Mills article, The Mass Society is describing that we are slowly losing our freedom. We can see this as when a famous speaker goes in front of an audience, he is told what to do like most of our presidents. They’re like a political puppets, and is told what to wear, how to act, and what to say to influence and try to manipulate us. These are examples of the “power elite” which Mills states in his article who have strong effect on people in public. His main argument is how the public becomes slowly manipulated, dependent and powerless as a mass society of today.
This means that there can be one power elite because the rest of society lets this happen. For example, people at the top that influence our lives in small ways have power and have a strong arm for it. If George gets a car ticket while driving, he can easily ask one of his friends to get rid of it, but if we get a ticket then we would have a rough time with it. Mills tells us that “the public is thought to be the seat of all legitimate power. ”(298), this means that the people who are at the top control what happens.
All our laws were created by the elite group, and we have no choice but to obey them or face consequences. The rich people of the country are ruling us, and there’s no stopping it. They are selecting rulers of the elite that make up the government! According to Mills, from the 19th century we have been transforming ourselves from a democracy into a mass society. The transformation started during the industrial revolution. To understand how society changed and probably will head towards a mass society we need to know the differences between public and mass.
A public is where many people are expressing, and receiving opinions; answering back opinions; react to opinions swiftly; and have institutional authority. A mass is where fewer people express opinions then we receive them, members of the public are passive recipients; the media is organized so that it would be impossible for individuals to answer back questions; the public is controlled by authority; and no autonomy from authoritative institutions. Mass society looking very familiar! The mass media has ways to manipulate us in small ways.
For example what we see on T. V. and read in newspapers looks real and sounds interesting, but the truth is that a lot of it is not true. What’s actually happening here is that the government, small interests groups, political leaders and corporations is showing us what they want us to here? For example the Iraq war which has been going on for about a year doesn’t tell us everything that’s happening. If Mills were alive he would say that the news media is only relaying what the elite wants us to know, and there’s nothing that we could do about it.
Basically we can see how the process of going to war happens, and how some other people object to it, but there’s nothing that we can do to prevent it. It may sound like it’s not going to happen because “small people” may say something that sounds good but will not even have a pin move in congress decision. The media, according to Mills give us status in society. They give us our identity; they tell us who we want to be; they give us our aspirations; technique; and how we should feel even when we don’t want to.
It’s very true, because fall of the twin towers caused us all devastation. When the president told us whose fault it was, what happened? Americans were attacking Muslims across the USA. Seven eleven stores were broken into and raided to demonstrate how people were even more against Muslims even though they are a peaceful religion. It’s not our fault, that’s just the way things are and there’s nothing we can do! In conclusion, freedom is nice for everyone, but it is sad to know that we are losing it.
Courtney from Study Moose
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