The Privileged Position Of Business


Hudson first states what he believes to be the central assumption of the Pluralist

description of American politics that there is no one dominant group in American Society. He

argues that there is a dominant group, business. I agree that the pluralist ideology is wrong and

that business is very dominant in our political society.

He continues by stating that there are two faces of the political privilege of business. The

first involves business actively manipulating the political system to obtain their political objectives.

Hudson starts by stating that the first aspect, that of the active manipulating of the political system

by business to obtain political objectives, can be divided into three aspects, business predominance

in lobbying policy makers, the role of business in financing elections, and messages favorable to

business in the media, schools, and universities.

I will first discuss his views on the predominance of business in lobbying policy makers.

He argues that the pluralist theory is wrong in determining the significance of representativeness

of these groups and should instead see the extent to which these groups represent one societal

interest that of business. I agree that there are many interest groups but a majority of them are in

some way lobbying for business. I also believe that the majority of the people know that this is

going on and don’t like it and would like to see a change.

Next Hudson discusses the businesses role in providing finding for elections. The business

that contribute money can expect to be heard by the elected officials they have helped. He states

that business dominates lobby groups as well as dominates the universe of campaign

contributions. I believe that this gives businesses a huge advantage and also I believe that this is

the major reason business predominates over politics in our society. And the more closely you

look at this issue the more clearly you see the money these businesses contribute to candidates

who are in effect already pro-business then they become even more for business when they know

this will in all probability get them re-elected. I definitely agree that this poses a real problem and

needs to be dealt with.

In addition, business controls citizen access to information through ownership of the

media. I agree with this completely. I was surprised to read that most of the mass communication

industry is now concentrated in about twenty giant holding companies. The idea that newspapers

and television are businesses themselves and project pro-business views is a given. But also other

businesses pay for them through advertising. I do agree that this is going on but I am not sure of

the effect that it has.

Hudson then describes the second face the more subtle of the faces of which most of us

fail to think about. This face is the power we give to business to make societies crucial economic

decisions. He states that leaving important societal decisions to “the market” means dividing

authority for important social decisions between two sets of rulers and that in any capitalist

market system government officials and businessmen rule. Where we can somewhat control our

government officials we can’t control businessmen. I again agree that this is a problem which

needs to be dealt with. But I really had never thought of this before. And I agree that this places

business above government in making economic decisions which the public should have a lot

more say so in.

Lastly, Hudson discusses why business privilege is a threat to democracy. He sets out four

ways in which it is a threat. First, is that the full range of political interests in society are not

equally represented. I definitely agree that this is a threat because ordinary people even people

associated with non-business related interest groups are overlooked because business has more

money and therefore more power to persuade politicians. Second, business power restricts the

agenda of policy alternatives seriously debated and discussed when public policy is formulated.

Third, business power undermines the development of an effective citizenry. And, fourth business

privilege results in substantive policies that are contrary to the needs and interest of a majority of


Word Count: 698

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