C. Wright Mills’ resonant voice: “You must not expect me to provide a Balanced View. I am not a sociological book-keeper…”

C. Wright Mills“You must not expect me to provide A Balanced View. I am not a sociological book-keeper. Moreover, “balanced views” are now usually surface views which rest upon the homogeneous absence of imagination and the passive avoidance of reflection. A balanced view is usually.. merely a vague point of equilibrium between platitudes… I feel no need for, and indeed am incapable of arranging for you, a lyric upsurge, a cheerful little pat on the moral back.”

This is a recorded excerpt from Mills’ lecture “The Fourth Epoch: Culture and Politics” given at LSE in 1958, that was published later with changes.
Voice record (about 3 min): http://cwrightmills.org
The full (open-access) text: Mills, C. Wright.  1963.  “Culture and Politics.” Pp. 236-246 in Power, Politics, and People: The Collected Essays of C. Wright Mills.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Today is Mills’ birthday — and this is our small celebration of his huge intellectual legacy and contribution to economic sociology and public sociology.
(Thank you, Jan Milch for bringing to our attention this unique record!)

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