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C.Wright Mills Power Elite

C.Wright Mills in his book titled the Power Elite in 1956, discusses the analysis of American society. Mills seek to explain elite rule in institutional terms as he identifies three key institutions in USA – the major business corporations, the military and the federal government. These institutions occupy pivotal positions in society. Those who occupy command posts in these three key institutions constitute the elite. The holders of these command posts though apparently distinguishable from one another in terms of their association with three key institutions are sufficiently similar in their values, interests and ideals and are interconnected to form a single ruling minority.

He names this ruling minority 'the power elite'. The economic, military and political interests which these three groups represent are promoted to the extent that there is cooperation and sharing among them. Thus as armaments pour out of factories in huge quantities, the interests of both economic and military elites are served.Buisness and government cannot now be seen as two distinct worlds. Economic pressure groups influence governmental decision on economic matters particularly those pertaining to giant corporations. Moreover those who are in government have substantial interests in these corporations. The net result of coincidence of economic, military and political power is power elite which dominates American society and takes all decisions of major national and international importance.