C. Wright Mills-The power elite!


I posted a reference to a classic analysis of C.Wright Mills on another blog for which I often comment on posts- specifically Sic Semper Tyrannis!

I decided to also post here because I think Mill’s analysis is still useful but I would add that corruption in the power elite is now a generic attribute.

The Power Elite

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Power Elite is a book written by the sociologist, C. Wright Mills, in 1956. In it Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities.

The structural basis of The Power Elite is that, following World War II, the United States was the leading country in military and economic terms.

The book is something of a counterpart of Mills’ 1951 work, White Collar: The American Middle Classes, which examines the growing role of middle managers in American society.

A main inspiration for the book was Franz Leopold Neumanns book Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism in 1942, a study of how Nazism came into a position of power in a democratic state like Germany. Behemoth had a major impact on Mills and he claimed that Behemoth had given him the “tools to grasp and analyse the entire total structure and as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalist democracy”. (C.Wright Mills: Power, Politics and People, (New York, 1963 p.174)).

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