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Functionalist conservatives emphasize the preservation of class privilege, including their authority over society. They are less concerned about the size and intrusiveness of government than other conservatives. All mainstream politicians are to some degree functionalist; they are part of an elite also composed of military and economic elites, with whom they intermingle socially and share class interests. They are always a minority in society and rely on divisions in the mass population to maintain power.1)


These publications are indistinct from mainstream journalistic publications. This is because by their nature, functionalist conservatives (elites) employ propaganda as a substitute for naked force to attain and maintain power.2) It follows from this that functionalists do indeed control mainstream media and, perhaps inevitably, affect coverage,3) and that journalistic organizations in any country serve elites (functionalist conservatives).4)

David Benfell, “The Quixotic Quest to Comprehend Conservatism, Part 1,” May 16, 2014,
Gerhard Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966).
David Croteau and William Hoynes, Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences, 3rd ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge, 2003).
J. Herbert Altschull, Agents of Power: The Media and Public Policy, 2nd ed. (White Plains, NY: Longman, 1995).
Scott Mayerowitz, “What Do the Rich and Powerful Read?” ABC News, July 28, 2007,
6) , 7) , 8)
Mike Chapman, “What the Rich Are Reading,” AdWeek, April 26, 2011,
conservatism/functionalist_conservatism.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/23 20:10 by benfell