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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Friday, January 20, 2006

Aristrocratic Blogging

"Democracy is government by the uneducated. Aristocracy is government by the badly educated. "

Elitists believe that a lucky few (usually themselves) have a monopoly on knowledge and experience and should be running things. Elitists favor top-down government and business models.

Populists, on the other hand, believe that knowledge and experience are distributed broadly -- although unevenly -- and are not held by a few elites at the top levels of society. Populists favor bottom-up government and business models.

The funny thing is lots of people think they're populists when they are not. I call this faux populism. A lot of people think they are elitists when they're not. I call this faux elitism.

It's more than a word game. It is probably the most telling distinction in one's political philosophy.

What are you? Populist? Faux populist? Elitist? Faux elitist?

The best way to determine which category you fit in is to write a 200 word essay on the rights of the people vis-a-vis the government. Then, determine if you really believe in the people or the government. Answer.

For example, I don't believe in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why should we pledge allegiance to the republic when it should be pledging allegiance to us. This position would be typical of a populist, not an elitist.

Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

We are the republic. We are not pledging allegiance to the government (which you correctly point out, should be pledging allegiance to us) but to each other. Nothing wrong with that.

I'm not convinced elitism has much to do with the relation between the government and the people. Suppose I think most people are ignorant morons who have a right to wallow in the fetid results of their own imbecility without interference from their betters? Does this make me an elitist for thinking so little of them or a populist for thinking they have rights? (Or just a big jerk?)

12:22 AM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

My elitism manifests in looking down upon government. I can do a much better job of running my life than can the elected pretenders.

I can also do a much better job of running my life than can my neighbors or anyone of French heritage.

Many would be better people were it not for government interference. They would have to get jobs, learn skills, gain an education to survive without a safety net. Then, they too, could be elitists.

8:13 AM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Would it be populist or elitist to want to secede from the Union (whether via Minnesota or New Hampshire, or Texas for that matter)?

8:23 AM, January 21, 2006  

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