David Thompson
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August 18, 2008

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John D

"Showing the way for the radicals of the 1960s, Wells, referring to blue collar workers, dismissed 'the facile assumption that the people at a disadvantage will be stirred to anything more than chaotic and destructive expressions of resentment.' But, he argued, 'lose that illusion (and) we clear the way for the recognition of an élite of intelligent, creative-minded people, they are the ones who can remake the world.'"

Sounds like a leftist hegemony to me.

georges

I'm afraid I'm not impressed with Mr Kamm's article. I notice that the poster, "GLEN KRISTENSEN" pretty much demolishes Kamm's argument.

David

“Sounds like a leftist hegemony to me.”

But of course. How else will the lumpen proletariat be steered towards the correct kind of outlook? But fear not, it’s for The Greater Good™.

David

Georges,

I’m not sufficiently familiar with Chomsky’s output to take a side in the matter, though I’ve generally found Kamm to be careful in his choice of targets. I thought the exchange might be interesting to readers, yourself included, who are more acquainted with Chomsky’s claims.

newbie

Nothing annoys my lefty friends more than being called elitist. (And they are, God bless 'em.)

David

Newbie,

Welcome aboard. Yes, it’s a sensitive topic for quite a few supposed egalitarians. It doesn’t do to be seen as basking in the fruits of those capitalist bourgeois values that they so eagerly denounce. Tenured academics come to mind, for instance, or certain newspaper commentators. And those who call for correction and constraint of other people’s choices generally don’t seem to imagine that they themselves would ever be subject to it. As, for instance, when the rather grand Polly Toynbee rails against inequality and global warming before flying to her spare villa in Italy. The same well-heeled Ms Toynbee who tells “us” that “money doesn’t make us happier” and calls for everyone to publicly disclose how much they earn, while she – despite repeated invitations – refuses to do the same. The Guardian’s embittered dowager-in-residence probably realises that doing so could reveal her to be one of the “them” she whines about, rather than one of the “us” she pretends to be.

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