• In their survey on employers, Pierre Bourdieu and Monique de Saint Martin observe that "the criteria in use by the insiders are contrary to the modernist and rational picture that the big technocratic parade suggests to outsiders: this controlling fraction that likes to be seen as entirely focused on the future finds the real principles of its actual selection at the same time as the practical justifications for its privileges in the past, in history and in the seniority of acquired rights.[25] Thus "managers" as the new masters of the economy would in fact mask the weight of the past behind modernist costumes. They would be the indispensable screen for maintaining the illusion of a meritocracy. However, sociologists and economists, at least certain of them, agree in recognizing the property and the family networks that always find themselves in a powerful position. Thus, the authors of the Dictionnaire des groupes industriels et financiers en France (Dictionary of Industrial and Financial Groups in France) write that "family ties are one of the means, maybe the principal means, by which the bourgeoisie and in particular the financial oligarchy assures and reproduces over time its control of capital [. . . ] that gives it value." [26] Bernard Marguerite leads to similar conclusions while underscoring the relative permeability of the grande bourgeoisie: "There is not a class of men of means on the one hand and a class of managers on the other, there is a selection-absorption mechanism within the class (or on its immediate periphery) pulling in those who appear best qualified to manage in the collective interest of the class."[27] Daniel Bertaux, in the earliest of all the texts cited here, affirmed that "thanks to some recent studies, [he] saw rather quickly that [the thesis of the manager era] was only smoke in the eyes to conceal the real process from view, which is quite the oppositethe concentration of fabulous wealth and extraordinary power in the hands of a few "big families'' all bound to each other by multiple ties of money or marriage, and forming a kind of hard core of very grande bourgeoisie that we call the financial oligarchy."[28] The concentration of fortunes is, by all events, an observable and spectacular fact.

    --
    25. Pierre BOURDIEU and Monique de SAINT MARTIN, "Le Patronat," Actes de la recherche an sciences sociales, No. 2021, MarchApril 1978, p. 65.
    26. P. ALLARD, M. BEAUD, B. BELLON, A.-M. LÉVY and S. LIÉNART, Dictionnaire des groupes industriels et financiers en France, Paris, Le Seuil, 1978, p. 19.
    27. Bernard MARGUERITE, "Crise du système financier et reproduction de l'oligarchie financière, Issues, No. 12, 2nd trimester 1982. See also Michel BAUER and Bénédicte BERTIN-MOUROT, Les 200. Comment devient-on un grand patron?, Paris, Le Seuil, 1987, and L'Accès au sommet des grandes entreprises françaises (19851994), Paris, CNRS, 1995.
    28. Daniel BERTAUX, Destins personnels et structure de classe, Paris, PUF, 1977, p. 66.
  • EARLY DEVELOPMENTS IN SOCIOLOGY

    Saint-Simon (1760-1825): It is emphasized that the most significant contribution of Saint-Simon to the development of sociology is the term industrial society, which successfully influenced both the radicals like Marx and conservative theoreticians like Comte at same time by reflecting both socialist and conservative point of views. Saint-Simon discusses society within an evolutionist and positivist conceptual framework. Accordingly, societies evolve from feudal and military societies to industrial societies. For Saint-Simon, industrial society, which he defines as the “positive” stage, differs from other stages in terms of production, technology, information, science, division of labour, class structure and political structure. This stage will be different from the previous ones due to the advantages provided by positive science and industry. According to Saint-Simon, this positive stage represents a socialist society stage in which all social classes are organized and contribute to production in a collaborative and harmonious way. Saint-Simon argued that the social problems that occurred during the transition from feudal society to industrial society would be solved with the help of positive science, which he calls social physics, and society could be restructured with this new type of science.

    Auguste Comte (1798-1857): Just like Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte also examines “society” within an evolutionist and positivist framework. Comte used the term “sociology” for the first time and established a tradition known as positivist sociology. Comte was critical of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment philosophy, which - he believed - triggered destructive radical changes in history. Comte believes that gradual intellectual development of human mind plays a great role on social order and progress, so moral consensus, which is essential for social order, can be achieved through positivism, which he tried to establish as a religion for humanity. Comte associates social statics with social order, and social dynamics with social transformation and progress. Comte summarizes his ideas about this point of view in his well-known evolution theory known as “law of the three stages”, which he developed under the influence of the studies by Saint-Simon. Accordingly, human thought and societies evolve through three basic stages:
    •a) Theological stage: In this stage, the human mind tries to explain everything through supernatural forces.
    •b) Metaphysical stage: In this stage, the human mind tries to explain all social and physical phenomena and events through abstract forces.
    •c) Positive stage: In this stage, the human mind finally tries to explain all phenomena and events scientifically (based on universal laws). According to Comte, in this stage, the human mind rejects supernatural and abstract forces due to positive sciences and tries to reveal existing relationships among observable phenomena and systematize these relationships within universal laws.

    Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): Spencer adapted the “natural selection” principle, which means the survival of the fittest, into social evolution and rejected any type of state interventions and social reforms that are supportive of disadvantaged individuals in social life. Suggesting the presence of natural selection in social life, Spenser was a vivid supporter of free market and competition, and he rejected state planning and intervention as well as social state practices because he thought that they were not natural.
  • Imitation is a factor of social training. In normal “society,” the phe-
    nomenon is limited by the multiplicity of choices and models suggested. In the CC (Coersive Cult), choice no longer exists and only one model is offered. Imitation of the other, or of the guru, takes on a character of ineluctability that blends into the process of indoctrination.

    Bandura described two phases in the process of imitation: a phase of observation and a phase of performance. Jointly, four sub-processes come into play during imitation. Attention, or sensory recording of the behaviors to be acquired; retention, which results in a mnemonic representation of the elements to be reproduced; physical replication, which has to do with repeating and integrating the behaviors to be acquired; and finally motivation, which influences the three preceding sub-processes.

    One can easily see that all the sub-processes are reinforced in the cult. The process of attention is covered by the selection or absence of information. The intensity of cult life is like “being hit over the head,” saturating the follower’s perceptive and sensory system. The processes of retention and motor replication are constantly stimulated by rituals — repeating “holy” words, memorizing texts, reciting prayers — which lead to automatic behavior and thought. Motivation is supported and strengthened by the obligation to produce results.
  • Cults use the traditional tools of propaganda: [4[

    * use of stereotypes that exploit people’s tendency to generalize
    and to project themselves into an imaginary group;
    * distortion of language and use of specific words intended to
    mask the truth or to create a stronger impact;
    * control of information and selection of facts and the ideas,
    choosing only those that are favorable to the defended ideology;
    * systematic lies and falsification of the truth;
    * endless repetition of invented information to obtain assent or to
    change ideas;
    * constant reaffirmation of the totalitarian thought as the only true
    one, and rejection of divergent thoughts;
    * designation of a standard enemy or scapegoat presented for the group’s opprobrium;
    * total subservience to the authority and constant reference to him as the source of truth.

    -----
    4. Brown (J. A. C.), Técnicas de persuasion, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1986.
  • Given the crucial role of candidate selection in democratic elections, it is important to recognize that the United States is the only nation in the world that makes most of its nominations by direct primaries. In nearly all the parliamentary democracies, the parties’ candidates for parliament are chosen by the parties’ leaders or by small groups of card-carrying, dues-paying party members. A few countries, such as Germany and Finland, require the parties to choose their candidates by secret votes of local party members in procedures that resemble, but strictly speaking are not, direct primaries. Consequently, in every nation except the United States, the candidates are selected by only a few hundred, or at most a few thousand, party insiders.
  • "Charles Darwin. Both carried a high ideological charge. In the form of racism, whose central role in the nineteenth century cannot be overemphasized, biology was essential to a theoretically egalitarian bourgeois ideology, since it passed the blame for visible human inequalities from society to ‘nature’ (see The Age of Capital, chapter 14, II). The poor were poor because born inferior. Hence biology was not only potentially the science of the political right, but the science of those who suspected science, reason and progress. Few thinkers were more sceptical of the mid-nineteenth-century verities, including science, than the philosopher Nietzsche. Yet his own writings, and notably his most ambitious work, The Will to Power,17 can be read as a variant of Social Darwinism, a discourse conducted in the language of ‘natural selection’, in this instance selection destined to produce a new race of ‘superman’ who will dominate human inferiors as man in nature dominates and exploits brute creation." (from "Age Of Empire: 1875-1914" by Eric Hobsbawm)