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Sociology (2,430)
SOCA02H3 (398)
Mc Kinon (57)

Politics part 2

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Mc Kinon

-The sociological attempt to frame politics sociologically leads to two types of theories most commonlyPluralist and elite theories. -Pluralist theories are generally rooted in functionalism. -Elite theories are generally rooted in conflict theory. Common questions asked Who holds power in Canada? Elected representatives, or a small elite behind the scenes? Pluralists say that voters run the show. Elite theorists says that a powerful economic elite does. Elite theorists -Elite monopolies have the most power. Karl Marx is orginator of conlict and elite theory. Marx wrote on the ruling class. Marx wrote for the NY times (thank you for the irrelevant tidbit of information). -Marx holds that democracy is a sham, because of the bourgeoisie (Marxs ruling class: class owning the means of producing wealth, aka a small capitalist elite owning and patrolling the means of production, basically all big factories at the time of Marx). -The bourgeoisie controls government officials, and thus governments do what the bourgeoisie tells them to do. The government controls security forces (i.e. police, army) and these can be called upon when workers get too uppity (i.e. strike). -Marx said that the proletariat (working class) work for the bourgeoisie but are oppressed in the form of wage oppression (in those times workers made subsistence wage, basically just enough to stay alive, well, if you are a disposable body like I used to be in the factory, its still no different today!); the proletariat has no discretionary income, i.e. they dont have any money left over to buy their kids legoes and shit after paying for necessities, so they buy their kids things like chemistry kids instead so their kids end up growing up smart suave and nerdy. -Elite theory: Rests on the idea that there are class-shared economic interests, and the shared interest of the wealthy is to pay workers as little as possible. -Mills (wrote some book) said that the masses are ruled by a small elite of government, business, and military, which have been the ruling elite of America in the 1950s. -The military historically has had more power in the US than in other countries. The US spends as much on military as the rest of the world combined. -America is a wealthy country (McKinnon seems to think I am mentally retarded). -At the top of pyramid of power are the wealthy business leaders and the executive branch of government (president). Mills calls the military people the warlords of America. -C. Wright Mills was a free spirit. He went to the Soviet Union and started speaking his mind and they kicked him out because they didnt like what he had to say. So Mills was a radical speaker. -So there is this trinity (executive department of government, military and business): There is evidence in Canada that the wealthy have a bigger contribution to the government? The more money you make, the more your contribution to political parties, and the more influence you have. Because of this, there are limits on financial contribution in Canada now ($5000). -Below this trinity, you find local opinion leaders (legislative branch of government , i.e. chamber of commerce, businesses, etc.) They generally go along and agree with the elites.
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