I've always been intrigued about the degree to which power elites control the population. I don't know exactly how or why, but just by simple observation about how society works, I've come to the conclusion that power elites exert an extraordinary level of control over the population.
Lately, I've been doing some research about this subject and to my surprise, many of the conclusions I've arrived to by simple observation, have been corroborated by research work done by experts in the field.
My motivation for studying this phenomena is to first understand the reason why the population remains so docile (and paralyzed) in the face of increased abuse by the power elite, in the hopes that that understanding will be useful in helping me find ways to motivate people to not only take action, but do it in a coordinated and strategic way. I'm also very interested in connecting with groups already involved in social justice activism at this level.
At a very reductive level, the challenge I'm trying to tackle is related to the ability of a tiny ruling elite to manipulate the vast majority of the population into accepting and increasingly exploitative situation which clearly leads to subjugation and servitude.
It seems to me that if workers had a clear understanding of the situation, and were not mentally shackled by the manipulative control of the power elites, they would quickly be able to figure out a way to correct the situation.
Before I continue, I'd like to highlight a couple of diaries I've written about this subject recently, including "How Billionaires-Funded Propaganda is Unraveling The Country," and "The reason the population is acting irrationally, and what to do about it." I also encourage the reader to watch the BBC documentary "The Century of Self."
A great resource on the subject is the book The Power Elite, written by sociologist, C. Wright Mills, in 1956.
In it Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities.Of that WikipidiA quote above, the phrase I'd like to highlight is "relatively powerless," because I happen to believe that it is true as long as people are not awaken to the reality of the situation; once a significant number of people become aware about how the system really works, and about the tools used to manipulate the citizenry, then that by itself could be enough to eventually change the power imbalance--more on that later.
In chapter 1 of the book Mills focuses on "The Higher Circles."
He describes the contemporary means of power as the hierarchies of state, military and the big corporate institutions. Other, previously decisive institutions such as family and religion are pushed aside in the contemporary United States. They adapt to contemporary life, which in turn is set and determined by the new means of power.And of course, as I've argued before, one of the main tools for the control of the population is the corporate media conglomerate environment:
The creation of a pseudo-world by the mass media is made possible by the structure of the society which enables people to choose only that which is of the same opinion as they are. The remote possibility of debate and discussion, let alone action, disappears as the experience of the public turns into that of the mass: narrower and limited to their routine and structural (out-of-their-own-control) environment from which they cannot escape.
In a mass, far fewer people express opinions than receive them; for the community of publics becomes an abstract collection of individuals who receive impressions from the mass media. The communications that prevail are so organised that it is difficult or impossible for the individual to answer back immediately or with any effect.Finally, the main problem with this arrangement is not the methods of crowd manipulation, but the lack of morality by those doing the manipulation:
When it comes to social justice and anti-corruption activism, I consider the situation I describe above the number one challenge to any successful progressive movement. In order to overcome that challenge, I've identified some spesific areas I'd like to focus on: The need to engage in a highly organized and strategic mass media counter-propaganda campaign; the need to help "awaken" and motivate a significant number of "hard-core" activists first, and as many people as possible in the general population; the need to identify specific strategies to remove the control by the "immoral" power elite on the population; and the need to be able to motivate a large-enough segment of the population act in concert, with cohesiveness, strategically.
- Especially following the second half of the 1900s, the US power elite has been getting increasingly immoral, irresponsible, ignorant, stupid (in terms of not valuing reason as one's key characteristic in life), and mindless in its quest for wealth and power.
- The higher immorality is a systematic, institutionalized feature of the US power elite, and the general acceptance of this immorality is an essential feature of the mass society.
- The mass society itself is also left without any moral standards to hold on to, or even rise against. While fear, uncertainty, and doubt is spread through military and economic crisis, "as individuals they are defenseless; as groups, they are politically indifferent." Even though most relate (and wrongfully so) power with knowledge and ability, some have given in to the immorality embodied in accomplishment.
These concepts may seem abstract or esoteric to some readers, but I argue that a very clear example of how the current "business activist movement" became a cohesive and highly effective force (of the immoral power elite) is because they organized in such fashion, inspired by people like former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.'s, who wrote what's become to be known as "The Powell Memo:" "Attack on American Free Enterprise System."
Those who would like to join the nationwide team we are putting together to tackle these issues can collaborate in multiple ways in accordance with their available time resources. We will be developing think tanks on different topics, including employee-owned businesses, sustainable housing and food production, and social justice activism best practices.
I will always be focused on action, trying to find out how we can coordinate immediate action on certain area, as well as planning for mid- and long-term objectives.
Those interested to join our growing group of activists can start by joining the mailing list. All our activities will always be peaceful and lawful. I believe that the potential strength of this developing group lies on organization, cohesiveness and strategic thinking.
As always, I'm looking forward to comments, insights, and ideas about this topic.
Each blue dot on the map below represents a member of a growing nation-wide network of social justice and anti-corruption activists committed to finding the best way forward. Join us in the effort!
Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook