C. Wright Mills

American sociologist

Lived from: 1916-1962

Category: History and sociology

Quotes: C. Wright Mills

Quotes 1 till 15 of 36.

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    A society in which all men and women would become people of substantive reason, whose independent reasoning would have structural consequences for their societies, its history and thus for their own life fates.
    Source: The Sociological Imagination (1959)
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    America is a nation with no truly national city, no Paris, no Rome, no London, no city which is at once the social center, the political capital, and the financial hub.
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    An expensive arms race, under cover of the military metaphysic, and in a paranoid atmosphere of fright, is an economically attractive business. To many utopian capitalists, it has become the Business Way of American Life.
    Source: The Causes of World War Three (1960)
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    By the power elite, we refer to those political, economic, and military circles which as an intricate set of overlapping cliques share decisions having at least national consequences. In so far as national events are decided, the power elite are those who decide them.
    Source: The Power Elite (1956)
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    Commercial jazz, soap opera, pulp fiction, comic strips, the movies set the images, mannerisms, standards, and aims of the urban masses. In one way or another, everyone is equal before these cultural machines; like technology itself, the mass media are nearly universal in their incidence and appeal. They are a kind of common denominator, a kind of scheme for pre-scheduled, mass emotions.
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    Every revolution has its counterrevolution - that is a sign the revolution is for real.
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    Fate has to do with events in history that are the summary and unintended results of innumerable decisions of innumerable men.
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    For the first time in American history, men in authority are talking about an 'emergency' without a foreseeable end,...Such men as these are crackpot realists: in the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own.
    Source: The Power Elite (1956)
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    Here's to the day when the complete works of Leon Trotsky are published and widely distributed in the Soviet Union. On that day the USSR will have achieved democracy!
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    If we accept the Greek's definition of the idiot as an altogether private man, then we must conclude that many American citizens are now idiots. And I should not be surprised, although I don't know, if there were some such idiots even in Germany.
    Source: The British Journal of Sociology Structure of Power in America, Vol. 9 (March 1958)
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    If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift to the coming human hell.
    Source: Foreword, The Marxists (1962)
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    In the formulas of 'personnel experts', men and women are to be shaped into the 'well rounded, acceptable, effective personality.' Just like small proprietors, they cannot higgle over prices, which are fixed, or 'judge the market' and accordingly buy wisely.
    Source: White Collar :The American Middle Classes (1951)
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    In the world of the celebrity, the hierarchy of publicity has replaced the hierarchy of descent and even of great wealth.
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    Kindness and friendliness become aspects of personalized service or of public relations of big firms, rationalized to further the sale of something. With anonymous insincerity, the Successful Person thus makes an instrument of his own appearance and personality.
    Source: White Collar :The American Middle Classes (1951)
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    Much work is merely a way to make money; much leisure is merely a way to spend it.
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