Elites: Strategic and Otherwise
the downtown elite in little rock

from Elizabeth Jacoway, "Taken by Surprise: Little Rock Business Leaders and Desegregation," in Elizabeth Jacoway and David R. Colburn, eds., Southern Businessmen and Desegregation (Louisiana State University Press, 1982), pp. 31-33

On all sides the cost of all-out resistance was painfully apparent, and at this point many "ordinary" citizens found their voice.  Most hopeful of all the responses was the formation, under the leadership of one of Little Rock's great ladies, Adolphine Fletcher Terry, of the Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools.  Conceived originally as an organization to work for racial justice, the Women's Emergency Committee quickly scaled down its objectives when the leaders realized the timidity of the ladies and the possiblity of using the schools issue to build a broad base of support for a more enlightened position on the integration question.  Housed in the Heights and drawing its support primarily from the affluent fifth ward, the Women's Emergeny Committee was a hopeful indicator of a change in the attitude and awareness on the part of Little Rock's civic elite.  As the businessman husband of one of the ladies has suggested, the women could speak out when often it would have been economically dangerous for the men to do so.

Downtown businessmen also developed new insight into the Little Rock crisis in the fall of 1958.  As Chamber of Commerce committees began to make industrial recruiting visits to cities in other states, only to learn that no one was interested in moving to Little Rock, the impact of the crisis on the community's economy bcame all too apparent. . . .

At the beginning of the new year the incoming presdent of the Chamber of Commerce, E. Grainger Williams, shocked the crowd assembled to hear his inaugural address by calling for an end to the crisis.  Discussion of the events in Little Rock had long been taboo in refined circles, for one was never sure of the convictions and sentiments of one's peers and associates; and so when Grainger Williams called for an evaluation of the cost of education and "the cost of lack of it," a gasp went through the crowd, followed shortly by a wave of applause.  At last someone in a postion of authority had spoken out publicly, and soon public discussion of the crisis became acceptible."

modernizers vs. traditionalists in North Carolina

from Paul Luebke, Tar heel politics 2000 (University of North Carolina Press, 1998), viii

Despite North Carolina's long-standing reputation for progressivism, the term "progressive" should be applied cautiously.  The reality is that the state's political debate remains firmly controlled by two well-institutionalized economic elites with somewhat conflicting interests.  One group, the modernizers, consists of bankers, developers, retail merchants, the news media, and other representatives of the business community who expect to benefit from change and growth.  The second group, the traditionalists, includes traditional industrialists (in textiles, furniture, and apparel), tobacco farmers, and others associated with the state's agricultural economy who feel threatened by change and growth.  Each group is linked with politicians who represent its interests.

the biocultural niche of racism (dark matter of politics)
from Seymour M. Hersh, Reporter (Knopf, 2018)

City News . . . had been set up at the turn of the century by the Chicago Newspapers to field reporters who would cover the city’s courts and police headquarters, sparing money and staff for the big boys.  The bureau’s focus was on street crime—of which there was plenty in Chicago—and its reportng served as a tip sheet for the big dailies; the bureau was also a source of young, ambitious reporters.  City News had been made famous, briefly, by The Front Page, the perennial hit play—later a movie—written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.  pp. 14-15

Most of the editors and reporters were cynics and wise to what can only be described s the Chicago way.  The cops were on the take, and the mob ran the city.  The City News reporters, with rare exceptions, were give access to crime scenes and allowed to park anywhere they wished as long as they displayed a press card on the dashboard. . . .  The abmitious young reporters working the courthouses and police beats understood their mission was to live within the system and somehow make the city work. p. 18

 . . . while on temporary night asignment for a week or two at police headquarters in Hyde Park, near the university.  The process had quickly become familiar: hang around with other reporters; ingratiate yourself with the desk sergeant; buy him all the coffee he wants; help him, if he asks, with the last week’s Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle; and wait for the radio to sound off.  Late at night comes a report of a deadly fire in the black ghetto a few miles to the west, with many victims.  Off I go. . . .  p. 21

What a story, I thought. . . .  Mr. Dorfeld [a senior editor at City News] . . . said: “Ah, my good, dear, energetic Mr. Hersh.  Do the, alas, poor, unfortunate victims happen to be of the Negro persuasion?”  I said yes.  He said, “Cheap it out.”  That meant that my City News dispatch would report the following give or take a phrase: “Five Negroes died in a fire last night on the Southwest Side.”  It might have also included an address.

I thought, having worked for years in a family store in a black area, that I might know something about racism.  Dornfeld taught me that I had a lot to learn.

There was one final lesson to learn just before I would go off for compulsory army training, after only seven or so months on the job at City News.  It was my shameful, but unavoidable, involvement in what we now call self-censorship.  I was back on overnight duty at the central police headquarters [Chicago 1959] when two cops called in to report that a robbery suspect has been shot trying to avoid arrest.  The cops who who had done the shooting were driving in to make a report.  Always ambitious, and always curious, I raced down to the basement parking lot in the hope of getting some firsthand quotes before calling in the story.  The driver—white, beefy, and very Irish, like far too many Chicago cops then—obviously did not see me as he parked the car.  As he climbed out, a fellow cop, who clearly had heard the same radio report I had, shouted something like “So the guy tried to run on you?”  The driver said, “Naw, I told the nigger to beat it and then plugged him.”

I got the hell out of there, without being seen, called the bureau, and asked for the editor on duty. (It was not Billings.) [The night editor at City News.]  What to do?  The editor urged me to do nothing.  It would be my word versus that of all the cops involved, and all would accuse me of lying.  The message was clear: I did not have a story.  But of course I did.  So I waited a few days and then asked for and got a copy of the coroner’s report.  The victim had been shot in the back.  I took a copy of the report to an editor.  He wasn’t interested.  No one was interested.  I had no proof that a felony murder had been committed other than what the killer himself had said, and he, of course, would deny it.

So I left the story alone.  I did not try to find and interview the cop who bfragged about doing the shooting, nor did I seek out his partner.  Nor did I raise hell at City News.  I shuffled of to six months of army t raining, full of despair at my weakness and the weakness of a profession that dealt so easily with compromise and self-censorship. pp. 21-2

Strategic Elites: Institutions and Individuals
Sectors of Realization/ Configurations of Capital
Firms & Functions
See Elliot A. Rosen, Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Brans Trust: from Depression to New Deal

Belmont, Baruch, Brookings, Lovett, Harriman (Columbia, 1977) for 1932 list

Commodities in International Trade
Tobacco, Cotton, Sugar, Corn, Wheat, Copper, Oil
Legal Services
Financial Services
National Civic Federation

See Other People's Money, Pujo Committee, TNEC


Securities Bloc
Securities & Finance
Legal Services
Infrastructure (Railroads, Telephones, Electric Power, Urban Transportation)
Primary Materials (Iron & Steel, Coal)
Captive Capital Goods
Pollak Foundation
The Taylor Society: elite non-manufacturing firms
Filene's, Macy's, Bowery Savings Bank, Dennison Manufacturing

Mass Consumption I:
Mass Distribution & Mass Housing
Mass Retailers
Producer Services
Real Estate
The Taylor Society: manufacturing firmsMass Consumption II:
Captive Production Inputs

Twentieth Century Fund
(founded by E. A. Filene)

Committee for Economic Development

Hiss List

see Mark Mizruchi, The Fracturing of the American Corporate Elite (Harvard, 2013)
Modern Machinery & Continuous Process Multinationals

Clinton Foundation

Democratic Leadership Council

Priorities USA Action: Contributors, 2016 cycle, $100,000 and above
Post-modern Capitalism: the Production of Subjectivities

Provincial Elites

Mayberry Machiavellis
The Price of Loyalty
Arno Mayer, The persistence of the Old Regime : Europe to the Great War
Michael W. Miles, The Odyssey of the American Right, 1980; The Kansas Experiment, New York Times August 5, 2015
Provincial Capital Formations
Local Chambers of Commerce

Republican Gomorrah
Seymour Hersch on Chicago p.d.
Rita Johnson

Bill Jenkins on Pontiac
Ferguson, Mo. PD
Staten Island D.A.
Jackie Presser
Barney Kluck on 1933 T&D strike
ethnic, racial, religious, occupational
Police, Fire, Local Gov't, Local Services, Skilled Trades, Construction?
Patrimonial "Capitalism"?

Coers, Trump, Koch, Lind

Piketty, Krugman, Adams, Weber, Randall
Patrimonialism/Sodalities the grand Herd is a coalition of little herds;the mob (pogrom/lynching?): electorates, constituencies, markets, hotels, casinos
extractive industries (coal, oil, copper, etc. )

Elites in the Time of Trump

1. a  tsunami of corporate opposition to Trump's coup attempt, reported but not comprehended by major media.

Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee personally vetted Trump’s fraud claims, new book says. They were unpersuaded. (WAPO, Sept. 20, 2021)

Why McConnell Dumped Trump, by Jane Mayer (New Yorker Feb. 1) SEE TEXT DOC

Deepening Schism, McConnell Says Trump ‘Provoked’ Capitol Mob (NYT 1-19-21)

‘We Need to Stabilize’: Big Business Breaks With Republicans (NYT 1-15-21)

Chamber of Commerce calls Trump’s conduct ‘inexcusable’ and vows to curb certain donations.  NYT  1-12-21

Money Walks: Corporate America is rethinking its political donations. NYT 1-12-21

These Businesses and Institutions Are Cutting Ties With Trump  NYT 1-11-21

Loyal to Trump for Years, Manufacturing Group Now Calls for His Removal  NYT  1-10-21

After Riot, Business Leaders Reckon With Their Support for Trump (NYT 1-7-21)

Business Leaders Condemn Violence on Capitol Hill: ‘This Is Sedition’ (NYT 1-6-21)

Business Leaders Call on Congress to Accept the Electoral College Results
January 04, 2021  (The Partnership for New York City)

Opinion: All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory,  WAPO, January 3, 2021

More than 100 C.E.O.s urge Trump to let the transition of power begin. (NYT 11-23-20)

Business Leaders, Citing Damage to Country, Urge Trump to Begin Transition NYT 11-23-20)

2.  The Elite Milieu of the Democratic Party, circa. 2016