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about the word elite

 
 
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2017 06:21 pm
I think I grew up with the word elite as mostly about the very educated who had special jobs, were superb at various kinds of knowledge. Doctorates from MIT, Harvard, and so on.

Now I don't know what it means - it is a political term.

I'm also not sure about class as a word. I think that even in the US that word had varied meanings, more important to people in the eastern US and not so in the mid west or west, except maybe San Francisco, from my observation.

Now the word is elite is being bounced around and I don't understand the implications.

What do you think?
 
McGentrix
 
  0  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2017 06:53 pm
@ossobucotemp,
elite = one who eats cheese

Very Happy
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2017 08:05 pm
@McGentrix,
Velveta?

I'm not meaning this question as mean to various views, am interested in various takes.
McGentrix
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2017 08:14 pm
@ossobucotemp,
It is my understanding that when someone refers to "elites" it is generally referring to very wealthy people who do not have to interact with society like "regular" people do.

They are usually very wealthy, have people who do everything for them like shopping or cleaning or cooking or child care and that sort of thing.

A normal person gets up in the morning, walks the dog, makes breakfast, feeds the family if there is one, gets kids off to school, picks up the house, goes to work, tries to exercise at lunch, sits in meetings all day, commutes home, checks home work, cooks dinner, has an hour of "personal" time and then goes to bed. (This is very generalized)

An "elite" may wake up at the crack of 10am, goes to the veranda where breakfast waits with the newspaper. The decorative pet sits on a pillow and then at noon the personal trainer shows up and they exercise in a private gym for an hour then has a sauna. When the kid gets home, they may, or may not talk to them and ask how their day was. Then they go and get dressed in the clothes that have been laid out for them and then get driven to a club or dinner where they drink top shelf liquor and muse about some mundane topic with others of similar circumstances.

To the "regular" person, the "elite" are out of touch with society. They do not shop at walmart, they dont worry about losing the car or the apartment, they have very different lives.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2017 08:28 pm
@McGentrix,
I take that so too, at least somewhat.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 04:12 am
We have seen in Britain with the Brexit campaign, and also the 2016 US presidential election, that "elite" can be used as a code word meaning (and I think this is the essential point) “not one of us.” A scary feature is that the slur is being applied to knowledge itself. Hillary Clinton used “elite opinion” to dismiss the near unanimous opposition of economists to her proposal for a gas tax holiday. Thus she used the word to attack expertise supposedly beyond the comprehension of average Americans. One might as well say that there is no point in consulting astronomers about stars or carpenters about wood.

It didn't begin with politicians, although there were sneers directed at “eggheads” during the anti-Communist crusades of the 1950s. Some say the perversion of its meaning dates from the 1960s, when the academic left pinned the label on faculty members who resisted the establishment of separate departments for what were then called “minority studies.” In this case, two distinct faculty groups were tarred with elitism — those who wanted to incorporate black and women’s studies into the core curriculum, and those who thought that blacks and women had produced nothing worthy of study. Instead of elitist, the former group should have been described as “inclusionary” and the latter as “bigoted.”

The second stage of elite-bashing was conceived by the cultural and political right. Conservative intellectuals who rose to prominence during the Reagan administration managed the neat trick of reversing the ’60s usage of “elite” by applying it as a slur to the left alone. “Elite,” often rendered in the plural, became synonymous with “limousine liberals” who opposed supposedly normative American values. That the right-wing intellectual establishment also constituted a powerful elite was somehow obscured.

I would note that “elite” and “elitist” do not, in a dictionary sense, mean the same thing. An elitist is someone who does believe in government by an elite few — an anti-democratic philosophy that has nothing to do with elite achievement. But the terms have become so conflated that Americans have come to consider both elite and elitist synonyms for snobbish.

0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 04:28 am
Who is designated by the term varies according to situation and political ideology. Modernly, the American right tends to use this term (as derogation) in reference to intellectuals (university people, writers, artists, scientists, etc) while usually tending to exclude from this category individuals of extreme wealth and political power (bankers, corporate people, etc).

But there's a very long history here that's well covered in Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. You can get a used copy at Amazon for as little as $6.51 and everyone should have this book in their library (meaning, they should read it).
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 06:51 am
Agreeing with Centrox. Elite should mean the wealthy privileged individuals who control finance government etc. Now that self same elite has perverted the word so it now means anyone with an education who does not subserviently tow the party line.

For all Trump's blowhard anti elite bollocks he is doing more to enrich the real elite than any of his predecessors.

Quote:
US President Donald Trump has taken his first step to try to scale back US financial services regulations.

He signed an executive order to review the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulations, which some people on Wall Street say are overly-restrictive.

The law was brought in after the 2008-09 financial crisis with the aim of avoiding another financial meltdown.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38858009
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 07:20 am
@blatham,
Radio 4's In Our Time did a feature on Hannah Arendt whose books have shown a spike in sales since the election of Trump. Don't know if you can get it over there, but she seems to have nailed Trump. Something seems to be going her way because hers was the first Hannah that came up on google, knocking Miss Montana into second place.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51PcJpZuA3L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08c2ljg



https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6VKAabB-5Ko/Vyk9YalgFhI/AAAAAAAABh0/UPack_kwTogiom5y4tWGDrUV1WBcA2qGACLcB/s640/trump%2Bstrip.jpg
blatham
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 07:28 am
@izzythepush,
Thanks very kindly. Terrifically smart individual. I have one book on the go and another arriving today but I've long been meaning to get the one you point to, so I'll order it today. Thanks for the reminder!
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  4  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 08:03 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
Agreeing with Centrox.

Some dumbass has been thumbing us down. It must mean we have a point.
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 08:15 am
@centrox,
The elite's lickspittles are frightened of the truth coming out so they try to nip it in the bud. I had a thread on sealioning, (a tactic they constantly use,) voted down before it got started, but some friends voted it up again. So now we can call them out without having to resort to long convoluted explanations.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 08:20 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
hers was the first Hannah that came up on google, knocking Miss Montana into second place.

I have long admired Hanna Arendt. She and her (arguably) equally important fellow writer Gitta Sereny have done much to make clear the "banality of evil", that is, they have explained how such people as Hitler and those who did his bidding are not "evil" in a comic-book sense with horns and funny accents, but people like us. They explained how it happened, and implicitly how it could happen again. (Explicitly in Arendt's 1951 book). One of the most morally transformative experiences one can have is to catch one's own reflection in the face of the Nazi murderer. For this can prompt a sort of spiritual crisis in a person and thus act to warn us not to be so trusting of our own virtue. I sometimes wonder if that is truly the eternal vigilance which is the price of freedom.

0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 08:29 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
Quote:
US President Donald Trump has taken his first step to try to scale back US financial services regulations. [...] The law was brought in after the 2008-09 financial crisis with the aim of avoiding another financial meltdown.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38858009

He and his aides want to "bring everything down", so I guess another meltdown is something they'd welcome.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 08:32 am
@centrox,
Meltdown, terrorism, anything that justifies enhanced security measures.
0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 06:57 pm
Bookmark. (Book-recommendation mark. I can't tag threads anymore. Sad )
ossobucotemp
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 08:08 pm
@Kolyo,
hi, kolyo..
please keep posting..
ossobucotemp
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 08:27 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Me, I have never understood the bookmark thing
If you are going to flit away, click on save.
ossobucotemp
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 09:41 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Also, you can save the link, look to the right.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2017 11:15 pm
@centrox,
I tend to fix this stuff, thus showing up as the sole vile one. Oh well again.

I give room for other takes, politely or quiet.
0 Replies
 
 

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