As the would be King Donald reigns over his personal empire, Hairelot, one must delve into the realm of royalty and the whole notion of elite. This has been existent for centuries and probably could be traced millenia. In the Middle Ages sovereigns had their court and courtiers with the big castle and very large and grungy moat. Kind of reminds one of our nation’s capitol with the various drawbridges over the Potomac.
Now the king or queen decided who was in and who was out. Throw in an intellectual or starving artist here and there and you had the beginning of the “A List”. You had to socialize and marry from within but if you played your cards right you were set for life. This has continued on today with the anachronistic monarchies in England, Sweden, Japan and the like. Only time and a grumpy proletariat will determine how long this fairy tale endures or how it ends.
Don’t worry, we will find a new elite and we are well on our way. Gated communities are their own little fiefdoms with their own rules and regs on everything from dress to looking askance at marrying outsiders. Just look at the Times wedding announcements and the most important word in the paragraphs is “nee”. It carries over to country clubs and deb balls. They even have their own language that has dialects from Locust Valley to Grosse Pointe Lockjaw. There is nothing wrong with this as to each his own.
But I got to thinking it goes well beyond the ivy or palm strewn enclaves. There are elites everywhere. Just look at Hollywood. You are either in or out. Weddings and movie openings are the chance to flaunt just how important you are. Yet this crowd while long on ego is a little short on class. If Kim Kardashian and Kanye are your role models I really would not want any part.
Silicon Valley has created zillionaires and another type of upper crust. When you have money and brains to boot there is no telling where you can go and take the struggling masses and by their definition the illiterate with you. Larry Ellison of Oracle has said he and Steve Jobs walked for hours talking about what the world was going to look like and how they were gong to take it there. However prophetic they might have been it does seem just a tad egotistical.
I couldn’t let a discussion like this go on without bringing up our system of government. As I mentioned earlier DC has all the trappings of a regal swamp. It was built on the slimy marshes you know. Kings and queens and princes are dubbed by the party cognoscenti with candidates having passed rigorous lineage checks to make sure they are DEM or GOP through and through. Before you come before the court you have to bring gifts of all sorts to gain access. Your open invitation to an audience with an earl or lady keeps going as long as the goodies do.
All this power in very few places leads to several benefits or maladies as one might see them. You are not only arrogant, you have to be. The top is a tough place to get to and there are a lot of dudes and dudettes looking to dislodge you. You should be distant and aloof to all but the inner circle. How else is it going to be exclusive? Most of all you must project an aura of godliness. Words like genius and titan or maven seem to fit just right. There are so few of us. We must be selective.
This is all very cool if that’s what floats your boat. I have nothing against the concept. Do I wish I was one of these? Not really but that is just me. But I do wonder if the world can be so easily put off. The success of Bernie and the Donald show that the hoi poloi aren’t exactly thrilled. They want their piece of the action and now, not later. We say work your way up and your reward will be great. It ain’t exactly playing out that way.
The upper echelons are by nature impermeable and resistant to change. There is a lack of connectivity that separates the top from the bottom. I would like to call it insensitivity but it really is just ignorance of the situation. Whether you are walking a mile in someone’s shoes or getting firsthand knowledge by being on the front line the experience is invaluable. Very few get to have that moment whether you are a sports or movie star who forgot where you came from or a politician who thinks the Beltway and K Street are the real world. There is this disconnect that borders on fantasy. You can say that is good or bad but it could be disastrous if you are caught unawares.
The world is changing as it always has but now it is at warp speed. Everything is real time. People’s ideas and mores are up for grabs. I was playing golf the other day and was blown away by the number of young people in foursomes around me. They could care less about the old ways or traditions. It’s just not in their DNA. And in a strange way that is creating a whole new elite. There is nothing wrong with that unless you don’t see it coming.
Politics, sports, business, finance and our whole manner of communication will change in months, not years. I think it is beyond exciting and at the same time scary. The world is our oyster and our future will be determined by startups and innovation. Meet it and greet it or get run over or at least pushed aside. On consideration I think that’s an elite group I would love to be part of.
Ted The Great.
Pay to play is the concept where one has to donate to politicians to get access. It is rumored that one notable was require to brandish a check for $75,000 just to gain an audience with John McCain’s chief of staff.
Zillow showed the top ten listings in Silicon Valley ranged form $15-40 million. The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, the only trailer park in affluent Palo Alto, is in danger of being shut down, thanks to rising real-estate prices. The 4.5-acre property is currently valued at as much as $55 million. They are trying to raise money from charitable sources as well as local monies earmarked for affordable housing to purchase the property to keep the trailer park.
Arrogance…making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud:
Snob…a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field
Empathy…the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
Elite….a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group:
Thanks Ted. Fun! My favorite: “Empathy…the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” much love, d