Talk:C. Wright Mills

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Whoever has done this page has copied the quotes (with my words in brackets as well) from the site without any acknowledgment whatsoever. Please refrain from such practices.

M. Asadi

  • Can you identify the particular quotes to which you refer? I added about a third of the content to this page, and most assuredly copied from no source other than Mills' own works. BD2412 T 03:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, sure

A (world) 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.

   * p. 174

The word (world) is mine, copied directly from my website and articles at

Without an industrial economy, the modern army, as in America, could not exist; it is an army of machines. Professional economists usually consider military institutions as parasitic upon the means of production. Now, however, such institutions have come to shape much of the economic life of the United States.Religion, virtually without fail, provides the army at war with its blessings, and recruits from among its officials the chaplain, who in military costume counsels and consoles and stiffens the morale of men at war... The family provides the army and navy with the best men and boys that it possesses (showing its subordination as an institution in the current epoch). And, as we have seen, education and science too are becoming means to the ends sought by the military.”

The words in brackets (showing its subordination...) are mine copied verbatim from my website

America- a conservative country without any conservative ideology - appears now before the world a naked and arbitrary power, as, in the name of realism, its men of decision enforce their often crackpot definitions upon world reality. The second-rate mind is in command (through the mass media) of the ponderously spoken platitude. In the liberal rhetoric, vagueness, and in the conservative mood, irrationality, are raised to principle...These men (of the Power Elite) have replaced mind with platitude, and the dogmas by which they are legitimated are so widely accepted that no counter-balance of mind prevails against them. Such men as these are crackpot-realists; in the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own…They have replaced the responsible interpretation of events with the disguise of events by a maze of public relations…”

(of the power elite) are my words copied from the website verbatim

The personality market, the most decisive effect and symptom of the great salesroom, underlies the all pervasive distrust and self-alienation so characteristic of metropolitan people. Without common values and mutual trust, the cash nexus that links one man to another in transient contact has been made subtle in a dozen ways, and made to bite deeper into all areas of life and relations.People are required by the salesman ethic and convention to pretend interest in others in order to manipulate them…Men are estranged from one another as each secretly tries to make an instrument of the other, and in time a full circle is made: one makes an instrument of himself and is estranged from it also.”

The joined quote with the ... is my joining copied verbatim from my website

In a society of employees dominated by the marketing mentality, it is inevitable that a personality market should arise. For in the great shift from manual skills to the art of ‘handling’, selling and servicing people, personal or even intimate traits of employees are drawn into the sphere of exchange and become commodities in the labor market…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…In the formulas of ‘personnel experts’, men and women are to be shaped into the ‘well rounded, acceptable, effective personality’ (to close the deal or to make the sale)...

(to close the deal or make the sale) are my words copied verbatim from my website

We know well that all new cultural beginnings today must be part of world culture; that no truly intellectual life can occur if the mind is restricted; that no art can have genuine and everlasting value if it is not in a universal language. East and West. God knows there is enough restriction. Enough laziness of stereotypes. Smash them, we say to ourselves. And the only way to do that is to open up a true world forum that is absolutely free...It will be the seedbed of the future. It will be the climate in which new minds can form themselves and then solve problems we don’t yet even know about."

   * Listen Yankee (1960), pp. 144-145

The ... joined quote is my choice of joining copied verbatim from my website.

Those in authority within institutions and social structures attempt to justify their rule by linking it, as if it were a necessary consequence, with moral symbols, sacred emblems, or legal formulae which are widely believed and deeply internalized (by the masses).These central conceptions may refer to a god or gods, “the votes of the majority”, (“freedom”, “democracy”)… or the alleged extraordinary endowment of the person of the ruler himself.Various thinkers have used different terms to refer to this phenomena: Mosca’s “political formula” or “great superstition”, Locke’s “principal of sovereignty”,Sorel’s “ruling myth”,Weber’s “legitimations”, Durkheim’s “collective representations”, Marx’s “dominant ideas”…Mannheim’s “ideology”, Herbert Spencer’s “public sentiments” Gramsci’s “hegemony” all point to the central place of master symbols in social analysis.”

   * Character & Social Structure (1954)

The words in brackets are mine copied verbatim from my website.

The more we understand what is happening in the world, the more frustrated we often become, for our knowledge leads to feelings of powerlessness. We feel that we are living in a world in which the citizen has become a mere spectator or a forced actor, and that our personal experience is politically useless and our political will a minor illusion.

Very often, the fear of total permanent war paralyzes the kind of morally oriented politics, which might engage our interests and our passions. We sense the cultural mediocrity around us- and in us- and we know that ours is a time when, within and between all the nations of the world, the levels of public sensibilities have sunk below sight; atrocity on a mass scale has become impersonal and official; moral indignation as a public fact has become extinct or made trivial. We feel that distrust has become nearly universal among men of affairs, and that the spread of public anxiety is poisoning human relations and drying up the roots of private freedom.We see that people at the top often identify rational dissent with political mutiny, loyalty with blind conformity, and freedom of judgment with treason. We feel that irresponsibility has become organized in high places and that clearly those in charge of the historic decisions of our time are not up to them. But what is more damaging to us is that we feel that those on the bottom- the forced actors who take the consequences- are also without leaders, without ideas of opposition, and that they make no real demands upon those with power.


Our minds are not yet captive. We belong to those who are still capable of personally rejecting (the official myths and the unofficial distractions)...we have got first to get it clear with ourselves that we do not belong and do not want to belong to an unfree world. As free men and women we have got to reject much of it and to know why we are rejecting it.

   * Letters & Autobiographical Writings (1954) [University of California Press, 2000], pp. 184-187

This section is copied from the front page of my website, the However part as well as the acknowledgment of the quote is mine verbatim, as is the choice of joining from different parts, it is my choice of joining not a verbatim continuous quote

The rest many are copied straight out of my website and my work. Intellectual theft of the highest caliber without any acknowledgement

  • Fixed. Cheers! BD2412 T 05:56, 1 September 2008 (UTC)