Four Views Of The U.S. Power Structure

4 April 2015
Discusses the nature of the elite power structure in the US as seen by C. Wright Mills, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Tom Hayden.

In 1956, sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote, The Power Elite, in an effort to publicize his hypothesis concerning what had gone wrong with American democracy. Mills believed that powerful and wealthy elites had been able to gradually take control of our government and that that process had been facilitated by ordinary men whose ambivalence and lack of understanding of the functions of a democracy had allowed this situation to occur. The elite have been able to consolidate their hold on government because government itself had gradually transformed in the last hundred or so years from a decentralized, servant of the people into an oversized, bureaucratized, and over-centralized behemoth (Mills, 1956). Furthermore, he felt that the ordinary men who comprised the bourgeoisie lacked the abilities and desire to take their government back and infuse true democratic principles into their …

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