C. Wright Mills, a famous sociologist published the book “The Power Elite” in the year 1956. It focuses on the interlinked interests of leaders of military, corporate etc. As per Mills, the term “Power Elite” which is commonly used in his book stands for the individuals who usually hold the dominant post in supreme institutions inclusive of economic and political of a ruling country and henceforth, the decisions on any subject taken by them have a huge impact on the U.S. population and the world in general. The supreme institutions lead by them are led by three men and have won over their weak counterparts.
Mills also specifies that it is quite common that the elite being unaware of their position as elite. This is more so because they are often uncertain about their roles. They slide into their desire unconsciously but Mills often calls them as a “Quasi-hereditary caste”. The associates of power elite often end up in promising societal work due to their education qualification from well-known institutes like Harvard, Princeton etc. Mills also introduces two types of Ivy League alumni which consist of those who are entertained in the higher rank fraternity mainly Porcellian and Fly Club and those who are not.
The elites that command the ruling organizations can be easily classified into six major types as per Mills.
These are basically:-
• The Metropolitan 400:
It represents the historical local families in well-known American cities.
They showcase the media personalities and entertainers.
• The Chief Executives:
This stands for presidents and CEO’s of the famous organizations within each industrial sector.
• The Corporate Rich:
They represent the main landowners and corporate shareholders.
• The Warlords:
The senior military officers, most commonly, the Joint Chief of Staff come under this term.
• The Political Directorate:
This stands for fifty odd men of the U.S. executive branch.