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    Charles Wright Mills, The Power Elite + The Sociological Imagination + autres oeuvres

    Johnathan R. Razorback
    Johnathan R. Razorback

    Messages : 12740
    Date d'inscription : 12/08/2013
    Localisation : France

    Charles Wright Mills, The Power Elite + The Sociological Imagination + autres oeuvres Empty Charles Wright Mills, The Power Elite + The Sociological Imagination + autres oeuvres

    Message par Johnathan R. Razorback Mer 4 Mar 2015 - 10:42



    "Within American society, major national power now resides in the economic, the political, and the military domains. Other institutions seem off to the side of modern history, and, on occasion, duly subordinated to these. No family is as directly powerful in national affairs as any major corporation ; no Church is as directly powerful in the external biographies of Young men in America today as the military establishment ; no college is as powerful in the shaping of momentous events as the National Security Council. Religious, educational, and family instittuions are not autonomous centers of national power ; on the contrary, these decentralized areas are increasingly shaped by the big three, in which developments of decisive and immediate consequence now occur."

    "The political order, once a decentralized set of several dozen states with a weak spinal cord, has become a centralized, executive establishment which has taken up into itself many powers previously scattered, and now enters into each and every crany of the social structure."

    "There is no longer, on the one hand, an economy, and, on the other hand, a political order containing a military establishment unimportant to politics and to money-making. There is a political economy linked, in a thousand ways, with military institutions and décisions."

    "The elite are simply those who have the most of what there is to have, which is generally held to include money, power, and prestige -as well as all the ways of life to which these lead. But the elite are not simply those who have the most, for they could not "have the most" were it not for their positions in the great institutions. For such institutions are the necessary bases of power, of wealth, and of prestige, and at the same time, the chief means of exercising power, of acquiring and retaining wealth, and of cashing in the higher claims for prestige."

    "By the powerful we mean, of course, those who are able to realize their will, even if others resists it."

    "Like wealth and power, prestige tends to be cumulative: the more of it you have, the more you can get. These values also tend to be translatable into one another: the wealthy find it easier than the poor to gain power ; those with status find it easier than those without it to control opportunities for wealth."

    "Power is not of a man. Wealth does not center in the person of the wealthy. Celebtrity is not inherent to any personality. To be celebrated, to be wealthy, to have power requires access to major institutions, for the institutional positions men occupy determine in large part their chances to have and to hold these valued experiences."

    "That American society has never passed through a feudal epoch is of decisive importance to the nature of the American elite, as well as to American society as a historic whole. For it means that no nibility or aristocracy, established before the capitalist era, has stood in tense opposition to the higher bourgeoisie. It means that this bourgeoisie has monopolized not only wealth but prestige and power as well."

    "Most generally, American men of power tend, by convention, to deny that they are powerful. No American runs for office in order to rule or even govern, but only to serve ; he does not become a bureaucrat or even an official, but a public servant."

    "If those who occupy its top grades are not omnipotent, neither are they impotent."

    "The problem of defining the power elite concerns the level at which we wish to draw the line. By lowering the line, we could define the elite out of existence ; by raising it, we could make the elite a very small circle indeed. In a preliminary and minimum way, we draw the line crudely, in charcoal as it were: By the power elite, we refer to those political, economic, and military circles which as an intricate set of overlapping cloques share décisions having at least national conséquences."

    "To say that there are obvious gradations of power and of opportunities to decide within modern society is not to say that the powerful are united, that they fully know what they do, or that they are consciously joined in conspiracy."

    "Today in America there are several important structural coïncidences of interest between these institutional domains, including the development of a permanent war esthablishment by a privately incorporated economy inside a political vacuum."

    "The minimum definition of the power elite as those who decide whatever is decided of major consequence, does not imply that the members of this elite are always and necessarily the history-makers."

    "Although we are all of us within history we do not all possess equal powers to make history. To pretend that we do is sociological nonsense and political irresponsibility."

    "Caesar could do less with Rome than Napoleon with France ; Napoleon less with France than Lenin with Russia; and Lenin less with Russia than Hitler with Germany. But what was Caesar's power at its peak compared with the power of the changing inner circle of Soviet Russia or of America's temporary administrations ? The men of either circle can cause great cities to be wiped out in a single night, and in a few weeks turn continents into thermonuclear wastelands. That the facilities of power are enormously enlarged and decisively centralized means that the décisions of small groups are now more consequential."

    "What i'm asserting is that in this particular epoch a conjunction of historical circumstances has led to the rise of an elite of power ; that the men of the circles composing this elite, severally and collectively, now make such key décisions as are made ; and that, given the enlargement and the centralization of the means of power now available, the decision that they make and fail to make carry more conséquences for more people than has ever been the case in the world history of mankind."

    "The top of the American system of power is much more unified and much more powerful, the bottom is much more fragmented, and in truth, impotent, than is generally supposed."

    "If, in public life, the farm is often a good place to have come from, in social life, it is always a good place to own and to visit. Both small-city and big-city upper classes now quite typically own and visit their "places in the country". In part, all this, which even in the Middle West began as far back as the eighteen-nineties, is a way by which the merely rich attampt to Anchor themselves in what is old and esteemed, of proving with cash and loving care and sometimes with inconvenience, their reverence for the past."

    "America is a nation with no truly national city, no Paris, no Rome, no London, no city which is at once the social center, the political capital, and the Financial hub."






    « La question n’est pas de constater que les gens vivent plus ou moins pauvrement, mais toujours d’une manière qui leur échappe. » -Guy Debord, Critique de la séparation (1961).

    « Rien de grand ne s’est jamais accompli dans le monde sans passion. » -Hegel, La Raison dans l'Histoire.

    « Mais parfois le plus clair regard aime aussi l’ombre. » -Friedrich Hölderlin, "Pain et Vin".

      La date/heure actuelle est Ven 27 Jan 2023 - 14:12