Wright Mills and His Understanding of the Cold War

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Yunlong Li
November 11, 2012
C. Wright Mills and His Understanding of the Cold War/WWIII
Authors and historians have attempted to understand what caused and perpetuated the Cold War for decades. Although it is not a simple answer with simple component reasons, this brief essay will seek to explain to the reader a few of the main reasons why the Cold War transpired as it did and what mechanisms kept it going. As a means of understanding the Cold War, the author of the essay has reviewed the writings of C. Wright Mill with relation to this topic as well as various other authors who have been cited and referenced in the below analysis. Before delving into the subject matter and trying to understand what caused and perpetuated the Cold War, it is worth first pointing out some of the factually incorrect information that surrounds many common approaches to the Cold War. The first, and perhaps most prominent of these faulty points of view, is that the Cold War was thrust upon the United States by a dangerous and overly aggressive Soviet Union after the conclusion of World War II. This view is faulty due to the fact that both superpowers that emerged after the Second World War were inherently distrustful of the other. Furthermore, it can be seen that the power structure that emerged put both actors on a collision course with respect to the fact that the economic systems championed by both the United States and the Soviet Union were inherently against one another. As such, it can be understood as a self-fulfilling prophecy that both sides would come into conflict with each other (Goertzel 243). In this way, it can be understood that it was not either necessarily the fact that the United States or the Soviet Union was actively aggressive that ensured that the two powers would come at odds with one another; rather it was their inherent differences in political systems, ideology, economics, and the fact that they were both superpowers intent on dominating the...
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