Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL Announcement :: Government & Elections : Poverty & Urban Development : Resistance & Tactics

Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

Hoping someone out there might be interested in my new Web site on power, politics, and social change. It includes documents on national and local power structures as well as an updated photo essay on the Bohemian Grove and suggestions on new directions for progressive social change.

G.William Domhoff
University of California, Santa Cruz
Who Rules America: Power, Politics, and Social Change is a Web site with many different aspects, created with the hope that everyone will be able to find something of use to them. It is based on social science research, mostly in sociology, but it can be applied in activism, media endeavors, or teaching.

Once again, the url is

And no need to tell me if you disagree. We can just agree to disagree, as is the usual situation for me in the ongoing discussion over the usefulness of third parties, for example.

G. William Domhoff
University of California, Santa Cruz

New Comments are disabled, please visit


Social Cohesion & the Bohemian Grove

Social Cohesion & the Bohemian Grove
The Power Elite at Summer Camp

by G. William Domhoff, U.C. Santa Cruz

The Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre virgin redwood grove in Northern California, 75 miles north of San Francisco (map), where the rich, the powerful, and the famous visit with each other during the last two weeks of July while camping out in cabins and tents -- and drinking heavily.

It's an Elks Club for the rich; a fraternity party in the woods; a boy scout camp for old guys, complete with an initiation ceremony and a totem animal, the owl. It's owned by the Bohemian Club, which was founded in San Francisco in 1872. The Bohemians started going on their little retreat shortly after the club was founded; it became big-time by the 1880s, and it continues today.

(For an excellent first-hand account of the Bohemian Grove by a journalist from Spy magazine who snuck into the encampment in 1989, click here.)

Social Cohesion & the Bohemian Grove

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

> no need to tell me if you disagree.
> We can just agree to disagree

We can agree you're just another Gandhi-worshiping ivory-tower left gatekeeper fulfilling your social function keeping the rabble in line.

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

Alex Jones already did a better job.

Watch the video:

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

To the previous two posters; your responses are classic indymedia troll nonsense.

Domhoff’s work is part of an essential corpus of work for anyone (no matter what your perspective, be you an anarchist, liberal, “commie sympathizer?, conservative, etc.) seeking a more nuanced understanding about how power operates.

Regarding the Grove, Alex Jones didn’t do a better job, Alex Jones essentially cribbed from Domhoff’s earlier work – see:

The Bohemian Grove and other retreats : a study in ruling-class cohesiveness / by G. William Domhoff. Publisher New York : Harper, Colophon Books, 1975, c1974

“Summer camp for the powerful? [videorecording] : the power elite at the Bohemian Grove / with G. William Domhoff ; directed by Joel Domhoff, New York, NY : Paper Tiger TV, 1994.

You can find these in the UCSC Library.

Plus, Alex Jones is a half-baked conspiracy theorist. Domhoff’s analysis of the Bohemian Grove and other social networking institutions like it supports a larger thesis regarding the cohesiveness of the ruling class, and their organizational ability. To drag him down to the level of Jones is silly. Domhoff’s work is serious scholarship.

Besides, the Bohemian Grove is not the most important, or even major part of this web site. Look at the other stuff, especially the section on power in America. Read his classic reprisal of Dahl’s New Haven. Dig into the information on social networks of the elite. This is about community power vs. the power of capital, the poor vs. the elite. Domhoff has a lot of important things to say about all of this. You might agree or disagree, I do about some things, but he’s a key thinker, and actor. Not all academics are stuck in the armchair.


Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

"conspiracy theorist"? What the fuck is that supposed to mean, when Bohemian Grove is a real live proven CONSPIRACY, with elites deciding who will be the next president?

Alex Jones got inside Bohemian Grove and gave us actual video and FIRST_HAND_REPORTING of what happens in there, not more ivory-tower academic theories from poly sci drop outs hiding behind university walls. Everyone needs to get informed by watching his documentary WHICH HE HAS PLACED IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN!

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

I briefly looked at the website, and I must say I sympathize with "commie sympathizer." Domhoff's comments on Marxism repeats myths that hardly show "serious scholarship." They are the comments of someone who has not understood Marx at all. Myths such as Marx as the founder of Marxism, Marx having a moral critique of capitalism, the confusion about "historical materialism"--a term Marx never used, a narrow understanding of "forces of production," and basically a total ignorance of Marx's project as distinct from "Marxism-Leninism"--these are all things that I noticed that are embarrasing even by the mediocre standards of current Marxian scholarship. That these sort of concessions to popular myths and prejudices are related to a reformist practice is obvious. not all academics are stuck in the armchair. . . maybe true. But not all anarchists and commies are going to be taken in by an understanding of how power operates that would have us all be Democrats!

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site


The anti-academic attitude is bewildering. Again, for those reading this post who are actually interested in exploring how power works, check out Domhoff's site and his other books.

For the rest of you, I suppose the endless critique of anything and everything that is less radical, and therefore less worthy of any consideration whatsoever (indeed, worthy of nothing but ridicule and attack), will continue.

Reminds me of most other forms of fundamentalism, endless obsession with purity and truth till the colony is clean...

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

The US and the world was and is run by psychopaths (sociopaths).

Check out
By Jerry Russell and Richard Stanley 4/5/2003
Its a chilling well researched article that explains why the world is such a hellish violent mess.

Here's an exerpt from their article:

"For many years, psychologists have studied the frightening reality of psychopathic or sociopathic personalities -- the serial killers, the child abusers, the pathologically consistent liars and incorrigible thieves. The scientific study of these individuals was systemically organized by Hervey Cleckley and his 1941 classic "The Mask of Sanity", and today the specialist Robert Hare is one of the foremost authorities in the field.

"According to Hare, the key emotional and interpersonal traits defining the psychopathic personality syndrome are: a smooth, glib capability to lie, manipulate and dissemble; a completely callous lack of empathy or concern for others; shallow emotional affect and lack of remorse; and egocentric grandiosity. While most psychological studies of psychopathy have been based on prison populations, there's an emerging (and controversial) recognition that many individuals with this cluster of personality characteristics, are not in prison.

"The traits of these individuals are so distinctive that they may even represent a distinct taxon, a true sub-species of mankind -- consisting of otherwise normal human beings who are completely lacking in normal human responses to social interactions with others.

"In his book, "Without Conscience", Hare writes:
"To give you some idea of the enormity of the problem that faces us, consider that there are at least 2 million psychopaths in North America; the citizens of New York City have as many as 100,000 psychopaths among them. And these are conservative estimates. Far from being an esoteric, isolated problem that affects only a few people, psychopathy touches virtually every one of us.

"Consider that the prevalence of psychopathy in our society is about the same as that of schizophrenia, a devastating mental disorder that brings heart-wrenching distress to patient and family alike. However, the scope of the personal pain and distress associated with schizophrenia is small compared to the extensive personal, social and economic carnage wrought by psychopaths. They cast a wide net, and nearly everyone is caught in it one way or another. The most obvious expressions of psychopathy -- but by no means the only ones -- involve flagrant criminal violations of society's rules. Not surprisingly, many psychopaths are criminals, but many others remain out of prison, using their charm and chameleonlike abilities to cut a wide swath through society and leaving a wake of ruined lives behind them.
Together, these pieces of the puzzle form an image of a self-centered, callous and remorseless person profoundly lacking in empathy and the ability to form warm emotional relationships with others, a person who functions without the restraints of conscience. If you think about it, you will realize that what is missing in this picture are the very qualities that allow human beings to live in social harmony.
It is not a pretty picture, and some express doubt that such people exist. To dispel this doubt you need only consider the more dramatic examples of psychopathy that have been increasing in our society in recent years. Dozens of books, movies, and television programs, and hundreds of newspaper articles and headlines, tell the story: Psychopaths make up a significant portion of the people the media describe -- serial killers, rapists, thieves, con men, wife beaters, white-collar criminals, hype-prone stock promoters and "boiler-room" operators, child abusers, gang members, disbarred lawyers, drug barons, professional gamblers, members of organized crime, doctors who've lost their licenses, terrorists, cult leaders, mercenaries, and unscrupulous businesspeople.

What about politicians?
"Well, here we have to be careful, because in any individual case it can be very difficult to get the data that's needed for a complete scientific diagnosis. However, in some cases there is enough information available to make a persuasive case. For example, Chris Barr in his essay "Towards a Unified Theory of Clinton the psychopathic aspects of Clinton's obsessive-compulsive work habits and decision-making processes, his multiple sexual escapades and denials, and his slimy yet inescapable "Sun King" charisma. Unfortunately, Barr's article is less attentive to Clinton's murderous attack on Yugoslavia, his coverup of the Vince Foster scandal, and his cynical manipulation of the financial markets to produce a massive and artificial boom-bust cycle, all of which would prove much more devastatingly that Clinton was a cold-blooded killer and pokerfaced liar.

"Based on the conduct of the Iraq war, more and more people worldwide are concluding that George Bush is a psychopathic, insane individual. Some skeptics argue that the events of 9/11 were a cynical hoax, intended to provoke America into fighting aggressive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of innocents, in a quest for imperial power. If this is agreed, then it really should not be necessary to offer any further evidence of the psychopathy of George W. Bush.
But there is much more: in this essay by Bev Conover of Online Journal, Bush isn't a moron, he's a cunning sociopath, learn that in his youth, George W. "enjoyed putting firecrackers into frogs, throwing them in the air, and then watching them blow up." Reporter Richard Gooding of the tabloid STAR stated, in a well-referenced article, that Bush was the president of Yale's Delta Epsilon Kappa fraternity -- which "barbarically branded its new members on their backsides with a red-hot metal rod as part of a sadistic hazing practice." Reportedly, "the branding resulted in a second-degree burn that left a half-inch scab in the shape of the Greek letter Delta." While he was not busy slumming at Delta Epsilon Kappa, Bush also joined the highly elite Skull and Bones

Pretty creepy, eh?

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

"...with elites deciding who will be the next president?"

Hardly. They often discuss who might be the REPUBLICAN nominee, though. So instead of a smoke-filled room, it's a campfire-smoke-filled forest.

There really isn't anything going on at the B.G. that isn't going on every day in different venues. The Far Far Far-Out Left's obsession with the Grove is truly mystifying.

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

I perused the site recently and I thought it was excellent. I appreciate Domhoff making his work available to a wider audience rather than just trading insults with other academics.

The section on entertainment and "Cremation of Care" was truly spooky, though I appreciated Domhoff's effort not to sensationalize the material. I'm surprized that this information hasn't filtered out to the rigid fundamentalists who vote Republican. What would they think of George Bush (and everyone else) praying to a giant flaming Owl??

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

I'd rather the elites makes their decisions in the inspirational natural surroundings of the trees where their evil may be tempered by nature's beauty and tolerance promoted by the experience of pagan ceremonies, than in the cold, hard temples of power and profit that are Washington DC with all its domineering masculine Christian history. Bohemian Grove is an improvement.

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

that's like saying that i'd rather be raped in the forest than in washington. wherever they get together, we're still all getting screwed over!

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

They're all dangerous psychopaths with immense military and political power who dont give a damn about you or me or the environment.

The only thing they care about is enriching themselves at our expense and the expense of all living beings on earth.

Thats all we need to know about them.

Consider their behavior: It's no differrent than the ancient Egyptian pharaohs who enslaved millions, Chinese and Japanese emperors cruel European monarchs, and insane US presidents, such as US Grant and Bush etc.

Webster's defines "psychopathic personality" as "an emotionally and behaviorally disordered state characterized by clear perception of reality except for the individual's social and moral obligations and often by the pursuit of immediate personal gratification in criminal acts,. . ."

Greed is an undiagnosed form of psychotic behavior. The sociopathic "me first" attitude of scum such as Clinton, Gore, Bush & Sons Inc., Thatcher, Hussein, Hitler, Attilla the Hun, Charles Hurwitz, Stalin, DuPonts, Mellons, Rockefellers, ad nausium) has infected cultures worldwide.

The earth is their factory farm and we are their enslaved animals.


Thats our job description.

Instead of admiring these monsters by striving for wealth and status, we shoud be viewing them with revulsion.

As one ascends the economic pyramid of power (human food chain, apparant human differrences (sex, race, nationality, religion etc) fall away. At the pinnacle, the unifiying trait is a psychopathic personality (Bush, Thatcher, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc)

Re: Power, Politics, and Social Change: A New Web Site

"Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men [and women] who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters."
-Frederick Douglas


No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event


Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software