The following are the major limitations of the Elite Theory:
1. Firstly, Elite theory wrongly assumes inequality as the basis of society. Fundamentally all are equal in the sense that all are capable of developing their faculties and through these occupy any or every public office. No one is inherently more able and wise than others. The difference in intelligence and qualities is that of degree and not of kind. As such the division between the elite and the masses is not organic.
2. The theory wrongly reposes all faith in the ability of the elite to the total exclusion of the ability of the masses.
3. The elite theory involves an inherent and in-built thesis in favour of totalitarian political systems.
4. It is definitely opposed to the contemporary values of mass political participation in the political process.
5. The Elitist theory is a conservative theory because it gives a theory of democracy to justify the prevailing social, economic and political inequalities in several societies. It builds up a strong thesis, though partial and subjective, in favour of the traditionally existing malpractices.
6. It fails to suggest remedies for the defects of the democratic political systems. On the contrary, it builds up a defence of some of the evil practices characterising the contemporary political systems.
7. This theory is based on the institutional and not the ideological aspect of democracy. It is mainly descriptive in nature. It believes in the ‘end of ideology’ theory and maintains that ideologies arc meaningless because every political system is bound to be’ governed by the iron law of oligarchy.
8. Elite theory wrongly advocates the view that the object of democracy is not the welfare and development of the people. It excludes the people (as masses) from the ruling functions and talks of the elite rule as the ideal condition of rule involving subjugation of the masses to the leaders.
9. Elite theory can be further criticised for its failure to recognise the due importance of the people in democratic systems, the importance of the democratic system and the key role played by public opinion in the determination of the rules, policies, programmes and decisions of the government of a state.
10. Elite theory wrongly rejects the principle of social, political and legal equality of the people. It is wrong in so far as it rejects the principle of responsibility and accountability of the rulers to the masses.
All these limitations of the Elite theory have to be taken into consideration while conducting a critical evaluation any elite theory.