27 Oct 2006

Elitism



Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite — a selected group of persons with outstanding personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or that these are persons whose views should be regarded as carrying the most weight, or, more simply, these people are best fit to govern. Alternatively, the term elitism could be used to describe a situation in which power is in fact concentrated in the hands of an elite, whether rightly or not.

Elitism has highly negative connotations and is often used pejoratively to describe a general mindset of arrogance or disregard for the general non-elite public (Meritocracy, a special kind of elitism, does not carry this connotation).



12 comments:

hal said...

http://weikiatblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/photo-essay-if-you-are-not-good-enough.html

Anonymous said...

Self Discipline and Democracy -
One of the frequent themes in Mr Lee Kuan Yew's speeches is "Asians care more about good government than democracy", that developing the self-discipline of the citizens has to come before democracy. LKY's statement can be misconstrued: self-discipline is not the same as obedience to authority. In fact, it is more applicable to the people in authority than those under it. The lack of self discipline displayed by Chen Shuibian and his family members and associates in Taiwan, and not quite as seriously, by Mahathir in Malaysia, not only have great impact in themselves, it also sets examples that make it harder to ask the ordinary people to show self-discipline.

In other words, self-discipline first has to prevail among the members of the elite, that they should use their power and wealth with restraint, that they should be scrupulous in their methods to acquire power and wealth. Further, only with awareness for the need for self-discipline would they be in a position to establish relevant monitoring and prosecution systems to impose discipline on the whole society.

A society in which the elite thinks that discipline applied only to others and not themselves soon finds that even the most efficient monitoring system would break down as the people in charge of enforcing discipline lose confidence about whether they can apply the same rules to everyone, and then learn to twist the rules to gain benefit for themselves. In other words, failure of elite members to apply self-discipline soon corrupts the whole society.

Anonymous said...

Chinsese, an elitist race, never. generally they come from a coolie based working class background, possess no breeding, and in the eyes of the west still remain peons.

singapore is no different, with local chinese empoying maids, a situation where former maids employ other maids and are happy to treat them like shit.

Anonymous said...

former maids would be filipina not chinese

Anonymous said...

elite uncaring faces sure look ugly

clyde said...

Nice one Hal. Wei Kiat's "photo assay" was a fair attempt... Now if only we had a larger readership base armed with photoshop and a sense of irony.

Anonymous said...

anon 10.57, during the good colonial days, the chinese where the working classes,check your history.

Anonymous said...

the chinese race are george orwells' original prolitariat, the prols, a body of people who he hoped would fight off big brother, and rule the world. if china has its way, it plans to do just this, and little singapore will piggy back on the huge nation, hoping to cash in. this is of course unless a careless china displeases the west, and ends up fighting a corporate war.
with gordon brown in power in the uk, the chap hates asia, anything can happen with the gun happy british.

Elia Diodati said...

"Meritocracy, a special kind of elitism, does not carry this connotation"

Who wrote this line?! Come on!!!

Anonymous said...

elia, come on. singapore chinese may like to think some mof their race have become elitist. however, they must look at how the west percieves their race; owners of the local chinese takaway, and probably laundry. westerners especially Surrey, where the British elite certainly live, will comment, usefull little chinaman. His laundry is wonderful, but that terrible take away food disgusting.

so however, much money the chinaman will earn, he is not acccepted in society. call this racist, ok, it is, but that's the way thye cookie crumbles.

so singapore may believe they have bred elitist individuals, but the claim is only in their own eyes.

clyde said...

It would be no different from "elitists" to make such stereotypes of the west. Westerners don't belittle the chinese. Racists do. How elitists, regardless of origin, view other classes or races is irrelevant if you don't believe in such a class system in the first place. There is no cookie to crumble...

Anonymous said...

to anonymous,

who the hell cares about british society in Singapore? We are talking about Singaporean society, you idiot! Did you say Surrey? It's not even in the same league as world-class city Singapore. Surrey is like a stain on Lewinsky's dress.

White people in the UK are afraid of the Chinese taking away their jobs because the white man can't compete. They try to cover it up with bigotry and racism. Now that's british irony.