Best 74 of C. Wright Mills quotes - MyQuotes

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C. Wright Mills
By Anonym 18 Sep

C. Wright Mills

People with advantages are loathe 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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Power is not of a man. Wealth does not center in the person of the wealthy. Celebrity is not inherent in any personality. To be celebrated, to be wealthy, to have power requires access to major institutions.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Prestige is the shadow of money and power. Where these are, there it is. Like the national market for soap or automobiles and the enlarged arena of federal power, the national cash-in area for prestige has grown, slowly being consolidated into a truly national system.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

When white-collar people get jobs, they sell not only their time and energy, but their personalities as well. They sell by the week, or month, their smiles and their kindly gestures, and they must practice that prompt repression of resentment and aggression.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

To say that you can 'have experience,' means, for one thing, that your past plays into and affects your present, and that it defines your capacity for future experience. As a social scientist, you have to control this rather elaborate interplay, to capture what you experience and sort it out; only in this way can you hope to use it to guide and test your reflection, and in the process shape yourself as an intellectual craftsman

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The market is sovereign and in the magic economy of the small entrepreneur there is no authoritarian center... in the political sphere... the equilibrium of powers prevails, and hence there is no chance of despotism.

By Anonym 19 Sep

C. Wright Mills

the more aware they become,however vaugely,of ambitions & of threats which transcend their immediate locales, the more trapped they seem to feel.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The broadening of the economic order which came to be seated in the individual property owner... dramatized by Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory... "The supremacy of corporate economic power... consolidated by the Supreme Court decision of 1886 which declared that the Fourteenth Amendment protected the corporation... [the New Deal, leading to], within the political arena, as well as in the corporate world itself, competing centers of power that challenged those of the corporate directors.

By Anonym 16 Sep

C. Wright Mills

In the slum countries of the world today, what are they saying? The rich Americans, they pay attention only to violence- and to money. You don’t care what they say, American? Good for you. Still, they may insist; things are no longer under the old control; you’re not getting it straight, American: your country- it would seem- may well become the target of a world hatred the like of which the easy-going Americans have never dreamed. Neutralists and Pacifists and Unilateralists and that confusing variety of Leftists around the world- all those tens of millions of people, of course they are misguided, absolutely controlled by small conspiratorial groups of trouble-makers, under direct orders from Moscow and Peking. Diabolically omnipotent, it is /they/ who create all this messy unrest. It is /they/ who what given the tens of millions the absurd idea that they shouldn’t want to remain, or to become, the seat of American nuclear bases- those gay little outposts of American civilization. So now they don’t want U-2’s on their territory; so now they want to contract out of the American military machine; they want to be neutral among the crazy big antagonists. And they don’t want their own societies to be militarized. But take heart, American: you won’t have time to get really bored with your friends abroad: they won’t be your friends much longer. You don’t need /them/; it will all go away; don’t let them confuse you.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Prestige is the shadow of money and power.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. This is its task and its promise.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

In the world of the celebrity, the hierarchy of publicity has replaced the hierarchy of descent and even of great wealth.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

My plans have always exceeded my capacities and energies

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The life-fate of the modern individual depends not only upon the family into which he was born or which he enters by marriage, but increasingly upon the corporation in which he spends the most alert hours of his best years.

By Anonym 18 Sep

C. Wright Mills

p4- the history that now effects everyman is world history

By Anonym 19 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

To really belong, 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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Above all, do not give up your moral and political autonomy by accepting in somebody else's terms the illiberal practicality of the bureaucratic ethos or the liberal practicality of the moral scatter. Know that many personal troubles cannot be solved merely as troubles, but must be understood in terms of public issues and in terms of the problems of history making.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

For we cannot adequately understand 'man' as an isolated biological creature, as a bundle of reflexes or a set of instincts, as an 'intelligible field' or a system in and of itself. Whatever else he may be, man is a social and an historical actor who must be understood, if at all, in close and intricate interplay with social and historical structures

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Any contemporary political re-statement of liberal and socialist goals must include as central the idea of a society in which all men would become men of substantive reason, whose independent reasoning would have structural consequences for their societies, its history and thus for their own life fates.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Seldom aware of the intricate connection between the patterns of their own lives and the course of world history, ordinary people do not usually know what this connection means for the kind of people they are becoming and for the kind of history-making in which they might take part.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

History is the shank of the social sciences.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

To have peace and not war, the drift toward a war economy, as facilitated by the moves and the demands of the sophisticated conservatives, must be stopped; to have peace without slump, the tactics and policies of the practical right must be overcome. The political and economic power of both must be broken. The power of these giants of main drift is both economically and politically anchored; both unions and an independent labor party are needed to struggle effective.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

According to your belief [Christian clergy], my kind of man — secular, prideful, agnostic and all the rest of it — is among the damned. I'm on my own. You've got your God.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The economy - once a great scatter of small productive units in autonomous balance, has become dominated by two or three hundred giant corporations, administratively and politically interrelated... The political order, once a decentralized set of several dozen states with a weak spinal cord, has become a centralized executive establishment which has taken up into itself many powers previously scattered... The military order, once a slim establishment in a context of distrust fed by state militia, has become the largest and most expensive feature of government.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The mass production of distraction is now as much a part of the American way of life as the mass production of automobiles.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Much work is merely a way to make money; much leisure is merely a way to spend it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Not wishing to be disturbed over moral issues of the political economy, Americans cling to the notion that the government is a sort of automatic machine, regulated by the balancing of competing interests.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

You can never really understand an individual unless you also understand the society,historical time period in which they live,personal troubles, and social issues

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

As a proportion of the labor force, fewer individuals manipulate things, more handle people and symbols.

By Anonym 17 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Nie można zrozumieć ani życia jednostki, ani życia społeczeństwa, nie odnosząc jednego do drugiego.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

To overcome the academic prose you have first to overcome the academic pose.

By Anonym 17 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Once war was considered the business of soldiers, international relations the concern of diplomats. But now that war has become seemingly total and seemingly permanent, the free sport of kings has become the forced and internecine business of people, and diplomatic codes of honor between nations have collapsed. Peace in no longer serious; only war is serious. Every man and every nation is either friend or foe, and the idea of enmity becomes mechanical, massive, and without genuine passion. When virtually all negotiation aimed at peaceful agreement is likely to be seen as 'appeasement,' if not treason, the active role of the diplomat becomes meaningless; for diplomacy becomes merely a prelude to war an interlude between wars, and in such a context the diplomat is replaced by the warlord.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

What one side considers a defense the other considers a threat. In the vortex of the struggle, each is trapped by his own fearful outlook and by his fear of the other; each moves and is moved within a circle both vicious and lethal.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

A society that is in its higher circles and middle levels widely believed to be a network of smart rackets does not produce men with an inner moral sense; a society that is merely expedient does not produce men of conscience. A society that narrows the meaning of 'success' to the big money and in its terms condemns failure as the chief vice, raising money to the plane of absolute value, will produce the sharp operator and the shady deal. Blessed are the cynical, for only they have what it takes to succeed.

By Anonym 16 Sep

C. Wright Mills

El humanista, por ejemplo, puede concebir la élite no como un plano o categoría social, sino como el conjunto de los individuos dispersos que intentan superarse a sí mismos y que, en consecuencia, son más nobles, más eficientes, como hechos de mejor clase. No importa que sean pobres o ricos, que ocupen altas o bajas posiciones, que sean aclamados o despreciados: son élite por la clase de individuos que son. El resto de la población es masa, la cual, según esta concepción, yace indolente en una incómoda mediocridad.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The principal cause of war is war itself.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Nobody talks more of free enterprise and competition and of the best man winning than the man who inherited his father's store or farm.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

What ordinary men are directly aware of and what they try to do are bounded by the private orbits in which they live; their visions and their powers are limited.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.

By Anonym 18 Sep

C. Wright Mills

p5-what they need..is a quality of mind that will help them to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and of what may be happening within themselves. It this this quality..what may be called the sociological imagination.

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The professional celebrity, male and female, is the crowning result of the star system of a society that makes a fetish of competition. In America, this system is carried to the point where a man who can knock a small white ball into a series of holes in the ground with more efficiency than anyone else thereby gains social access to the President of the United States.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

As a social and as a personal force, religion has become a dependent variable. It does not originate; it reacts. It does not denounce; it adapts. It does not set forth new models of conduct and sensibility; it imitates. Its rhetoric is without deep appeal; the worship it organizes is without piety. It has become less a revitalization of the spirit in permanent tension with the world than a respectable distraction from the sourness of life.