Most societies throughout history have had some sort of elite that had a large part of the majority of the wealth and power in that group. What are some different types of elites and what would their effects be on a society?
Here are some I can think of so far:
Aristrocracy/Nobility - An elite who inherited their wealth and prestige (and possibly land) from being part of prominent families. Penalty to the tax output of the society and makes the society lean more towards slavery or serfdom.
Plutocracy - The elite is people who are simply wealthy, typically through business or trade or industry. Makes the society prefer laws that boost the economy in or make the economy more free.
Theocracy - The elite are the priests and religious leaders. Makes the society more resistant to conversion and more determined for religious/cultural unity.
Egalitarian - No elite. Typically more common in smaller societies, or societies with a lot of connectivity. More happy with democratic laws.