Power Elite

Topics: Sociology, The Power Elite, Military-industrial complex Pages: 2 (645 words) Published: November 26, 2007
The article The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills is an article about the three major groups that control our country. This article attempts to open its reader's eyes to the idea that no one person or group makes decisions for themselves. The only way that decisions are made is by those that make up the "power elite". These people are put into different divisions of elitists. These groups are the big corporations, the political elite, and the military elite.

Mills first proposes that the top leaders that the power elite consist of are divided into three areas. The "corporate elite is made up of the executives from large companies; the military elite is the senior officers; and the small political elite includes the president and top officials in the executive and legislative branches"(415). It is Mills' theory is that no decision is made by those who are not solely linked to one of these powers. Even the lack of decision making in one of these areas is, in itself, a decision or action being made. There are, however, ties to these major forces. Most of these ties lie in the "middle levels of power" with the "professional politicians", Congress, and "the new and old upper class of town and city and regions"(416). The only way that these, or any other groups that make decisions can be heard, are by gaining the attention of those who make up the power elite. Mills also proposes that all of the subsections below the areas of the power elite are intrinsically connected to that center. He states that "religious, educational, and family institutions are not autonomous centers of national power; on the contrary, these decentralized areas are increasingly shaped by the big three"(417). The "big three" being the power elite areas, are tied into these three institutions because they are where the "major national power now resides"(417). Throughout this proposal, Mills is able to argue that these institutions are all effected and controlled by the "big three" and have all...
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