The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

The Power Elite is a book written by the sociologistC. Wright Mills, in 1956. In it Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities. The structural basis of The Power Elite is that, following World War II, the United States was the leading country in military and economic terms. According to Mills, the Power Elite are those that occupy the dominant positions, in the dominant institutions (military, economic and political) of a dominant country, and their decisions (or lack of decisions) have enormous consequences, not only for the U.S. population but, "the underlying populations of the world." Mills outlines the historical structural trends that led to the ascension of the power elite as involving a concentration of economic power and the cultural apparatus in the hands of a few, the emergence of a permanent war economy in the U.S. during and after WW2, the emergence of a bureaucratically standardized and conditioned (controlled) mass society and a political vacuum that was filled by economic and military elites. Due to the interchangeability of top positions within these three institutions, the members of the power elite develop class consciousness and a community of interests guided by a militarized culture, or what Mills described as the military metaphysic.

The book is something of a counterpart of Mills' 1951 work, White Collar: The American Middle Classes, which examines the then-growing role of middle managers in American society. A main inspiration for the book was Franz Leopold Neumann's bookBehemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism in 1942, a study of how Nazism came into a position of power in a democratic state like Germany. Behemoth had a major impact on Mills and he claimed that Behemoth had given him the "tools to grasp and analyse the entire total structure and as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalist democracy".[1]


The book

Chapter 1: The Higher Circles

  • This chapter provides a description of the power elite and the mechanism through which it acquires and exercises its power on a national level.
  • He describes the contemporary means of power as the hierarchies of state, military and the big corporate institutions. Other, previously decisive institutions such as family and religion are pushed aside in the contemporary United States. They adapt to contemporary life, which in turn is set and determined by the new means of power.
  • Wealth, power, and popularity, in this system, attach to the positions that individuals occupy, and not to the individuals themselves.
  • The power elite of the US, which never faced competition due to the absence of feudal structures (aristocracy and religion), monopolize power from the get-go.
    1. It becomes a caste within the upper classes, and makes all decisions that have important consequences.
    2. It is not a group of rulers whose every decision is correct and every consequence of such decisions is as expected.
    3. It is limited by the means of power, the techniques of power, and the means of communication. However, their limitations are much less compared to previous ruling classes, due to the expansion and centralization in the means of power.
  • To study the unity of the US power elite, one should investigate:
    1. the psychology of the elite in their respective environments (their psychological similarities)
    2. the interrelations between the military, economical, and political institutions they are part of (the social intermingling of the means of power)
    3. the co-operation between the means of power (i.e. the military, big corporations, and state)
  • The main theses of the book, as set by Mills, are:
    1. Historical circumstances have led to the rise of power elite,
    2. They now make key decisions,
    3. The enlargement and centralization of means of power increased the potency of the consequences of their decisions,
    4. The power elite is much more unified and powerful than the "mass society",[2] which is fragmented and impotent.

Chapter 11: The Theory of Balance

  • In this chapter, Mills describes and critiques the theory of balance that constitutes an important element of contemporary US ideology regarding economy and government.
  • According to the theory of balance, the state and the economy are kept in balance by competing interests. In economy, this was translated from the economic theory that stated that there was no authoritarian center to the sovereign economic system. In politics, this was translated from the theory that the division of political powers would balance the powers and leave no space to despotism.
  • Mills identifies a number of flaws with this theory:
    1. Balance of power implies equality of power. However, one's power balance means for another a power imbalance.
    2. The doctrine of the harmony of interests / balance of power makes dissidence appear to be the source of chaos and disturbance.
    3. The prime focus of the theory is the Congress, however its members are members of the upper classes and cannot actually be the representatives of the interests of the lower classes of the society. Furthermore, the power in congress comes with seniority, hence congress people will have to stay in the Congress as long as possible, which makes it impossible for them to become dissidents. In the mean time, the seniors manipulate and determine what will happen in the Congress. And the major issues of the electorate usually cannot find space in political campaigns, the congress itself, or even the congressional committees. If they come up, they are structured so that discussion is limited to certain viewpoints and the substantive issue will be stalemated. It is not the political power of the Congress, or that of key Congressmen, that has expanded and centralized.
    4. The founding fathers' idea of a checks-and-balances-state is grounded in their belief in the US middle class as the stabilizer and the pivot of the class balance in the US. In contemporary US economy, however, the small entrepreneurs that once consisted the economy are replaced by a handful of centralized corporations. Moreover, the middle class has come to be dependent on the state and replaced by a new middle class (white-collar employees), whose jobs cannot provide them with tools (political freedom and economic security) to be independent, that is yet another part of the impotent mass society. Labour unions themselves became institutions that choose leaders and send them to corporate positions once those leaders become established.
    5. The 'checks-and-balances' system is outdated and inapplicable to contemporary US political and economical life.
    6. It assumes that the different balances that keep the society in equilibrium requires them to be independent of each other. However, none of them (labour, business, state, military and so on) are independent of each other any longer, and hence, they cannot be seen as elements of a balancing system.
    7. Major interests do not compete with each other, but instead co-operate to promote several interests as they coincide.
    8. The lobbies that are supposed to be checks-and-balances are now part of the state.

Chapter 12: The Power Elite

  • The American power elite has gone through 4 stages, and is in a fifth stage as of Mills' writing.
    1. From the Revolution through the administration of John Adams: as military, state and corporate entities were more or less united, power elite was able to move from one role to another.
    2. During the early nineteenth cc: the power elite became a number of top groups, each of which loosely constructed and loosely overlapping.
    3. From 1886 until World War I: corporations acquired the rights of a person and received the initiative to govern (from the state).
    4. The New Deal, from World War I until the end of World War II: competing (and balanced) centers of power within the power elite form in political and economic areas; corporate chiefs enter the political sphere.
    5. Since World War II:
      1. American democracy is now only a formality; State and Corporate entities became hardly distinguishable; democracy is being dominated by the corporate chiefs.
      2. As the focus of the power elite "shifted their attention from domestic to international affairs" (read: from colonizing the Americas to colonizing all of it), warlords became very influential in US politics; State and Military became hardly distinguishable.
      3. The economy is now both a war economy and a private corporate economy. Not the politicians but the warlords and the corporate chiefs decide about military actions.
  • The phrase "Power Elite" captures the simplicity of other theorists:
    1. Marx, with his overemphasis on the capitalist as the only holder of power
    2. Liberals, who see the politician as the head of the system
    3. Those who view warlords as the dictators of the system.
    4. Instead the phrase "Power Elite" forces us to consider the union of the military, economic, and state power.
  • He defends his critique of power elite as such:
    1. They may be honorable people. However, honor is not universal. The question is not whether they are honorable or not. The key question is what their honor codes are. And of course, their honor codes will be those that support their own interests.
    2. They do not, and cannot adapt to the necessities of their jobs as they rise in stature. They (i.e. no one) do not have such flexibility. They have certain personal and business interests and "to ask a man suddenly to divest himself of these interests and sensibilities is almost like asking a man to become a woman."[3]
    3. Like codes of honor, patriotism and its principles vary greatly. These too are rooted in one's personal history.
    4. One cannot argue that they are doing their duties. In fact, they are the ones who are determining what those very duties are.
  • Even though the power elite itself as a ruling force is constant, the individuals who constitute it and occupy positions in the dominant hierarchies of the state, the economy, and the military is not. Even though these individuals know each other, there is not unified policy / ideology that ties them together or in one position.
  • The inner core of the power elite consists of those who interchange commanding roles in various dominant hierarchies (the "big three") and the corporate lawyer and the financial banker, who play the role of the unifier between the big three.
  • The constant involvement of the nation in wars (and the making of crises as permanent and total) makes it possible for the power elite to use national security as a pretext for secrecy of intentions and in planning and execution.

Chapter 13: The Mass Society

  • The public (of the public opinion) is the essence of 18th century theory of democracy. This is a fairy tale: it is not even close to how the US system of power works – the issues that determine their fate are neither discussed nor determined by the public.
  • However, contemporary systems are transforming the communities of public into mass society.
  • Differences between (criteria for determining whether it is) a public and a mass:
    1. the ratio of givers and takers of opinion.
    2. possibility of answering back an opinion without the fear of reprisal.
    3. the opportunity for people to act out their opinions collectively.
    4. the penetration of institutional authority into the public.
  • In terms of scale, the restricted size of the public (by education, sex, age, and property [race]) turned into an enlarged mass with the only qualification of citizenship and age.
  • In terms of organization, there has been a shift from private communities to the mass party as the major unit of organization. And there is a widening gap between the leaders and the members of these mass parties. The members get lost in the crowd and the participating members become the leader's tools of manipulation.
  • With the expansion of the means of mass persuasion (also known as "mass deception"), the public of the public opinion became the target of intense efforts of control, manipulation, and intimidation. Opinion-making (through mass media and compulsory education) therefore became an accepted technique of getting and holding on to power. They now guide our very experiences, construct our standards and sense of reality, wants, needs, identity, and self. Hence they destroy any expectation of reasonable exchange of opinion.
  • The creation of a pseudo-world by the mass media is made possible by the structure of the society which enables people to choose only that which is of the same opinion as they are. The remote possibility of debate and discussion, let alone action, disappears as the experience of the public turns into that of the mass: narrower and limited to their routine and structural (out-of-their-own-control) environment from which they cannot escape.
  • or in his own words in The Power Elite,"In a public, as we may understand the term, (1) virtually as many people express opinions as receive them, (2) Public communications are so organised that there is a chance immediately and effectively to answer back any opinion expressed in public. Opinion formed by such discussion (3) readily finds an outlet in effective action, even against – if necessary – the prevailing system of authority. And (4) authoritative institutions do not penetrate the public, which is thus more or less autonomous in its operations.-In a mass, (1) far fewer people express opinions than receive them; for the community of publics becomes an abstract collection of individuals who receive impressions from the mass media. (2) The communications that prevail are so organised that it is difficult or impossible for the individual to answer back immediately or with any effect. (3) The realisation of opinion in action is controlled by authorities who organise and control the channels of such action. (4) The mass has no autonomy from institutions; on the contrary, agents of authorised institutions penetrate this mass, reducing any autonomy it may have in the formation of opinion by discussion".

Chapter 14: The Conservative Mood

  • The conservative theories that seek to legitimize the power elite's actions are faulty.
    1. The conservative defends irrational traditionalism against human reason and denies people's right to self-control and self-determination.
    2. Even though conservatives push for a certain traditionalism, the very people at the top of the hierarchy lack such ideologies useful for public consumption -their only cultural heritage is that of getting and holding on to money. They do not have any ideology.
    3. Simultaneously, because the US lacks the feudal stage, these conservative theorists also lack pre-capitalist figures (aristocracy, peasant, petty bourgeoisie etc.) to hold on to and to promote as models of their theories. They lack pre-industrial elements who might subscribe to these traditionalist ideas: the power elite itself abhor conservatism.
  • American liberalism has been made painless for the power elite. It went into a moral and intellectual decline in the last half century. Political rhetoric became monolithic, divergent liberal positions came to be employed in the same homogeneous liberal terms.

Chapter 15: The Higher Immorality

  • Especially following the second half of the 1900s, the US power elite has been getting increasingly immoral, irresponsible, ignorant, stupid (in terms of not valuing reason as one's key characteristic in life), and mindless in its quest for wealth and power.
  • The higher immorality is a systematic, institutionalized feature of the US power elite, and the general acceptance of this immorality is an essential feature of the mass society.
  • The mass society itself is also left without any moral standards to hold on to, or even rise against. While fear, uncertainty, and doubt is spread through military and economic crisis, "as individuals they are defenseless; as groups, they are politically indifferent." Even though most relate (and wrongfully so) power with knowledge and ability, some have given in to the immorality embodied in accomplishment.

Limitations and Criticisms of The Power Elite

Sociologist Christopher B. Doob maintains that C. Wright Mills' The Power Elite is limited in terms of elitist activity in society. "Mills provided little detail about the contemporary elites' activities. For instance, he never mentioned either the Council on Foreign Relations or the Committee on Economic Development, two elite-dominated, policy-making organizations that were already prominent players in his time. In addition, through no fault of his own, Mills described an era when it was still possible to analyze the power elite by focusing only on the United States. The subsequent expansion of globalization has made his theory appearanachronistic." [4][5] However, Doob does appraise Mills' work in The Power Elite, stating Mills was a "pioneer, propelling his power-elite theory into a pluralism-dominated academic world, where his novel ideas, according to G. William Domhoff, "caused a firestorm in academic and political circles, leading to innumerable reviews in scholarly journals and the popular press, most of them negative." Over time, however, The Power Elite has become a classic, recognized as "the first full-scale study of the structure and distribution of power in the United States," using the complete set of theoretical and research tools then available.[6] Both Domhoff's andThomas Dye's theories have built upon Mill's conclusions, providing more detail about such issues as the make-up of the ruling group and the process by which policies are established and implemented. Their more contemporary works simply recent information about this powerful group's role in society." [7]

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Replies to This Discussion

Mussolini - son of a schoolteacher and a socialist, family wealthier than average in their town.  As he grew up he was a violent bully and no respecter of authority, and a womaniser who visited brothels. He fled Italy rather than do national service.A long way from the idea of a "reactionary" who respects authority & traditional morality and courage and national service.  Whilst avoiding military service, he worked as a labourer, and became one of the most vocal socialists in their trade union.  His "radical views put him at the far-left of the party and among the few advocating all-out revolution".  He was against all traditional authority, as his socialist father taught him to be.

He sounds like any number of the Leftist journalists in Britain. 

His first relationship he didn't marry his girlfriend, but just moved in with her.  You can see why in his early days he was the darling of the European and American Left.  He learned through journalism that he could lie and the gullible readership would believe anything, but would also very quickly forget his lies, so he could freely contradict himself. (This is probably the crucial lesson for Leftists in the 20th century).  He was appointed editor of the largest socialist newspaper, and he then quadrupled the readership.

It's clear, the Leftist elite are only in support of populism (and the people) while the people support the same ideals as the Leftist elite. As a fascist (with socialist policies) he used violence the same way that communists and socialists did, but used it against his sibling-leftists.  The Leftists only oppose dicatatorship, when it's not their kind of dictatorship.


Mussolini had his principal opponent assassinated (just like Pim Fortuyn was assassinated).
All parties were made illegal, opposition was made illegal. No-one could work in a government job unless they were members of the fascist party.  (This is just like the way the communist party behaved in Russia).

He buys the support of the church (just like LibLabCon buy support of muslims).

Mussolini had photo-ops showing him as a man of the people (just as Clegg does today).  Mussolini was supported by Thomas Edison, Sigmund Freud, and Gandhi.

Journalists/photographers who were critical of Mussolini were expelled from Italy. (Just like Geller & Spencer being forbidden entry to Britain).

When the young Hitler wrote to Mussolini asking for a signed photo, Mussolini refused. [One has to wonder: was Hitler drawn to national socialism because he saw how this combination of ideology + violence had brought Mussolini to power and kept him there?]

Hitler refused to meet Churchill in 1932 (Hitler was apparently uninterested and forgot the meeting arranged by Churchill).  Yet in 1934, Hitler flew to Italy to meet Mussolini. A month later, when Hitler assassinated the German Chancellor, it was Mussolini who responded with military aggression and contempt for Hitler.  What did Britain do?

Mussolini ordered children from 8 up to adults of 32 to do military training! (Sounds like the way muslims behave, teaching children to be soldiers).

The documentary ends on a bizarre note - saying that fascism is on the rise in Italy, and counterposing this to the (undoubtedly preferable) situation of having communists in government.

Very interesting.  In Mussolini's conquest of Ethiopia, he killed ½million Africans, often with nerve gas. Result from the media: a resounding silence, just like with modern day Christians and Buddhists being massacred by Muslims, because at that time, Africans weren't a fashionable cause.

The ending of the documentary is not just bizarre, its idiotic.  After spending 1.5 hours showing us how "the road to hell is paved with good intentions (the fascists began with a purely socialist manifesto), and that the danger never comes from the place or direction that you expect it; they then ignored the rise in fascistic undercurrents being driven by the Left and by transnational organisations like the EU, and instead fretted about a tiny "neo-fascist" party, openly identifying as such, in Italy. 

It made me wonder what was the point of the documentary, if the makers themselves aren't capable of drawing the deep lessons from it.  With stupidity this deep, Fascism will return, and once again it will be done with the best possible intentions, and once again, it will come cloaked under a different name.

The media collectively covered up for Obama & Hilary Clinton over Benghazi (but especially the "right-wing", "business-friendly" CNN - see

In that first link above, Victor Hanson notes how during the 2 years of the Watergate scandal, the media covered up for Nixon too. Also in that first link, is this link to this story of how an Emmy-winning journalist has pointed out that CNN is blatantly censoring stories to support the Obama narrative.

“My main point was to note the stunning irony of being told on MSNBC – of all places – that a journalist ‘crosses the line’ by expressing opinions and having political agendas,” he continued. To reinforce this point, he linked to a Poynter analysis of MSNBC’s election coverage which found that the network ran zero positive pieces about Mitt Romney in the last week of the campaign and a Pew Research Center report which found the network was harder on Romney than Fox News was of Obama.

A good piece from the Telegraph. I wonder how many people will be bothered to read it.

The EU is run by people who are voted for by people we vote for. So they will always say they represent the People. Saying I didn't vote for that is a waste of time in todays democratic Europe.

The other problem is the amount of people who demand that the Government take charge of everything for them. Nothing happens with out some one demands the government do something about it.

People seem to have forgotten the old saying... If you want something doing properly, Do it your self...

The only gripe I have with the article is the presumption that to not want Europe (Brussels) running your life makes you Right wing, or Far right wing? 

Vorabutra has also been disgusted by the Western media grossly underestimating protest attendance figures despite several rallies attracting millions. Reuters reported that a November 24 protest attracted only about 100,000 anti-government protesters while The Nation, a major news site in Thailand, put the figure at over one million. Eventually learning their lesson, opposition organizers decided to capture helicopter footage of a rally that took place on December 22. Vorabutra said this near irrefutable evidence was handed over to experts who then pegged the size of the crowd at no less than 4.3 million. YetReuters and The New York Times reported the number of protesters at the very same rally to be in the "tens of thousands."... how does one account for the overall dearth of curiosity? Cartalucci suggests that members of the Western corporate media complex have squarely placed themselves on the side of Wall Street and London's "monied elite" as opposed to performing their role as impartial informer

With their combination of welfare policies + big business, the Thaksin regime could be seen as a fascist regime (his party is called "Thai Rak Thai", which means "Thailand for the Thais").  We've seen the same thing happen in Poland and the Ukraine, where the supposedly impartial western media grossly underestimate the numbers on demonstrations, or don't even report the demonstrations at all.

The blind faith placed in Philby by his old service despite compelling evidence of his treachery is disclosed in documents prepared in 1963 for Harold Macmillan, the prime minister, after Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union from Beirut in January of that year.

To muslims, it's the self-sacrificing suicide-bombers who are the super-heroes.  But not to the Liberal corporations who dominate the American comic book industry.

The Quisling Liberals promote muslims as (very unislamic) super-heroes.  If the OIC was to pay a modern day Lord Haw Haw to promote islam, they couldn't do a better job of misleading gullible young westerners than these Liberal corporations are doing.

Contrary to a common notion, bourgeois revolutions are not really about freedoms or high principles at all: they are about class interests, about an emerging class craving for the power previously held by a now decrepit class, like the French revolution was all about the high bourgeoisie taking over the power of the corrupt, debt-ridden aristocracy. Of course these bourgeois movements will mask their purpose in idealistic declarations of principles and natural rights, because in the short run the implementation of such principles sets the bourgeoisie free of aristocratic privilege. But then the familiar western pattern emerges: once these principles have served their purpose, they are discarded. This is one of the reasons why a free society and capitalism have never been consistently defended in the nineteenth century: they simply served the temporary interests of a social class.


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Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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