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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Elite vs the People

I am baffled by the current use of the word elite and by certain people calling themselves anti-elitistWiki: "In political and sociological theory for a small group of powerful people that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege or political power in a society." Apparently, being part of an elite is now politically incorrect. It's an insult rather than an accomplishment based upon outstanding abilities, experience, knowledge, qualities or just heritage.

Similarly, I am annoyed by reports that the outcome of elections does not represent the People or the population. Clinton's "deplorables" comment also contained this elitist view: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.” (eg, NYT).

Allegedly, some days before the election results, Bill Clinton had a big fight with Hillary and claimed that she was "tone-deaf about the feeble economy and its impact on millions and millions of working-class voters". "He repeatedly urged them to connect with the people who had been left behind by the revolutions in technology and globalization." "Hillary wouldn't listen. She told Bill that his ideas were old and that he was out of touch. In the end, there was nothing he could do about it because Hillary and her people weren't listening to anything he said." (Ed Klein in DailyMail)

In a way, Bill Clinton is another example of the "unneeded, unwanted and unbelieved" despite being an elitist with anti-elitist views. Donald Trump is another example of an elitist who gained success with anti-elitist views. The same can be said about the Brexit supporters and nationalists like Le Pen and Wilders. The post-Brexit betrayal of campaign promises by Farage, Gove and Johnson is part of their elitism. They don't care about the People, they just care about Power.

European politicians ask for solidarity with immigrants in societies in which houses are expensive, jobs are scarce, incomes are stable or declining, cost of living is only increasing, and in which welfare has been eroded for a decade or longer. These politicians ask for voter support while simultaneously ridiculing the views of people who complain about such policies. It's likely that their careers will end like Hillary's.

Bill Clinton is right: the Technological Revolution of 1800-2100 (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) is indeed causing increasing global imbalances (eg, demographics, health, wealth) which are partly offset by an increasing (legal and illegal) immigration. The ever increasing urbanisation causes imbalances in global societies in which younger people migrate to cities and elders live in "dying" rural communities.

It's ironic that the Elite (1%) will always need the People (99%) to gain and retain Power, even in authoritarian regimes. The power of the people against the Powerful People roots in exercising voting rights. It's ironic that the power of the people has been eroded by their distrust in politics. It's ironic that the powerful people gain power by eroding their voters' trust in politics. 

Gino Vannelli - Powerful People (1974) - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Look at the powerful people
Stealing the sun from the day
Wish I could do something about it
When all I can do is pray

Alanis Morissette - Ironic (1996) - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2