In their survey on employers, Pierre Bourdieu and Monique de Saint Martin observe that "the criteria in use by the insiders are contrary to the modernist and rational picture that the big technocratic parade suggests to outsiders: this controlling fraction that likes to be seen as entirely focused on the future finds the real principles of its actual selection at the same time as the practical justifications for its privileges in the past, in history and in the seniority of acquired rights. Thus "managers" as the new masters of the economy would in fact mask the weight of the past behind modernist costumes. They would be the indispensable screen for maintaining the illusion of a meritocracy. However, sociologists and economists, at least certain of them, agree in recognizing the property and the family networks that always find themselves in a powerful position. Thus, the authors of the Dictionnaire des groupes industriels et financiers en France (Dictionary of Industrial and Financial Groups in France) write that "family ties are one of the means, maybe the principal means, by which the bourgeoisie and in particular the financial oligarchy assures and reproduces over time its control of capital [. . . ] that gives it value."  Bernard Marguerite leads to similar conclusions while underscoring the relative permeability of the grande bourgeoisie: "There is not a class of men of means on the one hand and a class of managers on the other, there is a selection-absorption mechanism within the class (or on its immediate periphery) pulling in those who appear best qualified to manage in the collective interest of the class." Daniel Bertaux, in the earliest of all the texts cited here, affirmed that "thanks to some recent studies, [he] saw rather quickly that [the thesis of the manager era] was only smoke in the eyes to conceal the real process from view, which is quite the oppositethe concentration of fabulous wealth and extraordinary power in the hands of a few "big families'' all bound to each other by multiple ties of money or marriage, and forming a kind of hard core of very grande bourgeoisie that we call the financial oligarchy." The concentration of fortunes is, by all events, an observable and spectacular fact.
25. Pierre BOURDIEU and Monique de SAINT MARTIN, "Le Patronat," Actes de la recherche an sciences sociales, No. 2021, MarchApril 1978, p. 65.
26. P. ALLARD, M. BEAUD, B. BELLON, A.-M. LÉVY and S. LIÉNART, Dictionnaire des groupes industriels et financiers en France, Paris, Le Seuil, 1978, p. 19.
27. Bernard MARGUERITE, "Crise du système financier et reproduction de l'oligarchie financière, Issues, No. 12, 2nd trimester 1982. See also Michel BAUER and Bénédicte BERTIN-MOUROT, Les 200. Comment devient-on un grand patron?, Paris, Le Seuil, 1987, and L'Accès au sommet des grandes entreprises françaises (19851994), Paris, CNRS, 1995.
28. Daniel BERTAUX, Destins personnels et structure de classe, Paris, PUF, 1977, p. 66.