C Wright Mills
The more we understand what is happening in the world, the more frustrated we often become, for our knowledge leads to feelings of powerlessness.
We feel that we are living in a world in which the citizen has become a mere spectator or a forced actor, and that our personal experience is politically useless and our political will a minor illusion. Very often, the fear of total permanent war paralyzes the kind of morally oriented politics, which might engage our interests and our passions. We sense the cultural mediocrity around us-and in us-and we know that ours is a time when, within and between all the nations of the world, the levels of public sensibilities have sunk below sight; atrocity on a mass scale has become impersonal and official; moral indignation as a public fact has become extinct or made trivial.
We feel that distrust has become nearly universal among men of affairs, and that the spread of public anxiety is poisoning human relations and drying up the roots of private freedom.We see that people at the top often identify rational dissent with political mutiny, loyalty with blind conformity, and freedom of judgment with treason. We feel that irresponsibility has become organized in high places and that clearly those in charge of the historic decisions of our time are not up to them. But what is more damaging to us is that we feel that those on the bottom-the forced actors who take the consequences-are also without leaders, without ideas of opposition, and that they make no real demands upon those with power.
Politicians and Politics
Leaders and Leadership