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The Power Elite

Updated on October 29, 2016

Of The People or Of The Power Elite

Is America truly a democracy where our government is as Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg address "a government of the people, by the people, for the people" where the people have an equal say so in government policy or is our government controlled by an elite group of people looking out for there best interests? In 1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell speech and in this speech he warned us of this elite group who at this time had acquired an immense amount of power in our government. Eisenhower called this group the "industrial military complex". Five years earlier C. Wright Mills wrote about this elite group in his book "The Power Elite" in which he identified those that occupied the power elite in this country, which are the economic (Large Corporations), military, and political

The Military Industrial Complex

Power Elite in The 21st Century

So the question still looms, do the people have a say so in policy or is it controlled by the elite who in some way give the people an illusion that the people have some say so. The author of this paper after research believes the latter and agrees with both C. Wright Mills and G. William Dumhoff, that our governmental policies are controlled by a power elite, in the industrial(corporate) military complex. There are several events in the past decade that the author believes confirms that this is so.

The first of these is the 2000 election between Al Gore and George Bush, where Al Gore was the clear winner from popular vote and the electoral vote was actually decided by the Supreme Court, disregarding how the people of this country actually voted. Another example of this behind the power scene was when our country declared war on Iraq in 2003. The war was not truly supported by the people, however the media, controlled by large corporations, in a sense declared war on anyone who spoke out against the war as un-patriotic. This was clearly shown when a band called the Dixie Chicks spoke out against the president and the war and Clear(Cumulus) Media Corporation (owner of more than 1200 radio stations) who had close ties to the president and held pro war rallies banned and took off the air all of the Dixie Chicks songs and started a boycott of the group. The last that this author is going to discuss but not the only other example of this type of control is the bailing out of the big corporations (that were "too big" to fail) in 2008. Our government gave trillions of dollars to banks who wrote bad loans to Americans who were about to lose their homes. Our government gave this money to the corporations instead of giving the money to the people who were about to lose their homes who would have in turn paid the banks for their mortgages and both the banks and debtors would have came out on top. Instead the banks pocketed trillions of dollars and foreclosed on the homes and the big banks(corporations) interests were taken care of and not the people's.

The 2000 Election

So Who Really Controls America?

So how does the idea that a power elite controls our policies mesh with our ideas of democracy? The short answer is that it does not. True democracy in this country is just an idea and has and probably will and always be this way. In the beginning of our country only those people who were white 21 and owned land could even vote. Our revolutionary war wasn't even fought or was for the common people its was for the elite who's interests were met so that they could retain ownership of their property and power. Lincoln should have said a government of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite because the elite have the control and only give the common citizen an illusion that they have a say so

Ron Paul on the Power Elite

The 2016 election

Who Controls America?

Who Controls America?

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    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      You have written a very good hub. And A Little TRUTH also knows a lot. The government tries to blind us. The President is a puppet, at least that is what I believe. It is getting worse every year. He is right about the federal reserve. I just wrote a hub about Obama and 2016. I don't know if it is going to happen or not. Maybe another puppet will be chosen.

      Also, fewer people are voting. So many people just sit back and watch TV. This is one of the ways people are blinded from the truth.

    • A Little TRUTH profile image

      A Little TRUTH 

      5 years ago

      Indeed, the Federal Reserve was a grand deception from the start, and has grown into a very destructive and energy sapping monster. It’s been called “The Creature from Jekyll Island”.

      You don’t have to ‘hope that I’m right that people are starting to take back control from the Elite’. I would hope that you DON’T believe me, but check it out for yourself. There are so many groups that are organized to accomplish this goal on so many fronts, coming from all different angles and methods, that it boggles the mind. Just do a little searching - you might start with the links in the “Solutions” section of my hub “Biggest Scam in History - The Federal Reserve System”, but that is just a small sampling.

    • PattyJane profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      A little TRUTH, thank you for your additional information on the 2008 bailout. You make some very valid points, I hope you are right that the people start to take back control from the Elite, however they tricked us into the Federal Reserve System, a system that was suppose to take power from these very people actually created it and pulled the wool over the eyes of the people.

    • A Little TRUTH profile image

      A Little TRUTH 

      5 years ago

      Excellent article on a very important topic! I would like to add to your example of the 2008 bank bailout. Here is a simple calculation which really shows the audacity of it:

      Input 1: According to the US Census, there are ~80 million families in the US.

      Input 2: According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of the Federal Reserve, the 2008 bank bailout was $16 trillion.

      Divide 2/1: The bailout was enough to BUY a $200,000 house for EVERY family in the US.

      Yes, we have allowed the control of the government to fall into the hands of a few elite who are not acting in the best interests of the people (to put it mildly). But people are now realizing this in great numbers and are taking it back. Even whole States are doing this. For example Colorado and Washington have nullified federal marijuana legislation within their States, and now Missouri has just passed a law that nullifies all federal gun control legislation within the State - past, present and future. The point is not whether these things are right or wrong, but that people in the States are making these decisions. These States are essentially telling the federal agents to “Go back to your ten miles square”. They can do this because the Constitution at Article 1 Section 8 paragraph 17 says that Congress has exclusive legislation ONLY over the District of Columbia and US possessions.


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