"Culture, not power, determines who attracts the epithet.n+1 previously on MetaFilter
There are two opposed explanations for this situation. One would be that access to political, economic, and military power is today more meritocratic and open than access to filmmaking, humanistic academia, freelance writing, wine criticism, and so on. Do people no longer complain about the power elite because those with power are no longer elitist? Culture, in that case, would constitute a last vestige of unearned prestige in an otherwise democratically constituted society. The other explanation would be that it simply goes without saying these days that the materially consequential areas of life are lorded over by self-recruiting elites. You wouldn’t speak of a business elite, a governing elite, or a firepower elite because, now, that would be redundant. Complaints about cultural elitism would then be merely a sign that in the world of culture (unlike that of power) there is still an ongoing contest between elitism and equality that in all other realms has already been decided. By the deciders."
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