The elite rule by using their money and influence to brainwash the population into believing that what is good for the elite is also good for the common man.
This is done, first of all, by influencing underlying currents of thought- paradigms or philosophies held by the public. This can be achieved by funding and influencing institutions which play in a role in shaping the way the public view the world. An example of this is how academic institutions promote the doctrine of scientific materialism and actively discourage any belief or discussion of a spiritual dimension. Such a belief helps to keep the public feeling small and largely worthless.
Secondly, common beliefs about specific topics are influenced by the continual bombardment of the population with a viewpoint that serves the elites. Any other viewpoint is either ignored or actively discouraged. Ideally, preferred viewpoints are presented by "authoritative" figures that the population has been taught to trust and revere. Alternative viewpoints that don't serve the elites are marginalized, ignored or ridiculed. This has the effect of keeping most people believing as the elite desire. This is largely due to the common human desire to fit in and be accepted by their common man by believing as others do.
The way to overcome elite rule is by questioning handed-down "truths" and accepted wisdom which will enable us to come to our own conclusions about the nature of life and its constituent factors. A truly empowered, independently thinking public cannot be controlled by an elite for long. Our own role is in achieving this independence and reclaiming our rightful personal power which puts us beyond the reach of those who would seek to use us for their own selfish gain.
Interesting articles on the power elite by Kim Michaels here and here. The spiritual origin of the power elite- articles by Kim Michaels.