from the book
The New Face of Power in
by Bertram Gross
South End Press, 1980, paper
economist Robert Lekachman
"Ronald Reagan must be the nicest president who ever destroyed
a union, tried to cut school lunch milk rations from six to four
ounces, and compelled families in need of public help to first
dispose of household goods in excess of $1,000...1f there is an
authoritarian regime in the American future, Ronald Reagan is
tailored to the image of a friendly fascist."
"Power is always gradually stealing away from the many to
the few, because the few are more vigilant and consistent."
Daniel R. Fusfeld
As long as an economic system provides an acceptable degree of
security, growing material wealth and opportunity for further
increase for the next generation, the average American does not
ask who is running things or what goals are being pursued.
"Both welfare spending and warfare spending have a two-fold
nature: the welfare system not only politically contains the surplus
population but also expands demand and domestic markets. And the
warfare system not only keeps foreign rivals at bay and inhibits
the development of world revolution (thus keeping labor power,
raw materials and markets in the capitalist orbit) but also helps
to stave off economic stagnation at home."
American Heritage Dictionary
"Establishment: An exclusive group of powerful people who
rule a ) government or society by means of private agreements
"Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.
For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor,
and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many."
C. Wright Mills
No one can be truly powerful unless he has access to the command
of major institutions, for it is over these institutional means
of power that the truly powerful are, in the first instance, truly
powerful . . .
Their [a few immense corporations] incredible absolute size and
commanding market positions make them the most exceptional man-made
creatures of the twentieth century.... In terms of the size of
their constituency, volume of receipts and expenditures, effective
power, and prestige, they are more akin to nation-states than
business enterprises of the classic variety.
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of
the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments
of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
Amaury De Riencourt
"Caesarism can come to America constitutionally without having
to break down any existing institution."
William W. Turner
"Leadership in the right has fallen to new organizations
with lower profiles and better access to power . . . What is characteristic
of this right is its closeness to government power and the ability
this closeness gives to hide its political extremism under the
cloak of respectability."
There is a subtle three-way trade-off between escalating unemployment
together with other unresolved social problems, rising taxes,
and inflation. In practice, the corporate state has bought all
Slogan of the Medici family
"Money to get power, power to protect money."
The major responsibility of corporate executives, so long as they
are not constrained by enforced law, is to maximize their long-term
accumulation of capital and power no matter what the cost may
be to ... people or physical resources.
Murray B. Levin
"No truly sophisticated proponent of repression would be
stupid enough to shatter the facade of democratic institutions.
Thomas R. Dye and Harmon Ziegler
"It is the irony of democracy that the responsibility for
the survival of liberal democratic values depends on elites, not
"If a nation wishes, it can have both free elections and
President Richard M. Nixon
"The average American is just like the child in the family."
"If the new military elite is anything like the old one,
it would, in any great crisis, tend to side with the Old Order
and defend the status quo, if necessary, by force. In the words
of the standard police bulletin known to all radio listeners,
"These men are armed -and they may be dangerous."
"A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical
segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace
the government from its control of the remainder."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Emile
"There is no subjugation so perfect as that which keeps the
appearance of freedom, for in that way one captures volition itself."
"The content and forms of American communications-the myths
and the means of transmitting them-are devoted to manipulation.
When successfully employed, as they invariably are, the result
is individual passivity, a state of inertia that precludes action.
"Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people
can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around
to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. "
"Hitler's vast propaganda successes were accomplished with
little more than the radio and loudspeaker, and without TV and
tape and video recording . . . Today the art of mind control is
in the process of becoming a science."
Fred Friendly head of CBS news
... pointed out that CBS was in business to make money and that
informing the public was secondary to keeping on good terms with
Larry P. Gross
"While the Constitution is what the judges say it is, a public
issue is something that Walter Cronkite or John Chancellor recognizes
as such. The media by themselves do not make the decisions, but
on behalf of themselves and larger interests they certify what
is or is not on the nation's agenda."
"The White House is now essentially a TV performance. "
Fred W. Friendly head of CBS news said of the American presidency
"No mighty king, no ambitious emperor, no pope, or prophet
ever dreamt of such an awesome pulpit, so potent a magic wand.
Ronald Reagan when governor of California
"If it takes a bloodbath ... let's get it over with."
Baron De Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
"The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous
to public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy."
""It can't happen here" is always wrong: a dictatorship
can happen anywhere."
William H. Hastie
"Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming
rather than being. It can easily be lost, but is never fully won.
Its essence is eternal struggle."
"Sure, we'll have fascism, but it will come disguised as
Americanism." This famous statement has been attributed in
many forms to Senator Huey P. Long, the Louisiana populist with
an affinity for the demagogues of classic European fascism. If
he were alive today, I am positive he would add the words "and
Mary Parker Follett
"We are not wholly patriotic when we are working with all
our heart for America merely; we are truly patriotic only when
we are working also that America may take her place worthily and
helpfully in the world of nations . . . Interdependence is the
keynote of the relations of nations as it is the keynote of the
relations of individuals within nations."
James Fenimore Cooper
"The vulgar charge that the tendency of democracies is to
leveling, meaning to drag all down to the level of the lowest,
is singularly untrue; its real tendency being to elevate the depressed
to a condition not unworthy of their manhood."
Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country or we can have great
wealth in a few hands, but we can't have both."
"For me patriotism is the sme as humanity. I am patriotic
because I am human and humane. It is not exclusive. I will not
hurt England or Germany to serve India . . . My patriotism is
inclusive and admits of no enmity or ill-will."
George Washington, Farewell Address
"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
In his Militarism, USA, a sober critique based on years of experience
in the U.S. Marine Corps, Colonel James A. Donovan: identifies
the dangerous patriot:
"the one who drifts into chauvinism and exhibits blind enthusiasm
for military actions. He is a defender of militarism and its ideals
of war and glory. Chauvinism is a proud and bellicose form of
patriotism . . . which identifies numerous enemies who can only
be dealt with through military power and which equates the national
honor with military victory."
In The Reason for Democracy, published after his death in 1976,
Kalman Silvert of New York University provided another pungent
description of false patriots:
"People who wrap themselves in the flag and proclaim the
sanctity of the nation are usually racists, contemptuous of the
poor and dedicated to keeping the community of 'ins' small and
pure of blood, spirit and mind."