My New Mind Map

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My New Mind Map by Mind Map: My New Mind Map

1. Introduction

1.1. Thesis

1.1.1. Initially, it is impressive and unnerving to discover that this 55-year-old analysis of American society appears to be (shamefully) familiar. On the surface, many elements of the hierarchical social system Mills outlined in his 1959 text: "The Power Elite" are quite similar elements present in the modern American power structure. The grim image of a discreetly stratified caste system reinforced by varying levels of ideological confusion, false consciousness, and complacently could easily be applied to America's current class divisions.

1.1.2. In spite of its many common general traits, however, modern manifestations of power, as well as the motivations, means, manipulations, and MEN involved differ from Mills' Power Elite model in a number of specific (subtle) and significant ways. The bittersweet reality is that the ways in which American society in the Millennial Epoch deviates from the world described by Mills are not associated with any improvements or averted consequences. The modern Power Elite system only an equal, not an upgrade.

1.2. 1959

1.2.1. Military

1.2.1.1. #1

1.2.2. Politics

1.2.2.1. Steven Lukes has argued that a commitment to liberal values does not necessarily entail a commitment to the individualist and capitalist forms of social organization with which they have been linked historically. “Taking equality and liberty seriously implies seeking to ascertain the conditions under which they can be realized, maintained, and increased,” writes Lukes. Mills did not reject liberal, humanist values. Rather he thought that contemporary liberalism had become disembodied, failing to specify the social, political, and institutional conditions that would make possible the realization of liberal, democratic ideals.

1.2.2.1.1. Joseph G. Peschek (2008) C. Wright Mills and American Democracy, New Political Science, 30:3, 393-403, DOI: 10.1080/07393140802305700

1.2.3. Economics

1.2.3.1. #1

1.2.3.2. #2

1.2.4. Society

1.2.4.1. Ultimately, perhaps, only the "power elite" defines the significant issues of the time and by their definition they make the issue significant.

1.2.4.1.1. “The Political Philosophy of C. Wright Mills” Jay A. Sigler Science & Society , Vol. 30, No. 1 (Winter, 1966), pp. 32-49 Published by: Guilford Press

1.2.4.2. The independent artist and intellectual are among the few remaining personalities equipped to resist and to fight the stereotyping and consequent death of genuinely living things. Fresh perception now involves the capacity continually to unmask and to smash the stereotypes of vision and intellect with which modern communications swamp us.

1.2.4.2.1. Joseph G. Peschek (2008) C. Wright Mills and American Democracy, New Political Science, 30:3, 393-403, DOI: 10.1080/07393140802305700

1.2.5. Power

1.2.5.1. #1

1.2.5.2. #2

1.3. Present

1.3.1. Military

1.3.1.1. #1

1.3.1.2. #2

1.3.2. Economics

1.3.2.1. #1

1.3.2.2. #2

1.3.3. Politics

1.3.3.1. #1

1.3.3.2. Today, Mills looks even better than he did 50 years ago in his characterization of the benefactors of American capitalism as a corporate rich led by the chief executives of large corporations and financial institutions, who by now can clearly be seen as the driving force within the power elite. His analysis also remains right on target as far as the nature of the political directorate, who circulate between corporations, corporate law firms, and government positions in the same way they did 50 years ago (and well before that, of course).

1.3.3.2.1. Joseph G. Peschek (2008) C. Wright Mills and American Democracy, New Political Science, 30:3, 393-403, DOI: 10.1080/07393140802305700

1.3.3.3. Liberals and progressives often underplay the implications of this analysis in their accounts of contemporary American politics, clouding the sources of growing inequality and perhaps understating the obstacles to reform. At this writing the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama has excited much of the left, for very understandable reasons. But at the least Mills would encourage us to take into account Obama’s campaign contributors, key advisers, and actual policy statements, along with his populist and reformist appeals, in order to have a realistic view of what kind of changes an Obama presidency would and would not bring

1.3.3.3.1. Joseph G. Peschek (2008) C. Wright Mills and American Democracy, New Political Science, 30:3, 393-403, DOI: 10.1080/07393140802305700

1.3.4. Society

1.3.4.1. #2

1.3.4.2. #1

1.3.5. Power

1.3.5.1. #1

1.3.5.2. #2