In his great master work The Age of Jackson, Schlesinger Jr. observed:
‘... since this is a capitalistic society, the class most interested in its security and prosperity is the capitalist class, which thus should have the most power.
The theory has survived every test but experience.
It simply has not worked. Since the Federalist party the American business community appears to have lost its political capacity; it has not been, in the strict sense, a ruling class.
In placid days power naturally gravitates to it as the strongest group in the state; but through American history it has been unable to use that power very long for national purposes.
Moved typically by personal and class, rarely by public, considerations, the business community has invariably brought national affairs to a state of crisis and exasperated the rest of society into dissatisfaction bordering on revolt’.