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Taking It BigC. Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals$
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Stanley Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231135412

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231135412.001.0001

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On Mills’s The New Men of Power

On Mills’s The New Men of Power

(p.85) 3 On Mills’s The New Men of Power
Taking It Big

Stanley Aronowitz

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on Mills' book The New Men of Power (1948), his first major study after his dissertation. It argues that study should be understood as the opening salvo in his long journey from a left-leaning member of the liberal intelligentsia to his standing as perhaps the country's leading radical social critic. Under the patronage of Dwight Macdonald from Politics, Mills honed his journalistic skills and analytic political perspective as well as his knowledge and views on labor. From Macdonald and others associated with the independent Left he formulated the concept of the “third camp,”that is, the view that neither the Western capitalist powers, especially the United States, nor the Soviet Union represented the hope for freedom and democracy that each so aggressively espoused. With this idea of a third camp, the independent Left looked forward to what Mills was to term, in The New Men of Power, a new “power bloc” capable of instituting a variation of democratic socialism that would not rely on state domination but would invent novel forms of workers' control as well as ownership of the productive powers of society.

Keywords:   liberal, radicalism, social critic, political Left, labor, capitalism, third camp, democratic socialism, workers' control

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