I think this is a good and natural question, and if this is off topic (as per comments), then I do not know what is on topic here. It is also specific to this site because, even though one might in theory raise these points with any SE site, this question is inspired by behaviour observed here.
Privileges gained by rep milestones have been mentioned in comments and in other answers. In theory, the privileges gained by individual users offer them more and more access to running this site. In theory. In reality, though, there are, as you observe, perhaps only a few users at any given time who fully enjoy all of their privileges. People differ; some jump at new posts, some dig around old posts, some improve the site by editing, some go for rep, some go for a coveted badge, some spend the better part of their day here, some peep in occasionally, some come and go. I have not tried to get my hands at the stats, nor do I know if I can access it, but I guess that, while many users post questions and answers each day, activities such as closing, reopening, migrating, editing, deleting, etc., perhaps even voting, are, at any given time, in the hands of a few users. Users who care; users who can spare the time; users who have ambitions for this site. And, of course, users who have gained the necessary privileges. Moderators, too, are elected by the "community".
Management by being absent does not work here. Inevitably, the more active users push their views; not perhaps with each individual issue, but certainly in the big scheme of things. One can always raise this or that issue at meta, but many things that happen here simply go unnoticed by the "community". Who knows which posts have been migrated, and why? When the dust settles after the turmoil of today, it is already time to think about tomorrow.
This applies to the site rules too; they are shaped by the "community", just as language is shaped by the community using it. Just as with language, the behaviour (usage) you observe today will in all likelihood be forged into the rules of tomorrow. The more active will have the more say in it.
I've had a year of very modest and occasional participation here, and yet I think I've seen a bit of history. Even within this relatively short time, people came, shone, and went (apparently). I like to think, or I very much hope, that the best things each of us has given to this site will remain, while the dubious, the second-rate, the murky, the erroneous, and the nasty, will be wiped away. There are perhaps many things to be learned from experienced users, but one thing I am rather thankful for learning is peace of mind and a kind of statistical thinking and a belief (or blind trust) in collective effort.
In the best of possible worlds, each post here, including the halo of surrounding activity, gets the attention it deserves and is addressed appropriately. If not today, then let's hope tomorrow, or in a year perhaps. If a good question is deleted (by mistake, of course!), it will perhaps be asked again in time. If some wonderful new users get scolded with their first posts, they will (no doubt!) learn from their mistakes and increase their efforts in framing their questions and answers according to the Rulez of Thys Syte on future occasions.