Elitism

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Burmese nobles

Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite—a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality or worth, higher intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes—are those whose influence or authority is greater than that of others; whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight; whose views or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities, or wisdom render them especially fit to govern. Alternatively, the term elitism may be used to describe a situation in which power is concentrated in the hands of a limited number of people.


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Allan Bloom:...Elitism is the catch-all epithet expressing our disapproval of the proud and the desire to be first. But, unsupported and excoriated, this part of the soul lives on, dwelling underground, receiving no sublimating education. As with all repressed impulses, it has its daily effects on personality and also occasionally bursts forth in various disguises and monstrous shapes. Much of modem history can be explained by the search of what Plato called spiritedness for legitimate self-expression.
  • As soon as somebody or something stands out as excellent, the other shout goes up: 'Elitism!' And whatever produced that thing, whoever praises that result, is promptly put down. 'Standing out' is undemocratic.

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Dick Cavett:Obviously those who burn to be professional jesters mean that they want to be successful comedians. And those are always an elite, microscopic portion of the population. But oh, how they try.
Hugo Chavez:What is the U.S. government looking for? And the elite governing this country? They're looking for oil.
  • What you're saying is that 'I, the superior elite, will take care of you.' Why? Because, you see, that superior, elite group needs to feel superior and elite. And they can't be superior and elite unless you have a whole lot of people down there groveling around. So you keep them down there by feeding them.
  • There are people in government who don't want other people to know what they know. It's just another example of elitism. And I spit on elitism. Show me an elitist, and I'll show you a loser.
  • The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a [[*The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.

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Newt Gingrich: Part of why the Tea Party so deeply threatened the elite media is the tea party looked around and suddenly realized, there are more of us than there are of them.

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Hitler’s Fascism:The common elements of fascism, such as extreme nationalism, social Darwinism, the leadership principle, elitism, anti-liberalism, anti-egalitarianism, anti-democracy, intolerance, glorification of war, the supremacy of the state and anti-intellectualism, together form of a rather loose doctrine.
  • Ask yourself: how has "elitism" become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth—in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn't seem too intelligent or well educated.

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Florence King:Americans worship creativity the way they worship physical beauty - as a way of enjoying elitism without guilt: God did it.

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Andre Rieu: Mozart composed his music not for the elite, but for everybody.

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Camille Paglia:Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?
Steven Pinker:By denying people's sense of visual beauty in painting and sculpture, melody in music, meter and rhyme in poetry, plot and narrative and character in fiction, the elite arts wrote off the vast majority of their audience...
Iggy Pop:...it's a term Punk Rock that's based on contempt; it's a term that's based on fashion, style, elitism, satanism, and, everything that's rotten about rock 'n' roll.
  • There's a very small group of elite actresses who are my age, who people want to work with. It's not easy to get a good job with good actors.

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Anonymous[edit]

External links[edit]

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