Best 74 of C. Wright Mills quotes - MyQuotes

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C. Wright Mills
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 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

The point is that we are among those who cannot get their mouths around all the little Yeses that add up to tacit acceptance of a world run by crackpot realists and subject to blind drift. And that, you see, is something to which we do belong; we belong to those who are still capable of personally rejecting. Our minds are not yet captive.

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Each day men sell little pieces if themselves in order to try to buy then back each night and weekend.

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 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 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 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

In our time, what is at issue is the very nature of man, the image we have of his limits and possibilities as a man. History is not yet done with its exploration of the limits and meanings of human nature.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

I try to be objective. I do not claim to be detached.

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

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

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

My plans have always exceeded my capacities and energies

By Anonym 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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.

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

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 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 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

What we experience in various and specific milieux, I have noted, is often caused by structural changes. Accordingly, to understand the changes of many personal milieux we are required to look beyond them. And the number and variety of such structural changes increase as the institutions within which we live become more embracing and more intricately connected with one another. To be aware of the idea of social structure and to use it with sensibility is to be capable of tracing such linkages among a great variety of milieux. To be able to do that is to possess the sociological imagination

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 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The immediate cause of World War III is the military preparation of it.

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 18 Sep

C. Wright Mills

p4- the history that now effects everyman is world history

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 19 Sep

C. Wright Mills

To reflect upon the present as history is to understand that history may now be made by default. Understanding that, we no longer need accept as “necessary” the lesser evil. We no longer need to accept historical fate, for fate is a feature of specific kinds of social structure, of irresponsible systems of power. These systems can be changed. Fate can be transcended We must come to understand that while the domain of fate is diminishing, the exercise of responsibility is also diminishing and in fact becoming organized as irresponsibility. We must hold men of power variously responsible for pivotal events, we mush unmask their pretentions- and often their own mistaken convictions- that they are not responsible. Our politics, in short, must be the politics of responsibility.

By Anonym 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

No one can be truly powerful unless he has access to the command of major institutions, for it is over these institutional means of power that the truly powerful are, in the first instance, truly powerful . . .

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

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 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

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!

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

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

By Anonym 15 Sep

C. Wright Mills

The principal cause of war is war itself.

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 15 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.

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

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 13 Sep

C. Wright Mills

Every revolution has its counterrevolution - that is a sign the revolution is for real.

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

For the corporation executives, the military metaphysic often coincides with their interest in a stable and planned flow of profit; it enables them to have their risk underwritten by public money; it enables them reasonably to expect that they can exploit for private profit now and later, the risky research developments paid for by public money. It is, in brief, a mask of the subsidized capitalism from which they extract profit and upon which their power is based.

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

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 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 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 14 Sep

C. Wright Mills

People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages.