“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.