I am an elitist. I love the elite. We need elite people.
Look back through history and realize that the great treasures of civilization — civilization itself — has always been maintained by those set above others in some way.
Just try to name a masterpiece of collectivist art produced under forced egalitarianism. Sure, some of the posters are pretty stirring:
But even this unremarkable. I can’t seem to find a single masterpiece produced outside of an elitist culture.
Anyway, we need our social elites, even in America. We need our standard-bearers of society: the ones who really know how to do life well.
They need to hold the rest of us to a higher standard. Their lifestyles should be something to which any of us should aspire, and should incorporate charity, goodwill, concern for the nation and the world, and a compassion for people in general. By most human measures, the elites should stand above the rest of us and lead the way, while being acquainted enough with the life of the common man or woman to relate to them.
They should know how much a gallon of milk costs.
I’m not idealizing the elite as saints, here. They’ve never been saints, but they aren’t called to be. They just need to do things well, show some human grace, and be able to relate to life in the larger world beyond the gated community — and beyond their own puny lifespans.
Why? Because the elites must lead. They are going to be making decisions that affect you, whether they are elected or not.
Generations of the American wealthy grew up at least spending summers on ranches or in doing some menial tasks meant to humble them. There was at least a nod towards well-roundedness and exposure to the life of the common man, which was expected to benefit the child through life.
But that’s not what we have now.
The rich kid syndrome has seen to that.
For me, that sums up the great paradox with today’s rich and their kids. On the one hand, they made their fortunes themselves and want to enjoy that by living large — after all, they’ve earned their jets. Yet the rich also expect their kids to grow up with middle-class values and a passion for hard work.
There’s currently an expectation that the “gifted” and “elite” running our institutions never were called to dirty their hands in such pursuits. There was an account by an investment banker who learned not to mention that he had worked at a McDonald’s during summer breaks from Wharton. And this was after he was hired and had established his place in the organization. Any real knowledge of the inside workings of an actual commercial endeavor puts a person on the outs and threatens their obligatory meteoric rise within the organization.
Knowledge of the real world is actually considered a detriment. It’s bad to know the price of eggs.
So when something happens like the financial crash of 2008, or the next crash (whenever it happens), I think to myself: “Have the people in charge ever had any chance to fail? Were they ever given a chance to develop common sense?” I believe in many cases the answer is “no”.
I think increasingly our “elites” are sheltered little curiosities unable to reason beyond the sphere of their own tormented egos. They embody a sort of sad mental and emotional retardation, and essentially must live within the confines of well-funded institutions with rubber walls.
And if that’s the case, then the elite are no longer the elite, and we are looking at disaster.