Is America Necessary? Conservative, Liberal, & Socialist Perspectives of United States Political Institutions

By Henry Etzkowitz; Peter Schwab | Go to book overview

Conservative

Amos Perlmutter. The Presidential political center and foreign policy: A critique of the revisionist and bureaucratic- political orientations.*


The foreign policy elite and its challengers

Political philosophers, social theorists, and moralists have been examining the nature of power since time immemorial. This search for a definition, which still goes on, has exhibited certain characteristics. First, the most intensive quests for what constitutes power have been initiated in times of political and moral crises or during periods of revolution and profound social change. Next, because the most conspicuous aspect of power is personal power--institutional power being more complex and less apparent--analysts have tended to focus on rulers and their corollary, the ruled. Finally, in examining this dichotomy between the rulers and the ruled, analysts have sought to discover the sources of crises, revolution, and change.

Devising a theory of the power, elite became an honorable professional occupation for theorists at the time of the French Revolution: its antagonists were heavily engaged in historical, social, and methodological controversies. Some time later, Karl Marx emerged as the first, most astute analyst of power of the modern age, although his political analysis was marred by a preoccupation with economics and historical materialism. To Marx, the ruler was a single power construct: the few owners of the means of production. The real producers, the proletariat, were the ruled. Rationally conscious of their permanent need to protect their power, the owners used instruments of coercion and violence--the police, the military, and the state--to uphold their economic power and status. Thus, they were the oppressors of the real producers-- the actual workers whom they exploited. In this battle between exploiters and producers, according to Marx, lay the heart of the class struggle, which could be resolved only by violence and revolution.

Outraged by Marx and Marxism, conservative political theorists rose to challenge him in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, notably the Italians Gaetano Mosca and Vilfredo Parelo, and Roberto Michels, a German professor teaching in Italy.1 Arguing that Marx's class theory was not social-scientific but ideological, they elevated his analysis of the elite into a science and an ideology.2 Whereas Marx's science afforded an ideology for the proletariat, this group assured the middle classes that socialism would become "bourgeoisified," and that the "iron law of oligarchy" would not discriminate between the left and the right. In this sense, socialism would develop as a class movement with a conservative orientation.3

With the rise of a complex and affluent industrial society in the twentieth century, the "classical" ruling-class theory reappeared under a new guise--that of the power elite. Its most renowned spokesman was the sociologist C. Wright Mills.4

According to Mills, power in modern times is institutional. Corporate linkage produces the cohesiveness of the "power elite." Domination, then, "will be in large part determined by the closeness of the links between the institutional hierarchies." The political directorate (the conglomerate of political, industrial, and military corporate hierarchical elites) takes advantage of the interchange and complementarity of institutional proximity.5 Above all, the conspiracy of the power elite is hatched by the hierarchy--a cabal of the industrial, military, and university institutions.

Mills identifies the power elite with the political elite around the surrogate political center, the office of the President. It consists of corporate business executives, military professionals, armchair strategists, university professors, scientists, and technocrats. Their social status and background may provide access to the presidential political center, but it does not guarantee political power. Corporate, intellectual, and technocratic elites are by nature more co-

____________________
*
From World Politics XXVII. no. 1 ( October 1974), pp. 87-106. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

-67-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Is America Necessary? Conservative, Liberal, & Socialist Perspectives of United States Political Institutions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One 15
  • 1 - Where Do I Stand? 17
  • Conservative 21
  • Conclusion 28
  • Socialist 44
  • Notes 46
  • Part Two 57
  • 2 - The Presidency 61
  • Conservative 67
  • Socialist 79
  • Notes 85
  • 3 - The Pentagon 101
  • Conservative 107
  • Socialist 117
  • 4 - The Secret Police 133
  • Conservative 139
  • Socialist 152
  • Notes 160
  • Part Three 167
  • 5 - Elite Clubs and Associations 169
  • Conservative 173
  • Notes 184
  • Notes 192
  • 6 - Multinational Corporations 209
  • Conservative 213
  • Socialist 221
  • Notes 244
  • 7 - Organized Crime 257
  • Conservative 259
  • Socialist 264
  • Part Four 283
  • 8 - Congress 285
  • Conservative 289
  • Socialist 296
  • Notes 303
  • 9 - The Courts 315
  • Conservative 319
  • Socialist 330
  • Notes 337
  • 10 - Regulatory Agencies 347
  • Conservative 349
  • Socialist 361
  • Notes 369
  • Political Parties 385
  • Conservative 387
  • Liberal 396
  • Conclusion 410
  • 12 - Academia 413
  • Conservative 416
  • References 427
  • Notes 434
  • Part Five 449
  • 13 - The Media 451
  • Conservative 453
  • Liberal 467
  • Notes 474
  • 14 - Banks 483
  • Conservative The Great Banking Retreat. 485
  • Socialist 489
  • Notes 497
  • 15 - Unions 511
  • Conservative 513
  • Notes 519
  • A Critical Issue 537
  • 16 - The Economic Crisis 539
  • Conservative 542
  • Socialist 544
  • Notes 550
  • Part Seven 557
  • 17 - Political Programs 567
  • Louis Banks. the Mission Of Our Business Society. 568
  • Ralph Nader and Donald Ross. Toward an Initiatory Democracy. 576
  • Stanley Aronowitz. On Organization: A Good Party Is Hard to Find. 581
  • Mass Parties and Reformism 587
  • Notes 596
  • Fred R. Harris. Up With Those Who'Re Down. 602
  • Part Eight 613
  • Appendix 621
  • Note 644
  • Index 649
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 658

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.