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Author Topic:   Elites
Straggler
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Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 1 of 31 (844027)
11-24-2018 2:28 PM


Elites
Elites. Left and right both invoke the idea of “elites” as those who need to be resisted in the name of the average dude. Bernie Sanders rails against elites. Jeremy Corbin rails against elites. But Donald Trump and Nigel Farage rail against elites too. Are they talking about the same people or do left and right have very different ideas on who constitutes the “elite”?

Who are these “elites”? Are you one of them? What power do they have? How did they get this power? Should we take this power away from them? And if so, how?

“Elite” is the buzzword of political disparagement at the moment. So I think it’s worth exploring the differing notions of who constitutes “the elite”.

Interesting article on this topic that could form basis of discussion Link

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 11574
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 2 of 31 (844029)
11-24-2018 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
11-24-2018 2:28 PM


Re: Elites
From your article:
When left populists rail against elites they are generally referring to economic and political power. Their target is the richest 1% that owns half the world’s wealth: the newspaper moguls, bankers, political donors and corporate lobbyists; Tony Blair, the Clintons, the Bushes, Old Etonians, Old Harrovians, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Harvard, Bullingdon. Those people who run things unchecked from a position of absolute and relative privilege that is often inherited. (...)But when rightwing populists focus on elites they are mostly referring to culture. Their targets are filmmakers, actors, lecturers, journalists, “globalists”, spiritualists, scientists and vegans; the Clintons, Hollywood, Londoners, New Yorkers, Silicon Valley, Sussex and Berkeley. These are the people the right claim are responsible for shaping what people can see or hear, and limiting what they can say.(...) they evoke a mythical, homogenous people and culture, only to claim it is being besieged by cosmopolitans, multiculturalists and immigrants.
I've often noticed this as well. I am unimpressed with most of the arguments...primarily from the Right, as they often parrot what other fellow conservatives and media outlets say. There is a lack of original thought and critical thinking in these arguments.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 3 of 31 (844030)
11-24-2018 2:41 PM


Gold Toilet
George Clooney - “I grew up in Kentucky. I sold insurance door to door. I sold ladies’ shoes. I worked at an all-night liquor store. I would buy suits that were too big and too long and cut the bottom of the pants off to make ties so I’d have a tie to go on job interviews. The idea that I’m somehow the ‘Hollywood elite’ and this guy who takes a shit in a gold toilet is somehow the man of the people is laughable.”

Is he right?


Replies to this message:
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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1895
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 4 of 31 (844031)
11-24-2018 2:43 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
11-24-2018 2:41 PM


Re: Gold Toilet
George Clooney - “I grew up in Kentucky. I sold insurance door to door. I sold ladies’ shoes. I worked at an all-night liquor store. I would buy suits that were too big and too long and cut the bottom of the pants off to make ties so I’d have a tie to go on job interviews. The idea that I’m somehow the ‘Hollywood elite’ and this guy who takes a shit in a gold toilet is somehow the man of the people is laughable.”

Is he right?

Yep.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


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Phat
Member
Posts: 11574
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 5 of 31 (844032)
11-24-2018 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
11-24-2018 2:41 PM


Re: Gold Toilet
There are people on both sides who dont fit the stereotypes. Does that really affect the overall arguments? Or are there really any arguments apart from sound bytes??

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Straggler, posted 11-24-2018 2:41 PM Straggler has responded

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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 6 of 31 (844033)
11-24-2018 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Phat
11-24-2018 2:38 PM


Re: Elites
Elsewhere online I have been accused of being part of the “metropolitan elite”. It was a discussion about Brexit specifically. But when I revealed that I lived in London, had a job in IT and was vaguely left leaning politically I was effectively shot down as unknowing of the issues faced by the “common man” because I was so far removed from their experience by my apparently illustriously detached situation.

I have never thought of myself as “elite” and it came as quite a shock to learn that others, those on the political right it seems, classed me as such.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 11574
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 7 of 31 (844037)
11-24-2018 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
11-24-2018 2:48 PM


Re: Elites
Straggler writes:

I think those on the left and those on the right are talking almost different languages on this topic. To me Trump (for example) is so patently, clearly and demonstrably part of the “elite” that it’s undeniable hypocrisy on his part to be railing against the “elites” in the way that he does. But to his supporters (and presumably to him) the fact he is an inherited millionaire who has spent his entire life in the presence of wealth and power has nothing to do with his “elite-ness”.

To me, it's about taking sides and identifying who it is whom you think is actually against you and your family interests. Two examples in my own life and circle:
Steve---grew up religious. His Mama "baptized" him in front of her couch when he was 7. They always attended Assemblies Of God churches where people would speak in tongues and pray for hours. Lots of emotional hype. Yet a very poor family. They were clearly pro-Trump in this last election. To Steve, his "enemies" in life are the immigrants who have always taken his jobs and worked for less, keeping him down. Granted he has no education. As an American, he feels cheated by the government...who allowed immigrants to work the low-level jobs for even less than Steve would have done. He also believes in the End Times theology and sees the government as part of a global conspiracy against the people of God. "The Globalists".His conservative church saw a good candidate in Donald Trump...he sold them the idea that they...the poor forgotten masses...would be forgotten no longer.

My second example is another man of modest means...an atheist and a frequent poster on EvC. He sees Trump and his wealthy Capitalist Cronies as the clear enemy and is a supporter of a larger working class who helps one another rather than competes against one another. Even though the wealthy 5% are part of the problem, he also sees a competitive middle class who keeps the poor of the world under them as an equal if not greater key to the problem. He frequently calls me out on my claims to Christianity, arguing that the Jesus of the Bible was an early advocate of the system of equality and universal brotherhood that he envisions.

Two poor men. Two diametrically opposite views. What do you make of it?

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 11-24-2018 2:48 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 8 of 31 (844039)
11-24-2018 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
11-24-2018 2:44 PM


Re: Gold Toilet
I think those on the left and those on the right are talking almost different languages on this topic. To me Trump (for example) is so patently, clearly and demonstrably part of the “elite” that it’s undeniable hypocrisy on his part to be railing against the “elites” in the way that he does. But to his supporters (and presumably to him) the fact he is an inherited millionaire who has spent his entire life in the presence of wealth and power has nothing to do with his “elite-ness”. Instead it’s something about his cultural references. A poorly paid academic who lives in New York and enjoys opera would be the subject of “metropolitan elite” ire, whilst Donald Trump is lauded as in touch with the common man because he cites cheeseburgers as his favourite meal (or whatever).

It’s the different criteria being applied that I’m interested in here.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 3.6


(2)
Message 9 of 31 (844052)
11-24-2018 4:18 PM


Yeah, when US conservatives use the word "elite", they seem to be complaining about experts in various fields which do careful research on various problems and then analyze their results while allowing other highly trained experts to critique their work...and then point out that the Republicans are wrong. About everything.

Hell hath no fury like a white man scorned. If you take nothing else from the Senate’s confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, take that much. -- Kai Wright

  
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1769
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


(3)
Message 10 of 31 (844066)
11-24-2018 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Straggler
11-24-2018 3:14 PM


Re: Gold Toilet
e·lite
/əˈlēt,āˈlēt/
noun
noun: elite; plural noun: elites

1.
a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities.

2.
a size of letter in typewriting, with 12 characters to the inch (about 4.7 to the centimeter).

I would have to say that Trump is closer to the second definition than he is to the first.


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5603
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 11 of 31 (844075)
11-24-2018 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
11-24-2018 2:28 PM


Re: Elites
So I think it’s worth exploring the differing notions of who constitutes “the elite”.

There are certainly elitists in this world in the sense that some people wield tremendous influence, resources, wealth and power that have the ability to manufacture outcomes that might not have come to fruition without a little push from them. The problem though, as you shared, is that there is a sense of ambiguity when it comes to deciding who said elites are.

Whenever somebody brings up "The Elites" or "The Globalists" or whatever other buzzword to denote some outsider with a vision contrary to your own, to me it is akin to "They/Them." "They" are so often nameless people who embody whatever the antithesis or inverse of your own belief system or set of values. And of course, in true dramatic fashion, everything they do is underhanded, nefarious, and pernicious.

"They" are a convenient scapegoat to explain away all our social ills, whether real, imagined, or exaggerated.

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine

This message is a reply to:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 12 of 31 (844091)
11-25-2018 6:16 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Hyroglyphx
11-24-2018 11:16 PM


Re: Elites
Yet it seems to work. Watch any of the populist leaders of the moment condemning the elites and their followers seem to have an emotional, even if not a definitional, understanding of who they are railing against. And that’s the key I guess. We all have a feeling for who we mean by the “elite”. But there is a clear difference between the use of the term between left and right.
This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5603
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 13 of 31 (844093)
11-25-2018 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Straggler
11-25-2018 6:16 AM


Re: Elites
Yet it seems to work. Watch any of the populist leaders of the moment condemning the elites and their followers seem to have an emotional, even if not a definitional, understanding of who they are railing against. And that’s the key I guess. We all have a feeling for who we mean by the “elite”. But there is a clear difference between the use of the term between left and right.

I suppose that's the beauty of it. People who most likely would conform to the stereotype of being an elite can now distance themselves away from it and place it on to someone else.

Donald Trump, for instance. He's a billionaire and has been since he was born. He's been loud, brash, arrogant, and in constant need for attention since I can remember. He's been a fixture in my life stretching back to the early 80's. Obviously he meets the criteria of what an elitist would be. But he manages to distance himself from it by saying that he's a Washington outsider. He has no political baggage like the other candidates. Those "Elitists" are corrupted Washingtonian insiders.... Trump is here to "Drain the Swamp" against the Elites.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine

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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 14 of 31 (844095)
11-25-2018 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Hyroglyphx
11-25-2018 10:13 AM


Re: Elites
Yes. And....

Donald Trump seems to be a classic example of a member of the elite in so many ways yet his followers look at him as someone who somehow shares their cultural values. Watching Fox news, eating cheeseburgers and having disdain for journalists, academics, politicians and experts seems to resonate with his supporters in such a way that his obvious financial “elitism” can be effectively ignored. He’s one of “us” in a way that seems to matter more than his obvious gold plated lifestyle.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 11574
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 15 of 31 (844097)
11-25-2018 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Hyroglyphx
11-24-2018 11:16 PM


Re: Elites
Whenever somebody brings up "The Elites" or "The Globalists" or whatever other buzzwords to denote some outsider with a vision contrary to your own, to me it is akin to "They/Them." "They" are so often nameless people who embody whatever the antithesis or inverse of your own belief system or set of values. And of course, in true dramatic fashion, everything they do is underhanded, nefarious, and pernicious.

"They" are a convenient scapegoat to explain away all our social ills, whether real, imagined, or exaggerated.

Well said. I myself claim to be a political moderate. I vote based on which candidate I feel would help me the most. Obama and the Democrats support unionism more than do the Republicans, and my job pays me $5.00 more an hour due to union contracts than the market value of my position. I am becoming more aware of my own bias as well as the bias of either political party and/or left vs Right Ideology.

Got this from the internet...it sums up some key points:

quote:
The fundamental differences between left-wing and right-wing ideologies center around the rights of individuals vs. the power of the government. Left-wing beliefs are liberal in that they believe society is best served with an expanded role for the government. People on the right believe that the best outcome for society is achieved when individual rights and civil liberties are paramount and the role — and especially the power — of the government is minimized.

Examples of an expanded role for the government include entitlement programs such as social security and Medicare, Medicaid, universal healthcare, food stamps, free public education, unemployment benefits, strong environmental laws, and other regulations on industries. Right wing ideology would favor market-based solutions to the issues that these government programs aim to tackle. For example, encouraging a freer marketplace for healthcare, driven by consumer choice to drive down costs. Or privately held retirement accounts like 401(k) plans instead of government-guaranteed Social Security.


Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-24-2018 11:16 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
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