The Protestant Establishment Revisited

Transaction Publishers, 1 .. 1999 - 300 ˹
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In the latter half of the twentieth century, The American upper class has become less like an aristocracy governing and guiding the nation and more like a caste, a privileged and closed body whose contribution to national leadership has steadily declined. This loss of power and authority has been the focus of the work of E. Digby Baltzell, whose 1964 work, "The Protestant Establishment, "analyzed the fate and function of a predominantly Anglo-Saxon and Protestant upper class in an ethnically and religiously heterogeneous democracy. After 27 years, Baltzell's theory of the structure and function of the establishment remains unique in the literature of class stratification and authority.

Baltzell views an open and authoritative establishment as a necessary and desirable part of the process of securing responsible leaders in a democratic society. Such an establishment is the product of upper-class institutions that are open to talented individuals of varying ethnic and social backgrounds. The values of upper-class tradition include an aristocratic ethos emphasizing the duty to lead, as opposed to the snobbish ethos of caste that emphasizes only the right to privilege. Baltzell regards this as a protector of freedom in modern democratic societies, guaranteeing rules of fair play in contests of power and opinion.

As Baltzell points out, historically, the alternatives to rule by establishments have been, rule by functionaries and demogogues, neither of which has proven satisfactory in protecting freedoms. As against Marxists, who see hegemony as a social evil, Baltzell, following Tocqueville, sees it as necessary to the well-being of society. Hegemonic establishments give coherence to the social spheres of greatest contest. They do not eliminate conflict, but prevent it from ripping society apart.

Baltzell's work provides uncommon insight into the relationship of social class and personal power in contemporary America. This book will be of interest to sociologists, political scientists, historians of urban life, and American studies specialists.


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辺Ԩó 觢ŷ

Elite and UpperClass Indexes in Metropolitan
Upper Class and Elites
The WASPs Last Gasp
The American Aristocrat and OtherDirection
The Protestant Establishment Revisited
UpperClass Clubs and Associations in
Social Mobility and Fertility Within an Elite
Scientism and the Modern
W E B Du Bois and The Philadelphia Negro
Reflections on Aristocracy
The Search for Community in Modern America
Reflections on Two Noisy Ages
Cultural Pluralism in Modern America and
Social Class in the Oval Office

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˹ 227 - Which is the ladder to all high designs, The enterprise is sick! How could communities, Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities, Peaceful commerce from dividable shores, The primogenitive and due of birth, Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, But by degree, stand in authentic place?
˹ 99 - Wherever at the head of some new undertaking you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association.
˹ 162 - The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races.
˹ 198 - And we do here declare that it is far from our purpose or desire to let loose the golden reins of discipline and government in the Church, to leave private persons or particular congregations to take up what form of Divine Service they please, for we hold it requisite that there should be throughout the whole realm a conformity to that order which the laws enjoin according to the Word of God.
˹ 21 - W. Lloyd Warner and Paul S. Lunt, The Social Life of a Modern Community (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1941); W.
˹ 221 - The American way is the way of orchestration. As in an orchestra, the different instruments, each with its own characteristic timbre and theme, contribute distinct and recognizable parts to the composition, so in the life and culture of a nation, the different regional, ethnic, occupational, religious and other communities compound their different activities to make up the national spirit.
˹ 200 - I think that the poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he...
˹ 218 - America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American...
˹ 219 - Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.