Monday, September 08, 2008

Preventing Elitism

It is perfectly natural that elites -- those with special gifts and achievements -- will rise to prominence. When these gifted people exercise noblesse oblige, they should be celebrated and rewarded with appropriate leadership responsibilities. Elitism, however -- that phenomenon whereby elites use their gifts and achievements to deprive others of a decent life -- should accordingly be confronted with loss of privileges and honors.

Conspiracies between elitists to consolidate their power and position of malign rule certainly exist, but conspiracism (often indulged in by those deprived) -- whereby all acts of violence are assumed to be controlled and manipulated by secret societies -- serves to mobilize resentment against elitism into a fruitless pursuit of delusionary trivia. Preventing elitism through research, education, organizing and action is only effective when based on exposing real crimes using evidentiary methods and documents admissible in court, not when based on unfounded rumor, hearsay or group hysteria.

Gathering and analyzing such evidence requires exercising judgment and self-discipline, keeping an open mind and avoiding the temptation of demonizing. After all, elitism endures thanks in large part to a willingness to go along to get along; unfortunately, going along with elitism (or conspiracism) means that we will no longer be able to get along.


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