ELITISM: SOME TESTS OF IT
by John Spritzler
The URL of this article for sharing it is https://www.pdrboston.org/elitism-some-tests-of-it
Elitism is an attitude or belief some people have. Elitists think that they're smart (or better in some sense) and practically everybody else is stupid (or worse in some sense). A person may have views on other subjects (such as being opposed to Zionism, unjust wars or economic inequality) that are perfectly reasonable (maybe this is why you know this person?), but when it comes to how they view ordinary people, they're elitists: they think ordinary people are idiots (or that they're very bad in some way.)
Tests of Elitism
Test #1. If the person fails to see that this video by Mark Dice (or similar ones by him*) is bogus (even when you point it out to them), and the person believes the video truthfully shows how typical random ordinary people are so stupid that they support "Hillary Clinton's decision to make the Communist Karl Marx her Vice Presidential running mate," then that person is an elitist.
Test #2. If the person likes any of these "memes" (graphics with a message that people post on Facebook, etc.) or this one, which all say that ordinary people are stupid or extremely selfish, then that person is an elitist.
Test #3. If the person--after watching this video of random ordinary people from all over Boston saying if they think the PDR button's message ("Let's remove the rich from power; have real, not fake democracy, with no rich and no poor") is a good idea or a bad idea, and after seeing that 91% of these people-on-the-street said it was a good (or great!) idea--insists that the people in the video are the exception because most ordinary people will say it is a bad idea, then that person is an elitist.
Test #4. If the person thinks (even after having read this) that people are bigoted ("transphobic") if they say women in a public-access women's shower room have a perfect right to tell anyone in that area with male genitalia to leave, then that person is an elitist.
Test #5. If the person thinks (even after reading this article and this article--both of which are by homosexuals saying why they are opposed to same-sex marriage) that there is absolutely no reason other than homophobic bigotry why anybody would object to same-sex marriage, then that person is an elitist. (For more on this, see this video, which does not oppose same-sex marriage but puts it in a larger context.) Note that most ordinary people, even those who support same-sex marriage, are not elitists, as can be seen in this video.
Test #6. If the person thinks that what's needed to make the world better is for ordinary people to change from being the supposedly bad way they are now to some very different way that they ought to be, then that person is an elitist. This kind of elitism comes in various forms. Here's one version of it:
"The revolution I seek is human awakening. A shift in consciousness, in how we see ourselves, each other and our place here in Life as biological, 'self-aware' beings. Our natural state is not one where are daily lives are filled with fear, obsolete belief codes and a cacophony of mindless thinking. Our natural state is one of peace and love, reflecting the Tao of Life - Awareness and Energy being the elemental forces. One could say living our true selves.
"I'm convinced if we do not find our true selves, any revolution will sooner or later mimic the system it replaced. We've seen it countless times."
IS ELITISM THE OBSTACLE TO EGALITARIAN REVOLUTION?
No. Why not? This is why. Only a small proportion of the population are elitists. Elitists are, of course, mostly to be found among the very rich and powerful because these people justify (to themselves) their great wealth and privilege and power by telling themselves how much better they are than ordinary people.
Yes, an egalitarian revolution needs to remove this upper class (the ruling plutocracy) from power. But the reason that is possible is this: ordinary people--because they are NOT elitists (as one can see from the linked video at the very end of Test #5 above)--will be able to relate to each other respectfully and thereby enlist each other's support to build a massive movement to remove the rich from power. (This is discussed more here.)
ELITIST ACTIVISM: NO!
NON-ELITIST ACTIVISM: YES!
Not all elitists, however, are in the upper class. Regular people who are elitist tend to be attracted to the role of "activist"--especially Leftist activist--a kind of activism that consists largely of declaring how stupid or selfish or bigoted or "complicit" (etc.) non-activists (most people) are. The disgusting memes mentioned in Test #2 above were all posted approvingly by Leftists on Facebook. This kind of activism is just a form of elitism. (The reason Leftist activism is so elitist is discussed here.)
The kind of activism that can build a large and successful egalitarian revolutionary movement is very different from elitist activism. Non-elitist activism (egalitarian revolutionary activism) aims to help ordinary people gain confidence from knowing a) that their values (of equality and mutual aid) are the morally right values that should shape all of society (that's what a revolution means) and the opposite values of the ruling plutocracy are morally wrong and b) that the vast majority of ordinary people share the morally right values and would love to see an egalitarian revolution to shape all of society by these values. (An example of doing this kind of activism is discussed here.)
* A recent one purports to show that people don't know which historical figure Washington D.C. is named after.