This morning I tweeted a string of thoughts on political elitism. I’m replicating those tidbits here so that I can 1) easily relocate them later and 2) share them with non-Twitterites. Feel free to read the originals in their native habitat.
If you’re not familiar with the cadence of Twitter conversations, the following may seem choppy or disjointed. I didn’t edit much. Other people’s interjections are included as block quotes.
It’s easy to be an elitist when you’re part of the elite. Is that tautological?
Example of a non-elite elitist: high school dropout who thinks people with college degrees should be in charge.
As far as I know, non-elite elitists don’t exist, or there are very few of them. [This assertion gets walked back momentarily.]
However, you could argue that this position, when held by random schmucks, is non-elite elitism: “Donald Trump should run things because he’s a successful businessman” or “Hillary Clinton has lots of foreign policy experience”
And random unimpressive people hold positions along those lines, as noted here:
“I dunno, does not appear to match observations unambiguously. Plenty shit-eating basement dwellers dreaming of elitist shit” — @okayultra
Even non-elite elitists seem to always follow cultural lines. “The people I identify with should be in charge.”
Important to remember: “the people I identify with should be in charge” is different from “people like me should run things”
Like Sam says, there are different elites for Red Tribe versus Blue Tribe:
“this is pretty common, they just define ‘elite’ in non-educational terms — religious leaders, rich people, etc” — Sam Bhagwat
There are arguably even different elites for different sub-segments of each tribe. Progressives’ idols are not neoliberals’ idols.
“Also subtribes — grey, red-grey, blue-grey, etc. (Technocratic elites)” — @orthonormalist
So I’d amend my original tweet like this: “It’s easy to be an elitist with respect to elites that align with your culture and ideology.”
“society is dominated by elites and always will be. Only question is which ones they are” — Adam Elkus
“every time a barbarian horde deposed an emperor a new class of elites was born” — Adam Elkus
Insightful responses from Facebook friends: