The Political World of a Small Town: A Mirror Image of American Politics

By Everett Carll Ladd Jr.; Nelson Wikstrom | Go to book overview

government helps maintain the strong influence of business in our political culture. 54

The enhanced role of business in American politics is also assured by the central role of the private sector in the economy. Borrowing from the phraseology of Molotch, capitalism is the economic "growth machine" of America. 55 While there has taken place over the past several decades an increase in the number of Americans working in the public sector, especially at the state and local levels of government, the vast majority of Americans earn their livelihood from employment in the private sector. Obviously, their individual economic interests and continued well-being dictate from their perspective a political system that is accessible, sensitive, and responsive to the needs and policy concerns of the private sector. In addition, the "growth machine" of the private sector, with its myriad array of resources, including money and the well-honed skills of lobbyists, guarantees business an almost inviolable role in the American political process." 56


NOTES
1.
C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1956). A more recent statement of this persuasion is G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America Now? A View for the ' 80's ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983).
2.
Charles E. Lindblom, Politics and Markets ( New York: Basic Books, 1977), p. 175.
3.
Ibid.
4.
Margaret Terrell Parker, Lowell: A Study of Industrial Development (Port Washington, New York: Kenniket Press, 1970).
5.
Stanley Buder, Pullman: An Experiment in Industrial Order and Community Planning 1880-1930 ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), especially pp. 107-117.
6.
Peter Schuck and Harrison Wellford, "Democracy and the Good Life in a Company Town," Harper's Magazine, 244 ( May, 1972), pp. 56-60.
7.
Robert S. Lynd and Helen M. Lynd, Middletown ( New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929).
8.
Robert S. Lynd and Helen M. Lynd, Middletown in Transition ( New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1937).
9.
Floyd Hunter, Community Power Structure ( Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953).
10.
Carol Estes Thometz, The Decision-Makers: The Power Structure of Dallas ( Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963).
11.
Harvey Molotch, "The City as Growth Machine," American Journal of Sociology, 82 ( September, 1976), pp. 309-330.
12.
Robert O. Schulze, "The Role of Economic Dominants in Community Power Structure," American Sociological Review, 23 ( February, 1958), pp. 3-9.
13.
Norton E. Long, "The Corporation, Its Satellites and the Local Community," in Edward S. Mason, ed., The Corporation in Modern Society ( Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1959), pp. 202-217.

-177-

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The Political World of a Small Town: A Mirror Image of American Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - The Small Town as a Political Laboratory 1
  • Notes 5
  • 2 - West Point: History and Community Profile 7
  • Notes 25
  • 3 - West Point: Social Attitudes, Political Culture, and Electoral Behavior 27
  • Notes 56
  • 4 - West Point: Government, Politics, and Public Policy 61
  • Notes 101
  • 5 - Power, Influence, and Policymaking in West Point 105
  • Notes 145
  • 6 - The Chesapeake Corporation and West Point: Chesapeake's Evolving Role in the Political Life of the Community 149
  • Notes 177
  • 7 - West Point's Polyarchy: A Mirror Image of American Politics 181
  • Notes 192
  • Bibliography 195
  • Index 205
  • About the Author 209
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