Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Understanding the Essence of the Power Elite

Michael S. Rozeff's powerful observations below are directly in line with the very important book, The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills:
In my opinion, there is no single group that has been running this elite and orchestrated its many moves over the decades. The people at the center of the club who most influence policies change. The power elite is fluid. The motives of the individuals involved vary. Their backgrounds vary. There is no conscious behind-the-scenes secret plan that’s being carried out by a select group of individuals. The situation is different than that. Rather, there is a coalescing of various people and interests around a common view. This coming together occurs through the central presence of a powerful state. Without that the members of the power elite would have a much, much more difficult time finding each other, allying with one another and becoming a force. The coming together uses the state as the connecting point, and it uses the state as the instrument to wield power. The formulation of positions or policies that serve as the means to the overall end is complex.

The basic objective of U.S. global dominance or hegemony prevails over well over a hundred years because it is an objective that coalesces the group and simultaneously affords the individual members the best opportunities to achieve their individual objectives and satisfy their motives, which vary. The state and the global dominance of the state are a kind of shield and sword that protect and project the power of the power elite.

Other empires and competing powers may work in roughly the same way. We need only assume that underlying them all is the will to dominance. States arise because of this will to dominance, and the process is aided to some extent by the fear that foreigners will dominate unless the state is powerful. The state provides a focal point, or point of attraction for expressing this will.

The U.S. version has been especially successful because it has had a foundation in a productive economy that existed for reasons independent of the power elite’s policies. There has also been something of an ideological foundation. An economic foundation may not be essential, however. There are many cases where people coalesce around religious beliefs or ideological beliefs, producing a state and an elite in that way.


  1. It's like the mafia. There is no master plan. Everyone in the club has his own scams, but they allow each other room to operate, squeeze out non-members, settle their differences in house and for God's sake keep up appearences and keep the ugly stuff quiet.

    1. This is a perfect description of the government mafia!

  2. The trends reported by Rozeff and Mills are rooted in human psychology. A psychology that drives each of us to live big on minimal effort, and to do it as quickly as possible. Because "in the long run we are all dead." A harsh truth that seems unconvincingly address by theists or atheists. Thus we all come to that fateful choice to use voluntary exchange or force and coercion to achieve our goals. For many this means stealing and killing (in ways large and small) to improve our own situation if we can get away with it. And the power elite have discovered that politics and government are the best way to get away with it. This "will to power" is embedded in our psychology and cannot be educated away. It is genetically/biologically essential to our survival. A survival of the most adaptable to our environment. Individual freedom is also essential to our survival as humans. A paradox of human life if you expect this life to be static. But it is not. So the resolution of this paradox is in cycles of strengthening and weakening of centralizing authorities or "power elites." While the power elite cannot be eliminated they do occasionally grow too weak to steal all individual freedom. Historically the occurrence of weakness is serendipitous and chaotic and cannot be created by purposeful human action. So focus on what is in your control. Stay local, think individually. Choose voluntary exchange when it does not put you in harms way and try not to enable coercion.

  3. I'd argue that our system has been here from the start. The Monroe Doctrine is only an early chapter of this.

  4. "The U.S. version has been especially successful because it has had a foundation in a productive economy that existed for reasons independent of the power elite’s policies. "

    And now that economy is gone, replaced by a thin web of interconnected predators dependent upon the shaky status of the dollar as a reserve currency.