View Poll Results: Should only elites participate in politics?

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  • Yes, art is important.

    1 5.26%
  • Yes, but for economics, not art.

    1 5.26%
  • No, the masses have style too.

    4 21.05%
  • No, equality is everything.

    13 68.42%
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Thread: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

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    Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    I don't remember who said it whether it was Socrates, Aristotle, or Plato, but one of them said that only elites are sophisticated enough to grasp the big picture of society, so only they should be involved despite the plurality of Athenian Democracy. When unsophisticates participate, it makes politics boring, and disregards the finer things of life which society is supposed to aspire for. These finer things are fundamentally crafted by the populace anyway, so if the populace participates in politics when it's supposed to be crafting the foundations of art, then the populace is wasting its time.

    The argument can be analogized to the avant garde-pop culture divide as well. Pop culture is designed to hypnotize the masses, so if the hypnotized are allowed to participate in culture, it corrupts the system. Just because someone enjoys listening to music doesn't mean someone knows how to compose music.

    Therefore, should only elites participate in politics such that politics remains an artistic, sociable endeavor?

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Short answer: probably not, because it is most likely that the elites would look out for their own interests first, the interests of "their kind" second, and everyone else a distant third at best.


    Longer answer:

    First we have to define "Elites". Do we mean the academic elite (those with doctorates from reputable universities who have published in peer-reviewed journals)?

    Do we mean the artistic elite?

    Do we mean the economic elite? Those who have risen from mediocrity to billionaire status?

    Do we mean the politicial elite? Well one could argue that they're already running the show, for the most part.

    Perhaps we mean the blue-bloods... the old-money families who have maintained a condition of wealth and status for several generations, whose children invariably graduate from Hahvahd or other Ivy League colleges... well actually they're pretty well-represented in DC too, by the Kennedys, the Bush's, the Hines-Kerry's, etc.

    Plato (IIRC) wrote in his tretise Republic that the rulers should be a small group of elite philosopher-kings, highly educated and the only ones told the truth about how the world really works, while the general populace was educated only as much as needed and indoctrinated in beliefs that would theoretically cause them to be productive, orderly citizens who respected and obeyed the ruling class. In return the philosopher-kings would regard the common citizenry much like children and look after them via their greater wisdom.

    All utopias begin with the premise "if only people would behave themselves like they OUGHT to..."

    Plato was one of the few who had a notion of how you achieve this, but I don't care for his vision much to be honest. I'm not overly fond of being told what to do period... being told what to do by a government in which I have no input would likely cause me to raise the Gadsden flag and go to war.
    Last edited by Goshin; 08-19-12 at 11:21 AM.

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daktoria View Post
    I don't remember who said it whether it was Socrates, Aristotle, or Plato, but one of them said that only elites are sophisticated enough to grasp the big picture of society, so only they should be involved despite the plurality of Athenian Democracy. When unsophisticates participate, it makes politics boring, and disregards the finer things of life which society is supposed to aspire for. These finer things are fundamentally crafted by the populace anyway, so if the populace participates in politics when it's supposed to be crafting the foundations of art, then the populace is wasting its time.

    The argument can be analogized to the avant garde-pop culture divide as well. Pop culture is designed to hypnotize the masses, so if the hypnotized are allowed to participate in culture, it corrupts the system. Just because someone enjoys listening to music doesn't mean someone knows how to compose music.

    Therefore, should only elites participate in politics such that politics remains an artistic, sociable endeavor?
    I could almost be on board with this idea if not for the fact that even highly educated people do stupid things every day, and even the highly informed promote legislation that only serves their own selfish interests. "Unsophisticates" (I assume this refers to poor, lesser educated people) are just as capable of doing good deeds, and are capable of understanding policies that directly affect them (or at least capable in the same percentages that "sophisticates" are).

    No, anyone interested enough in politics should be able to participate in them.

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Just because one could be a considered an "elite" doesn't mean they know a thing about politics.

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by zstep18 View Post
    Just because one could be a considered an "elite" doesn't mean they know a thing about politics.

    Nor does it mean they have benevolent intentions toward "the common herd".

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by zstep18 View Post
    Just because one could be a considered an "elite" doesn't mean they know a thing about politics.
    ...let alone how to run a country. Ivy League educated candidates have pretty much been the rule of the land for God knows how long. As Dr. Phil might say, how's that working for us?

    Not saying that high school dropouts should be elected president, but a man's character is determined by more than the degree on his wall and the money in his account.

    Also, not saying I watch Dr. Phil.

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Oh, by the way, Bernie Madoff would have been considered a "sophisticate." Let that one sink in for a few minutes.

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    ...let alone how to run a country. Ivy League educated candidates have pretty much been the rule of the land for God knows how long. As Dr. Phil might say, how's that working for us?

    Not saying that high school dropouts should be elected president, but a man's character is determined by more than the degree on his wall and the money in his account.

    Also, not saying I watch Dr. Phil.

    Exactly.

    There's an old joke... a man catches a young thief stealing from his truck. Instead of calling the police, he takes the young man in and sends him to college to be educated. When the young man has completed his education, he concocts a scam lawsuit and steals his benefactors entire business. Moral: educate a thief and what do you get: an educated thief.

    I could also add, educate a fool and you get an educated fool.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Short answer: probably not, because it is most likely that the elites would look out for their own interests first, the interests of "their kind" second, and everyone else a distant third at best.
    This wasn't exactly what I was talking about. I was talking about whether or not people are wasting their own time getting involved in politics before self-evaluating themselves as elite.

    Longer answer:

    First we have to define "Elites". Do we mean the academic elite (those with doctorates from reputable universities who have published in peer-reviewed journals)?

    Do we mean the artistic elite?

    Do we mean the economic elite? Those who have risen from mediocrity to billionaire status?

    Do we mean the politicial elite? Well one could argue that they're already running the show, for the most part.

    Perhaps we mean the blue-bloods... the old-money families who have maintained a condition of wealth and status for several generations, whose children invariably graduate from Hahvahd or other Ivy League colleges... well actually they're pretty well-represented in DC too, by the Kennedys, the Bush's, the Hines-Kerry's, etc.

    Plato (IIRC) wrote in his tretise Republic that the rulers should be a small group of elite philosopher-kings, highly educated and the only ones told the truth about how the world really works, while the general populace was educated only as much as needed and indoctrinated in beliefs that would theoretically cause them to be productive, orderly citizens who respected and obeyed the ruling class. In return the philosopher-kings would regard the common citizenry much like children and look after them via their greater wisdom.

    All utopias begin with the premise "if only people would behave themselves like they OUGHT to..."

    Plato was one of the few who had a notion of how you achieve this, but I don't care for his vision much to be honest. I'm not overly fond of being told what to do period... being told what to do by a government in which I have no input would likely cause me to raise the Gadsden flag and go to war.
    Like I described in the OP, artistic elite.

    Should people participate in politics before getting to know their own self-interests (and expressing them exquisitely [to their own satisfaction])?

  10. #10
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    Re: Should Only Elites Participate in Politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daktoria View Post
    This wasn't exactly what I was talking about. I was talking about whether or not people are wasting their own time getting involved in politics before self-evaluating themselves as elite.



    Like I described in the OP, artistic elite.

    Should people participate in politics before getting to know their own self-interests (and expressing them exquisitely [to their own satisfaction])?

    Express yourself more precisely then.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

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