10.23.2008

The elite.

It is funny how being 'elite' has become a common criticism against the left.
But what are these 'elite' qualities? Having an education, being aware of and interested in the arts and culture. Being well read. Reading and listening to in depth news sources like public radio and the New York Times. Being interested in not harming the environment.

Yet being a super rich capitalist who owns land, stock and is outraged at the idea of having to share their money with those less fortunate, getting your 'news' from angry individuals on AM radio who spend several hours each day forcefully giving their opinions on current events, is okay and patriotic.
On a sort of related note: (I saw a hummer not long ago with a bumper sticker reading, in large letters: 'Visualize World Peace.' Then in smaller letters below: 'Through US military world domination')

6 comments:

Vincent said...

It is fascinating to see how American politics is characterised by deliberate divisiveness, though it seems to me that Obama's campaign is starting a trend in the other direction.

Topics are chosen for their irritant value, for example "prolife" versus "prochoice" on abortion.

Here in UK for the last few years it has been the opposite: a struggle for the centre ground. Anything divisive is ignored or at any rate played down, as each party tries to woo everyone. Of course the British people are no more homogeneous than the Americans.

So it astonishes me what's happening over there. I don't know if you read Marc Lord's blog? in this post he predicts a bloodbath whoever wins.

Another important difference between the two countries is the notion of patriotism. Lack of this quality (I don't know who defines what it is) is almost criminal in USA. In Britain, patriotism, military power and colonialism were despised by many thinking people after the horror of the Great War 1914-18. I think this mood, widespread also in Europe, encouraged Hitler's great miscalculation.

When is America going to wake up to a sense of interdependence? Surely this is the foundation of all morality.

Atheist as I may be, I pray for America, for its own and the world's sake.

Vincent said...

I didn't finish the train of thought on patriotism. The "love of country" needs to be viewed with the greatest suspicion, as it always implies hatred of some other group.

But as Dr Johnson said on this topic,

"It is unpleasing to represent our affairs to our own disadvantage; yet it is necessary to shew the evils which we desire to be removed."

isaac isak icekick said...

I have one of those bumper stickers on my new car but i thought it would be obvious to readers that it was a reference to the Jean Luc Godard film "Notre Musique" where paradise IS visualized as a peaceful beach controlled by the US Military. Man irony is TRICKY.

chris almond said...

thanks for the comment vincent. i had no idea that patriotism wasn't seen as a virtue in England and other parts of Europe, that is very interesting and makes sense, considering how Europeans engage with the world versus how Americans do. thank you for that blog link. and who is this Dr Johnson? he is unfamiliar to me.

Vincent said...

Dr Johnson's fame is kept alive by the brilliant biography written by his friend James Boswell, whose Life of Johnson is remembered whilst the honorary Dt's literary works are deservedly forgotten. Boswell recorded his witty repartee and opinions. Johnson is also famous for the Dictionary which he compiled: I think it was the first of the English language.

Here are a couple of links: this one about the man himself and this one for quotes.

Vincent said...

I meant honorary Dr.

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