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In seeking to answer this question, it is necessary to be clear about what is meant by 'privilege'. Even the most primitive versions of pluralism did not pretend that all interests or potential interests in a society are able to exert an equal amount of influence on the decision-making process. In economies organised on free enterprise, capitalist lines, it should not surprise us that business is one of the most important interests. In lexicographical terms, privilege refers to an advantage of some kind, although it also implies an advantage which is more durable than most.

They may appear to act irrationally on occasions, but this is only to be expected in a capitalist society which is not itself run on value lines. It may seem difficult to bridge these conflicting perspectives or to resolve the issues raised by them through reference to relevant evidence. Indeed, many issues that arise from the role of business in society can only be resolved through a value judgement. For example, the argument that citizens are encased in a set of values favourable to business can not be resolved by producing evidence about what the values of citizens actually are, for such evidence would not tell us how they arrived at their preferences.

180). How, then, are certain issues such as private property and the distribution of wealth kept off the political agenda in supposedly free and democratic societies? According to Lindblom, there is 'Early, persuasive, unconscious conditioning ... , 1977, p. 207). , p. 203). In particular, Lindblom argues that businessmen use the media to associate private enterprise with political democracy. Business, however, often sees the media as unsympathetic to private enterprise in contemporary Britain.

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