Excellent Sheep

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A book by Deresiewicz

Elite Rule

  • Self-perpetuation of elite, multiethnic, culturally homogenous
  • They speak for the poor, but are not too familiar with the poor
  • In the 60s, elite called themselves the elite. Now, the elite no longer self-describe as elite. Guilt. Liberal guilt.
  • Elite are drawn to political progressiveness today. Liberal elite. Contradiction? How do you justify liberal as elite?
  • All types of distortion comes from elite disavowing their elite status. Self delusion.
  • Does the elite really matter, or is power somewhere else? It seems that progressive ideology escaped humanities departments, to 'wokeness' or other progressive idealogies such as during COVID etc? Huh? The effects are real in terms of a 'liberal elite agenda' so called. Is that so?
  • Solution: elite bypass: huge upward mobility and financial independence at scale.
  • Excellent sheep = lack of: creativity, challenging wisdom of group, standing for what you belief, Risk, deep intellectual curiosity, independent mind. Cowards and conformists. People that do not know who they are, what they want, and don't know how to figure it out. Too busy, not enough time. Doing too many different things.
  • Elites are not acting on principle, they are used to being instrumental
  • Elite institutions are about elite creation, not intellectual creation.
  • School more costly, can't do it in a part time job any more.
  • Solitude - different versions. You can be lonely, or full while in solitude.
  • Interesting comment on the video by @advocate1563 - Inequality is always about money. Occupy Wall Street was the right initiative. Notice how Woke Capitalism appeared in 2013 on the back of the Occupy movement. It was sleight of hand by the Elites to move the conversation away from the money and into the culture wars. It was a brilliant strategy for disenfranchising the poor through divide and conquer (the re-segregation of people impeding solidarity). Is that so?
    • Is inequality always about money?


  • Review - Proposes that affirmative action be class based rather than race or ethnicity based.
  • Our society is facing never before seen income inequalities because of the structure of the economy and not because of the rise of research universities. If you want to de-escalate the college admission arms race, bring back the humanities, and offer a better undergraduate experience, you need to implement big structural changes in the economy and social welfare systems (e.g., student loan forgiveness, single payer health care, affordable state college tuition, abolishing Balkanized school districts, etc.). Trying to change elite higher education in the plutocracy of late-stage capitalism is like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.