My friend and Brother, Thomas W. Jackson, Past Grand Secretary of Pennsylvania, is well traveled with a long glowing career in Freemasonry. His international travels are legendary (along with his reputation as a big game hunter). He and I have very different attitudes about Freemasonry in the United States, and we have shared the stage several times. His observations are illustrative of the broad variations in the culture of Freemasonry around the world. He makes the compelling case for higher dues, greater requirements, and that quality will attract quality: in short, that there's nothing wrong with elitism. I don't think he's wrong.
Tom spoke at the Grand Lodge of Montana's annual communication in 2009. Have a listen to his comments here. (Or read the text here)