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December 01, 2016


Miguel Madeira

An additional question could be - what we mean by "elites"? Specially in the anglo-saxon world, the word seems to has a somewhat nebulous meaning, referring not necessarily to the people who have power or money (establishment politicians, higher echelons of the civil service and the army, important businessmen and CEOs, etc) but to a vague entity, named "the elites" (usually in plural), with apparently the main criteria for being a member of "the elites" being to have a set of opinions, tastes, etc. that differentiates "the elites" from the "real America" or the "Middle Britain".


@ Miguel Madeira -

Yes, indeed. Another, related consideration is that elite and election have the same root etymologically. An elite consists of the elect few. But the talk of "the elites" that you describe is usually completely vague about who has elected them, and how.


"what we mean by "elites"?"

Property/business owners obviously.


"But the talk of "the elites" that you describe is usually completely vague about who has elected them, and how."

They *fund* elections.


It might at least be worth trying to distinguish 'elites' from 'experts'...


«might at least be worth trying to distinguish 'elites' from 'experts'»

But the "experts" work almost only for the elites, since the trade unions were reduced.

I reckon that the mass of voters are very aware of that, and have come to regard "experts" as rule as well rewarded advocates of different factions the elites. Especially the many Economists that seem to become very shy when never mentioning distributional impacts.



Never mentioning distributional impacts? What are you talking about? I would say that Atkinson, Picketty, Saez et al (economists all) have done more than anyone else in terms if measuring and analysing inequality than any one else. Incidentally they also advocate strong redistribution and substantially higher taxation on the 1%.

I can (and tend to) be anti-elitist without any trouble. But, seriously, how can I be anti-expert?

The degrading of expertise is basically a ploy, indeed by particular elites, in order to achieve their ends.


The "populist" movement does not care one jot about the actual elites. The elites are just another "other" like experts, women, Muslims, immigrants, gays, the disabled etc., who are all at fault for ruining the lives and prospects of the once advantaged white population. Once you identify the "other" the populist right can accuse and rant against the other with anything they like, made up or not. They now deserve it and are simply lying to say they don't or simply all ganging up against the people in making up false "project fear" stories.

There is no wisdom in the mob - they are totally guided by those populist politicians pulling the strings and gaming Google to race hatred, false webpages and computer generated social media denial comments.

There is a total breakdown in communication between the tribes. The "elite" do not communicate what the issues are; the good and the bad points. How the actual issues of immigration can be lessened with extra local investment, life long skills training, and better housing, schooling and other public services. The "mob" are just left to the mercy of the right wing populists preying upon their plight and woeful ignorance

Bill Posters


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