G. William Domhoff: Who Runs America–Videos

Posted on September 30, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Culture, Demographics, Economics, Homes, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Reviews, Taxes, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who Rules America? (Part 1)


Who Rules America? (Part 2)


Who Rules America? (Part 3)


Who Rules America? (Part 4)


Who Rules America? (Part 5)


Who Rules America? (Part 6)


Who Rules America? (Part 7)


Who Rules America? (Part 8)


Who Rules America? (Part 9)



Background Articles and Videos

G. William Domhoff

“…George William (Bill) Domhoff (born August 6, 1936) is a Research Professor in psychology and sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His first book, Who Rules America?, was a controversial 1960s bestseller which argued that the United States is dominated by an elite ownership class both politically and economically.[1]

He was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of George William and Helen S. (Cornet) Domhoff. He received a B.A. in Psychology at Duke University, a MA in psychology at Kent State University, and a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Miami.

In the early 1960s, Domhoff served as an assistant professor of psychology at Los Angeles State College. In 1965, he became an assistant professor at the University of California, Cowell College, Santa Cruz, where he is now professor of psychology and sociology.

Domhoff is the author of Who Rules America? (1st ed. 1967, most recent edition 2009) and many other well-known books in sociology and power structure research, as well as Finding Meaning in Dreams (1996) and The Scientific Study of Dreams (2003). …”



There Are No Conspiracies

by G. William Domhoff

“…There are several problems with a conspiratorial view that don’t fit with what we know about power structures. First, it assumes that a small handful of wealthy and highly educated people somehow develop an extreme psychological desire for power that leads them to do things that don’t fit with the roles they seem to have. For example, that rich capitalists are no longer out to make a profit, but to create a one-world government. Or that elected officials are trying to get the constitution suspended so they can assume dictatorial powers. These kinds of claims go back many decades now, and it is always said that it is really going to happen this time, but it never does. Since these claims have proved wrong dozens of times by now, it makes more sense to assume that leaders act for their usual reasons, such as profit-seeking motives and institutionalized roles as elected officials. Of course they want to make as much money as they can, and be elected by huge margins every time, and that can lead them to do many unsavory things, but nothing in the ballpark of creating a one-world government or suspending the constitution.

Second, the conspiratorial view assumes that the behind-the-scenes leaders are extremely clever and knowledgeable, whereas social science and historical research shows that leaders often make shortsighted or mistaken decisions due to the limits placed on their thinking by their social backgrounds and institutional roles. When these limits are exposed through stupid mistakes, such as the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs during the Kennedy Administration, then conspiratorial theorists assert that the leaders failed on purpose to fool ordinary people.

Third, the conspiratorial view places power in the hands of only a few dozen or so people, often guided by one strong leader, whereas sociologists who study power say that there is a leadership group of many thousands for a set of wealth-owning families that numbers several million. Furthermore, the sociological view shows that the groups or classes below the highest levels buy into the system in various ways and support it. For example, highly trained professionals in medicine, law, and academia have considerable control over their own lives, make a good living, and usually enjoy their work, so they go along with the system even though they do not have much political power. …”



Interview: G. William Domhoff
by Chip Berlet, September 2004

“…New Internationalist: Don’t you study how power elites conspire? How can someone tell the difference between conspiracism and criticism of the status quo based on power structure research?

Domhoff: I think I study how elites strive to develop consensus, which is through such publicly observable organizations as corporate boards and the policy-planning network, which can be studied in detail, and which are reported on in the media in at least a halfway accurate manner. I think this is the opposite of a small, secretive, illegitimate conspiracy because this large group called the power elite is known to the public, clearly states its aims (profit, profit, and more profit, and less government), publishes its policy suggestions, and is seen as legitimate by a great majority of the public.

I also study the way in which elites in the United States and other democracies have agreed for a few hundred years now to settle the issues where they can’t reach complete consensus, namely, through elections, which are also public and legitimate, and which can be observed by researchers in a fair amount of detail, including on the issue of campaign finance, and which are reported on fairly well in the media.

The interesting thing with elections, in terms of addressing the conspiracy kind of stuff, is that rival elites have in effect agreed not to get into all out violence and war with each other, although Americans elites did so only 144 years ago in the bloody Civil War. Political scientist John Higley talks of elites coming to “settlements” or “pacts” that lead to elections, but this is not through conspiring, historically speaking, but through sitting down to talk in frustration and exhaustion, usually after fighting each other to a draw over decades. …”



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