It's a mistake to believe that the first generation of moguls, who escaped the cruelty and poverty and tyranny of life under the czar or king or emperor, left that world behind. Rather, they brought that system to the new world and cast themselves - at last, the dream realized - as the monarch, Mr Big. In the land of the free, they fashioned a city-state where medieval powers existed, and to go with it they invented a cult that was close to the idolatrous nature of religions before the age of reason and science. So their Hollywood was intensely un-American, if you're thinking Jefferson and the Bill of Rights and the code of independent intellect. Hollywood was a harkening back to despotism, slavery, and a belief in the divinity of supernatural monsters. Every fourth year a Dole and a Clinton* feel the need to woo, warm and co-opt Hollywood, while any halfway intelligent politician must realize that the movies are - in their appeal to unreason and unreality, in their excitation of desire and instability, in their worship of power and glamour - the most abiding, virulent virus in the American organism.
-from "20 Things People Like To Forget About Hollywood" by David Thomson
(I have edited it to include some material that was cut from the original book--"Beneath Mulholland", one of the best books written about the city I live in).
*Obviously out of date, this would now say "A Bush and a Clinton". My how things have changed.