“Elitism” is a term that gets used a lot in news media as an accusation towards academics, politicians, and wealthy entrepreneurs. It is also sometimes used by social activists who believe that a privileged group is out of touch with the lifestyles, desires, values, and struggles of a disadvantaged group.
There are various genres of elitism, but they all have on thing in common. Elitism is the view that a select group of people have the authority to dictate what is valuable, important, or worthwhile. This select group is known as the “elite”. They hold authority because they have a special quality: class, intelligence, skills, wealth, or experience. Other people don’t have this special quality, and therefore are deemed unworthy to dictate what is valuable, important, and worthwhile.
But wait – isn’t everyone equal? Doesn’t equality mean that everyone’s opinions count equally? On the other hand, aren’t some people actually more qualified than others? Is elitism a good or bad thing? This week’s topic is Pleasure Elitism.
Have you been following the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong? Democracy is once again a hot topic in the news. What is meant by the word ‘demoracy’? Generally, when people refer to democracy they mean that the government represents the “will of the people”. There are many ways that a government can be democratic and represent the will of the people, but no type of democracy is more famous than American-style democracy. For this week’s topic, we look at Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysberg Address – memorized by American schoolchildren every year – to understand the foundation of American-style democracy.
Read more to find out and to consider some challenging questions for democracy!
(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Vacation A vacation is a length of time spent away from home, usually involving travel. We not only leave our regular physical environments of work and home, we also abandon the normal patterns in life. The broad goals of vacation are relaxation and celebration. Freedom from deadlines and responsibilities allows our bodies and minds to return to baseline stress levels. By abandoning patterns, we affirm our freedom to make fresh choices, to focus on relationships with loved ones and treat them, and to reignite passion for life by living out previously unimagined possibilities. To remember these events, we take souvenirs (from the French verb to remember) and photos. Touching or viewing a certain object or photo has the ability to reconnect us with the part of us that gets lost after we return to the patterns and ritual thoughts of everyday life. Aside from these common threads, there are many different vacationing …