Elitism or Arrogance


Lately it seems as if conservatives have been barraged by insults. Think that climate change may be natural, you are labeled a denier. Concerned about the record-breaking deficit, you are a tea bagger or a statist. Don’t want a mosque built near the site Islamic terrorists killed over 3000 Americans, you are a racist. Think that the current administration is taking the country too far to the left, there’s that racist charge again.

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As opposed to focusing on what is being said, let’s look at who are saying these things. These comments come from a select group of climate scientists, or mainstream media commentators and politicians. What each of these groups have in common is that they seem to think of themselves as elite.

Elitism is the attitude or belief that some individuals, by virtue of wealth, intellect, or training are superior to others. Elitists can be found everywhere but are most commonly seen in upper management, Hollywood, academia, the media, and the halls of government. The principal difference between an elitist and an expert is that experts are recognized by others for their skill or training whereas elitists see themselves as superior.

Elitists are typically agenda driven; they see themselves as fighting for a noble cause. As such, elitists tend to view themselves as individuals who are benevolently working for the good of mankind (or for some elitist groups, womankind).

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This self-recognition and nobility of cause gives elitists a smug self assurance in their ideas. So much so that they believe that their opinions and ideas carry as much or more significance than hard evidence. This is best illustrated by how the elitists of climate science advanced the idea of anthropogenic global warming (for a thorough history and understanding of the global warming movement, see the many excellent articles by climatologist and environmental scientist Dr. Tim Ball). These climate elitists hold a belief that human activity caused a warming of the climate. As elitists, their belief is more significant than the large amount of data that conflicted with that belief. So, they ignored, or altered the data as needed to fit their belief.

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Once the considerable intellect of the elitist has rendered an opinion or an interpretation, that opinion or interpretation must be right. As such, elitists tend to remain inflexible to new information or data. They are afraid that should they change their opinion, then they would have revealed that they are not infallible, which in turn would put their status as an elite at risk. For an elitist it is better to be always right than possibly wrong.

Cerebral narcissism and smug self assurance

The cerebral narcissism and smug self assurance that are the hallmarks of elitism causes elitists to look upon those not considered elite with disdain. This isolates elitists into small groups of like-thinking members. This self-imposed isolation, results in a loss of diversity in their thinking. Just as a lack of diversity in isolated gene pools results in genetic deformities, the lack of diversity of thought in isolated intellectual thought pools results in deformed ideas. This form of group think is nothing more than intellectual inbreeding.

The sense of nobility that elitists feel for themselves combined with the disdain they have for the intellectually inferior leads those individuals or groups that consider themselves to be elite to grant themselves extra privileges. Like nobility of old, they are above their proclamations. So when government elites tell you that paying taxes is patriotic, they exclude themselves from that obligation. When environmental elitists tell you to change your lifestyle, they do not need to do so themselves. Their do as I say not as I do mentality is one of the privileges that they see themselves as entitled to. In reality, it makes them hypocrites.

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September 1, 2010