It’s Not the Rich, It’s the Educated

If you're the parent of a teenager then you know one of the universal truths of teenage life has not changed since your own days in high school: if you want to be considered "cool" then you better not let anyone know you're actually doing your homework.  And if you're living in America these days you probably realize that anti-intellectualism is most definitely an in thing. If you don't then you should read this quote from Frank Rich's column about Sarah Palin's ascendancy:

It’s anti-elitism that most defines angry populism in this moment, and, as David Frum, another Bush alumnus (and Palin critic), has pointed out, populist rage on the right is aimed at the educated, not the wealthy. The Bushies and Noonans and dwindling retro-moderate Republicans are no less loathed by Palinistas and their Tea Party fellow travelers than is Obama’s Ivy League White House.

If an official from the administration of a President, who built his own image around being an average good 'ol boy, is pointing out that people are pissed off at the educated then you know we're in trouble. 

4 thoughts on “It’s Not the Rich, It’s the Educated

  1. Jon Lowder

    Thanks Arthur. I enjoyed your post and I too feel that an
    under-educated President (or Prime Minister) is a sure way to poor and
    potentially disastrous policy making. One point I failed to make is
    that the second President Bush enjoyed an Ivy League education yet
    seemed to revel in a kind of anti-intellectualism, and the more I
    think about it the more I believe that it is intellectualism that
    people are rejecting. As you point out, the combination of this with
    insularity and lack of interest in the outside world, is a truly
    frightening proposition.

    Reply
  2. Dwight Defee

    Maybe Plato wasn’t too far off the mark.
    Plato, through the words of Socrates, asserts that societies have a tripartite class structure corresponding to the appetite/spirit/reason structure of the individual soul. The appetite/spirit/reason stand for different parts of the body. The body parts symbolize the castes of society.[30]
    Productive, which represents the abdomen. (Workers) — the labourers, carpenters, plumbers, masons, merchants, farmers, ranchers, etc. These correspond to the “appetite” part of the soul.
    Protective, which represents the chest. (Warriors or Guardians) — those who are adventurous, strong and brave; in the armed forces. These correspond to the “spirit” part of the soul.
    Governing, which represents the head. (Rulers or Philosopher Kings) — those who are intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love with wisdom, well suited to make decisions for the community. These correspond to the “reason” part of the soul and are very few.
    According to this model, the principles of Athenian democracy (as it existed in his day) are rejected as only a few are fit to rule. Instead of rhetoric and persuasion, Plato says reason and wisdom should govern. As Plato puts it:
    “Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophise, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils,… nor, I think, will the human race.” (Republic 473c-d)

    Reply
  3. Jon Lowder

    Fantastic comment Dwight! Its ironic, too, given that the vast
    majority of our citizenry will never learn about Plato. Unless of
    course some talking head on cable TV starts quoting him completely out
    of context:)

    Reply

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