with elites themselves. This leads to a lot of populist fantasies that 'people-powered movements' are immune to the sins and temptations that define the rich and powerful. But elites are humans, and so it follows that the problems of elites are problems with humans themselves. Civilizations can also die when the masses are corrupted too."
- Jonah Goldberg