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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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Mills Today

(p.240) Afterword
Taking It Big

Stanley Aronowitz

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses how intellectuals dedicated to fundamental social transformation have become a rarity in American political life, along with the exclusion of a radical politics in the public discourse. It describes how Mills became a lonely crusader against the capitalist establishment and both political parties in the last of his life. It argues that Mills'invocation to study power in all of its dimensions and to ask what a new society based on principles of economic and social equality would look like endures as an unfinished and neglected series of tasks. Later in life, Mills was open to undertaking a comprehensive reexamination of Marxism from a critical standpoint and explored his own emotional affiliation to anarchism. In the current era, when ideology is construed in terms of the prevailing system of power, Mills' invocation of self-managed socialism, as opposed to various bureaucratic state socialisms, is worth emulating.

Keywords:   C. Wright Mills, intellectuals, social transformation, radical politics, American politics, socialism, Marxism, anarchism

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