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Elitism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "elitism" Showing 1-30 of 109
Isaac Asimov
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
Isaac Asimov

Winston S. Churchill
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
Winston S. Churchill

H.L. Mencken
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe

Mark Twain
“When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.”
Mark Twain

Friedrich Nietzsche
“They're so cold, these scholars!
May lightning strike their food
so that their mouths learn how
to eat fire!”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Esther M. Friesner
“If one cannot learn from the mistakes of others, one might as well become a Democrat.”
Esther M. Friesner, My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding

Dan Rather
“An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger. ”
Dan Rather

Helen Keller
“I do not mean to object to a thorough knowledge of the famous works we read. I object only to the interminable comments and bewildering criticisms that teach but one thing: there are as many opinions as there are men.”
Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

Michel Foucault
“There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine. And these ideas are more active, stronger, more resistant, more passionate than "politicians" think. We have to be there at the birth of ideas, the bursting outward of their force: not in books expressing them, but in events manifesting this force, in struggles carried on around ideas, for or against them. Ideas do not rule the world. But it is because the world has ideas (and because it constantly produces them) that it is not passively ruled by those who are its leaders or those who would like to teach it, once and for all, what it must think.”
Michel Foucault

Haruki Murakami
“I love pop culture -- the Rolling Stones, the Doors, David Lynch, things like that.
That's why I said I don't like elitism.”
Haruki Murakami

Glenn Greenwald
“Incestuous, homogeneous fiefdoms of self-proclaimed expertise are always rank-closing and mutually self-defending, above all else.”
Glenn Greenwald

Johan Hakelius
“The problem with call-in shows is quite simple, if you only dare to admit it: Democracy is best when not everyone can be heard all the time. If we are constantly reminded of all the stupid things that people say and think, it becomes rather difficult to remember the good and noble arguments for everyone to be able to participate and decide.”
Johan Hakelius

Marcel Proust
“She's on the stairs, ma'am, getting her breath,' said the young servant, who had not been long up from the country, where my mother had the excellent habit of getting all her servants. Often she had seen them born. That's the only way to get really good ones. And they're the rarest of luxuries.”
Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove

Noam Chomsky
“MAN: Mr. Chomsky, I’m wondering what specific qualifications you have to be able to speak all around the country about world affairs?
 
None whatsoever. I mean, the qualifications that I have to speak on world affairs are exactly the same ones Henry Kissinger has, and Walt Rostow has, or anybody in the Political Science Department, professional historians—none, none that you don’t have. The only difference is, I don’t pretend to have qualifications, nor do I pretend that qualifications are needed. I mean, if somebody were to ask me to give a talk on quantum physics, I’d refuse—because I don’t understand enough. But world affairs are trivial: there’s nothing in the social sciences or history or whatever that is beyond the intellectual capacities of an ordinary fifteen-year-old. You have to do a little work, you have to do some reading, you have to be able to think, but there’s nothing deep—if there are any theories around that require some special kind of training to understand, then they’ve been kept a carefully guarded secret.
In fact, I think the idea that you’re supposed to have special qualifications to talk about world affairs is just another scam—it’s kind of like Leninism [position that socialist revolution should be led by a “vanguard” party]: it’s just another technique for making the population feel that they don’t know anything, and they’d better just stay out of it and let us smart guys run it. In order to do that, what you pretend is that there’s some esoteric discipline, and you’ve got to have some letters after your name before you can say anything about it. The fact is, that’s a joke.
 
MAN: But don’t you also use that system too, because of your name-recognition and the fact that you’re a famous linguist? I mean, would I be invited to go somewhere and give talks?
 
You think I was invited here because people know me as a linguist? Okay, if that was the reason, then it was a bad mistake. But there are plenty of other linguists around, and they aren’t getting invited to places like this—so I don’t really think that can be the reason. I assumed that the reason is that these are topics that I’ve written a lot about, and I’ve spoken a lot about, and I’ve demonstrated a lot about, and I’ve gone to jail about, and so on and so forth—I assumed that’s the reason. If it’s not, well, then it’s a bad mistake. If anybody thinks that you should listen to me because I’m a professor at M.I.T., that’s nonsense. You should decide whether something makes sense by its content, not by the letters after the name of the person who says it. And the idea that you’re supposed to have special qualifications to talk about things that are common sense, that’s just another scam—it’s another way to try to marginalize people, and you shouldn’t fall for it.”
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

John McCain
“I know where a lot of them [the elite or elitists] live.

Where's that?

Well, in our nation's capital and New York City. I've seen it. I've lived there.”
John McCain

Van Wyck Brooks
“Never forget that it is we New Yorkers and New Englanders who have the monopoly of whatever oxygen there is in the American continent.”
Van Wyck Brooks

Plato
“ἀγεωμέτρητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω”
Plato

Abhijit Naskar
“Purpose of progress is to lift all humanity, not to pamper the elites' moronity.”
Abhijit Naskar, Giants in Jeans: 100 Sonnets of United Earth

Abhijit Naskar
“Elitism is moronism, for it facilitates disparity.”
Abhijit Naskar, Giants in Jeans: 100 Sonnets of United Earth

Leigh Bardugo
“Peace was like any high. It couldn’t last. It was an illusion, something that could be interrupted in a moment and lost forever. Only two things kept you safe: money and power.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ninth House

Abhijit Naskar
“Substituting stoneage with concrete age is not advancement. Without warmth, logic of concrete is as degrading as the superstition of stone.”
Abhijit Naskar, Hometown Human: To Live for Soil and Society

Colin Wilson
“The common mob, the philistines and money changers, are 'flies in the market-place'. Then, as the Outsider's insight becomes deeper, so that he no longer sees men as a million million individuals, but instead sees the world-will that drives them all like ants in a formicary, he knows that they will never escape their stupidity and delusions, that no amount of logic and knowledge can make man any more than an insect; the most irritating of the human lice is the humanist with his puffed-up pride in Reason and his ignorance of his own silliness.”
Colin Wilson, The Outsider

Muriel Barbery
“If I know that I belong to a self-satisfied elite who are sacrificing the common good through an excess of arrogance, this liberates me from criticism, and I come out with twice the prestige.”
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Karl Popper
“The communism of the ruling caste of his best city can thus be derived from Plato’s fundamental sociological law of change; it is a necessary condition of the political stability which is its fundamental characteristic. But although an important condition, it is not a sufficient one. In order that the ruling class may feel really united, that it should feel like one tribe, i.e. like one big family, pressure from without the class is as necessary as are the ties between the members of the class. This pressure can be secured by emphasizing and widening the gulf between the rulers and the ruled. The stronger the feeling that the ruled are a different and an altogether inferior race, the stronger will be the sense of unity among the rulers. We arrive in this way at the fundamental principle, announced only after some hesitation, that there must be no mingling between the classes.”
Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume One: The Spell of Plato

Abhijit Naskar
“Elitism & Fundamentalism (The Sonnet)

Elitism and fundamentalism,
Are both the enemies of progress.
Exchanging one bad habit for another,
Is not true advancement but regress.
Fundamentalists used to fill the world,
With the poison of dirty division.
Today elitists poison the world,
By endorsing snobbery and narcissism.
Conscience, courage and compassion,
These are the three pillars of progress.
Without these all belief is delusion,
All glitter is but a sign of coldness.
Replace not fundamentalism with elitism.
Grow out of selfishness into collectivism.”
Abhijit Naskar, Ingan Impossible: Handbook of Hatebusting

“Wikipedia: Iron law of oligarchy

According to [Robert] Michels, all organizations eventually come to be run by a "leadership class", who often function as paid administrators, executives, spokespersons or political strategists for the organization. Far from being "servants of the masses", Michels argues this "leadership class", rather than the organization's membership, will inevitably grow to dominate the organization's power structures. By controlling who has access to information, those in power can centralize their power successfully, often with little accountability, due to the apathy, indifference and non-participation most rank-and-file members have in relation to their organization's decision-making processes. Michels argues that democratic attempts to hold leadership positions accountable are prone to fail, since with power comes the ability to reward loyalty, the ability to control information about the organization, and the ability to control what procedures the organization follows when making decisions. All of these mechanisms can be used to strongly influence the outcome of any decisions made 'democratically' by members.

Michels stated that the official goal of representative democracy of eliminating elite rule was impossible, that representative democracy is a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, which he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable.”
Wikipedia Contributors

Belle Townsend
“My home is full of targets,
and they have been hit. Over and over and over.
Meanwhile, the bullseyes sit in penthouses and mansions,
unaffected, watching us
scramble over the arrows.”
Belle Townsend, Push and Pull

Jessica Marie Baumgartner
“Cowardice is everywhere in this country, and that’s why corruption has continued to breed.”
Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Tilly Lawless
“I could couch my insecurity in the rhetoric of 'eat the rich', but I would rather analyse what it is of theirs that I both hate and want. The stability, the entitlement, the good seat to watch the world burn from?”
Tilly Lawless, Nothing But My Body

Tilly Lawless
“You may think these streets are yours to walk, but they belonged to someone else before: the queers, the hobos, the junkies, the trannies, the prozzies - those streets were theirs before they were yours so be careful, you may find you have to wipe your shoes clean before going into your nice apartment.”
Tilly Lawless, Nothing But My Body

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