Questions and Answers
Q: So, who does rule America?
A: The owners and managers of large income-producing properties; i.e., corporations, banks, and agri-businesses. But they have plenty of help from the managers and experts they hire. You can read the essential details of the argument in this summary of Who Rules America?, or look for the book itself at Amazon.com.
Q: Do the same people rule at the local level that rule at the federal level?
A: No, not quite. The local level is dominated by the land owners and businesses related to real estate that come together as growth coalitions, making cities into growth machines.
Q: Do they rule secretly from behind the scenes, as a conspiracy?
A: No, conspiracy theories are wrong, though it's true that some corporate leaders lie and steal, and that some government officials try to keep things secret (but usually fail).
Q: Then how do they rule?
A: That's a complicated story, but the short answer is through open and direct involvement in policy planning, through participation in political campaigns and elections, and through appointments to key decision-making positions in government.
Q: Are you saying that elections don't matter?
A: No, but they usually matter a lot less than they could, and a lot less in America than they do in other industrialized democracies. That's because of the nature of the electoral rules and the unique history of the South.
Q: Does social science research have anything useful to say about making progressive social change more effective?
A: Yes, it does, but few if any people pay much attention to that research.
Q: Is WhoRulesAmerica.net connected to the site called "Who Rules America?" on natall.com?
A: No! That site (and many others with documents purporting to tell you "who rules America") is run by a white supremacist/neo-Nazi organization.Addendum, re. C. Wright Mills, who already in 1956, had it "wright":
Via WikiPedia:The Power Elite (1956) describes the relationship between the political, military, and economic elite (people at the pinnacles of these three institutions), noting that these people share a common world view:Nobody could EVER anticipated...
* the military metaphysic: a military definition of reality
* possess class identity: recognizing themselves separate and superior to the rest of society
* have interchangeability: they move within and between the three institutional structures and hold interlocking directorates
* cooptation/socialization: socialization of prospective new members is done based on how well they "clone" themselves socially after such elites
These elites in the "big three" institutional orders have an "uneasy" alliance based upon their "community of interests" driven by the military metaphysic, which has transformed the economy into a 'permanent war economy'.