Economy's Oppressive Influence
of a capitalist society are ultimately influenced by the
economy and the corporate realm; even those areas that we would usually
consider completely unrelated to the power elite.
Liberal Democracy Into the Twenty-first Century: Globalization,
Integration and the Nation State (1996), Axtmann agrees with the
emphasis that Dye and Domhoff place on the economy. He states that
"if we include the economy in civil society, then we have to pay
systematic attention to the oppressive force operating within it.
A theory of civil society that does not do so is seriously
deficient(1)." The economy's "oppressive force" comes to influence
all of society. Axtmann gives the example of hospitals operating
in a capitalist environment and being "ultimately" affected by it (2)."
Based on their line of reasoning, it is highly likely that Dye and
Domhoff would agree with this assessment. If the hospital is
funded by a corporation, then the corporation will perhaps decide where
the hospital is located or what kind of research it will undertake.
The corporation is directly influencing the hospital and its policies,
just like it influences political decision making in Dye's "oligarchic
model of national policy-making." In both cases, the economy's
"oppressive force" dominates society.
||Both Domhoff and Dye
present evidence that a small group of corporate executives and their
peers, united by the common thread of upper class values and beliefs,
have come to dominate the United States. Regardless of their initial
background, members who seek to rise up the power ladder undergo a
process of socialization during which they adopt these values as
|their own. As a result, such values are
most disproportionately represented in our government and by its
Domhoff points out that most appointments in
both Democratic and Republican administrations come from the
corporate sector. Dye gives evidence to support the argument that
almost every single step of the national policy making process is
dominated by the corporate upper class. Both of these theorists
paint a picture of America in which democracy continues to diminish; an
America in which power rests in the hands of a select few.
(1) Axtmann, Roland, 78, (1996) (2) Ibid.
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