20 September 2012

Elite Social Class

The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills, 1956, Excerpts
People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages. They come readily to define themselves as inherently worthy of what they possess; they come to believe themselves ‘naturally’ elite; and, in fact, to imagine their possessions and their privileges as natural extensions of their own elite selves.

In so far as the elite flourish as a social class, it will select and form certain types of personality, and reject others. The kind of moral and psychological beings these men become is in large part determined by the values they experience and the institutional roles they are allowed and expected to play.

The power elite is composed of men of similar origin and education, the careers and their styles of life are similar. There are psychological and social bases for their unity, They are of similar social type leading to easy intermingling. Behind such psychological and social unity are the structure and the mechanics of those institutional hierarchies over which the political directorate, the corporate rich and the high military now preside.

Skull and Bones

Mitt Romney Secret Video Transcript, Excerpts
17 May 2012
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.

You know that I'm as poor as a church mouse. [Audience laughter]

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