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Monday, February 9, 2015

Two elitisms

There is a kind of elitism that is pernicious. It says that already elite people have a monopoly on good things, and that other people are too dumb to appreciate them. Give us our elite education, it is beneficial to us, but for the masses... mass, cheap education is fine.

The bad kind of anti-elitism simply disdains these good things, because they aren't available to all. If not everyone can have them, nobody should. You should feel guilty about taking your children to the museum and symphony, because you are perpetuating "privilege." Such people should be subjected to [the least violent punishment possible.] I will never tire of ridiculing their horrific hypocrisy. Feeling guilt is stupid. If you think that doing this is wrong, just don't do it. If you do it and feel guilty, the wretched of the earth feel no relief from your idiocy. They probably would feel contempt for your guilt, if they could even understand it. Does the sweetness from the sugar I don't put in my coffee accrue to their account? No.

4 comments:

Vance Maverick said...

I would love for someone in politics to make the case that it's a good for there to be elite education. (Accessible to anyone who's good enough.) Say, for the governor of my own state to argue that it's time to give the University of California proper support again.

And as you say elsewhere, to make the case not just instrumentally -- that it's good for the state's economy to have young STEM grads, or good for the smart kids themselves to have career chances. Rather, that learning is its own reward.

Scott Walker has met some resistance (and not only, I think, from liberals) in his attempts to do the opposite, to rewrite the mission of the state university system away from intellectual ambition to worker training, and this is heartening in a negative way.

clarissasblog.com said...

"Give us our elite education, it is beneficial to us, but for the masses... mass, cheap education is fine."

- The director of the Board of Higher Education in my state said, in his public speech at our university, that professors who do research belong at a small number of elite universities. But the education provided by such professors is not what our lower-income students need. Our students only need the kind of education one can provide through cell phones and tablets.

But the saddest part is that I'm the only one who found this appalling.

clarissasblog.com said...

"You should feel guilty about taking your children to the museum and symphony, because you are perpetuating "privilege." Such people should be subjected to [the least violent punishment possible.] I will never tire of ridiculing their horrific hypocrisy."

- Exactly. They are obviously enjoying this ridiculous self-flagellation. I really detest such people.

Professor Zero said...

Have McNair students. The McNair program is designed to bestow elite privilege upon those who do not have it already. http://mcnairscholars.com/