Analysis Of Attempting To Awaken The Apathetic By Charles Wright Mills

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Attempting to Awaken the Apathetic: C. Wright Mills Christi Williams SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology Instructor: Christine Henderson April 9, 2012 Attempting to Awaken the Apathetic: C. Wright Mills Charles Wright Mills (1916-62) spent most of his far too short academic career (1946-62) attempting to awaken apathetic Americans and the ”young intelligentsia” to the fact that the United States has become controlled by the “powerful elite”. Mills advocated a “third camp” of democratic socialism in the US as well as other industrialized nations. Mills was a strong voice calling the international “New Left” to action in the peace movement centering around antinuclear activism (Geary, 2008). Mills’ dedication to shaking the sleep and…show more content…
Wright Mills wrote three books directed toward the American labor movement, white collar workers and the apathetic American. During his first few years at Columbia University, Mills worked with a network of academics researching the major social and economic changes facing union workers for labor union leaders. Mills wrote “The New Men of Power: American’s Labor Leaders” in 1948 (it was republished in 2001) based on his survey of 500 labor leaders. In this book, Mills outlined a radical labor-based agenda that expanded the New Deal concepts and called for the end of the arms race and an economy based on preparing for war. Mills advocated the movement of the labor union toward the political left. He became disillusioned when in 1947 Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act, after it had been vetoed by President Harry Truman. The political climate did not encourage union leaders to challenge the cold war and arms race, and during the “Red Scare” most unions ousted their radical leaders. Mills confidence in the labor movement caused him to drift from working with progressive labor activists and he became more interested in the “American way of life” and the white collar, middle class (Dreier,…show more content…
Occupy Wall Street members will find many of Mill’s observations and conclusions relevant to today’s society. The “One Percent” represents many of the “Power Elite” and the control and influence they have on US policies in both at home and abroad. Mills criticism of US society and politics for its lack of democracy, class inequalities, and increasing militarism can be heard in the voices of protesters on Wall Street. Occupiers represent people who have put aside apathy and hopelessness to become a voice of change for American politics. They have realized that we need to make a change and disrupt the status quo. Even though many occupiers do not seem to have a clear agenda, I believe that they can eventually make a difference if they can come up with clear ideas and work together to overcome the power elite (Dreier,

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