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28 review for The Ruling Elites: Elite Theory, Power, and American Democracy

  1. 5 out of 5

    May Ling

    Summary: I had no idea that Elitism was so avidly studied in the earlier part of the 1900s. Wow. The way they talk about it in the early days of modern structuralism... I don't know if I should be informed or scared. Either you agree or you disagree. I disagree, but I know for a fact that people behave as if they agree and you have to be aware of it if you're talking to people. I sadly don't believe that the scarcity that bred this behavior exists any longer. But as we transition, I wanted to und Summary: I had no idea that Elitism was so avidly studied in the earlier part of the 1900s. Wow. The way they talk about it in the early days of modern structuralism... I don't know if I should be informed or scared. Either you agree or you disagree. I disagree, but I know for a fact that people behave as if they agree and you have to be aware of it if you're talking to people. I sadly don't believe that the scarcity that bred this behavior exists any longer. But as we transition, I wanted to understand the countervailing and potential dominant within the wealthier and more educated population view. p. 6- Pluralism vs. elitism. "It simply turns out that until the early 1960s, pluralism was considered so fruitful as to be virtually true. In the 1960s, social scientists slowly began to look upon elitist writings with greater receptivity." p. 12 - Under this concept... he's saying: "The history of the politics is the history of elites. The character of society - whether it is just or unjust, dynamic or stagnant, pacifistic or militaristic - is determined by the character of its elite. The goals of society are established by the elite and accomplished under their direction." "The elite perspective does not deny social change; even radical transformations of society are possible. The elitists only point out that most change comes about as the composition and structure p. 18 - "Social surplus leads to social stratification and permits a division fo labor which results in a class that is free from the burdens of food collection." Their thesis is that this freedom means that group will transform itself into the ruling class. What does that mean in 2020 with most of the world not engaged in this sort of activiy? He then asks: "Do the elites exploit or do they serve?" p. 30 - "We do not intend to ask in this book whether the United States is a democracy, an eercise which would involve us in tedious and tendentious definitional logistics." They also don't care to understand the elitist perspective itself. Only what are the implications to democracy in a situation where what the elitists are saying is true. What framework do you operate under? I like this b/c it means that from country to country it can differ. p. 34 3 periods of different types of elitism - The founding period, Progressive era (new deal), now. p. 57 He's talking about how the finance-capitalist theory is likely wrong b/c it fails to explain competition and treats all the finance group as a single whole. He does talk about who has more influence during different periods and this is all fascinating to me. p. 58 The argument against bankers exerting any undue control and the research associated with it. He posits a concept economic elite that is not the same as industrial elite or financial elite p. 78 - Mills's concept that there are 5 periods (in this book, 1960) of elites. 1) Founding - John adams - Transparent period 2) until the Civil War - Political elite in charge of the party system 3) until the New Deal - Corporate power became supreme 4) Post the new deal - competing centers of power where corp systems fought it out. 5) post WWII - They are saying there is a power elite. Who that is, I have no clue, but they have power over war and chill or prosperity and it's a mix of people. p. 108 - Truman explains groups like the Black Panthers as one of the elites deciding to use this group for a particular faction of the elite's uses. They are pawns. OMG!! I can't believe this type of theory exists!!! p. 114 - The entertainment elites .. "Have no power." "For example, people in entertainment are largely at the mercy of the business world which controls the entertainment media. Occassionally entertainers have been purged because of theri views by the economic executives who run the media. Similarly, the political elite can ideologically purify the composition of other elites by such methods as exclusion of perons with 'unwholesome' ideologies." OMG..... OMG ... .academic people at YALE use to write about this stuff?????... OMG OMG.... p. 119 They talk about the shift from the heredity elite to what democracy did, which was reconstitute the elite or at least offer an alternative if heredity elite wasn't going to fly. p. 140 Regarding disputes among the elites: "Quarrels and competing ambitions are put aside when law and order is at stake, b/c if the institutions that preserve order and the structures that divide political responsibilities (very unevenly) go, so do the elites. Individual family members may come and go, but the social order that allows for the continual emergence of new elites must be protected."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I loved this book. It's really is just an amazing breakdown of elite theory, pluralism and our democratic system. I loved this book. It's really is just an amazing breakdown of elite theory, pluralism and our democratic system.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  4. 4 out of 5

    Greg S

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rick Barnett

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence A

  7. 4 out of 5

    Isaiah

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Montijo

  9. 4 out of 5

    A.Brother

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  11. 4 out of 5

    Csla

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jarrad

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zach

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gerald Carter

  17. 5 out of 5

    Takosunep Longkumer

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dominick

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bisiriyu Ibrahim Timileyin

  21. 5 out of 5

    Krzysiek (Chris)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sam toer

  23. 4 out of 5

    uosɯɐS

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mad Russian the Traveller

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shailesh Kumar

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maia Donachy

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