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Old 06-28-2009, 06:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
Liberals ask you to listen to experts, which is good. Liberal elitists ask you to defer to experts, which is bad. Become informed, consider all points of view, and make a decision based on what you think. In general the more you critically think about something the better your opinion will be.

Both sides seem to think that there is just one set of intelligent conclusions that can be drawn from any open question in society. They see views that differ as being in error or arising from a moral or intellectual defect. As long as that continues we'll only have screaming matches and never intelligent debate.
"Liberals ask you to listen to experts." - ? what does that mean? You shouldnt listen to experts? Liberals ask you not to listen to amateurs? These arent true claims.

"Liberal elitists ask you to defer to experts, which is bad." - what does that mean? Examples, please?

Your second paragraph describes the exact antithesis of "liberal" thinking.

Thinking and studying require you to examine all arguments. By examining all points of view -- in other words, educating yourself -- you come to recognize the validities of each side. Thus the entire "liberal," open way of thinking. But well-educated people whether politically (socially) liberal or conservative are not closed, they're curious, understanding, and open.

"Liberal elitist" is just a catchphrase that caught on among resentful people back in the Nixon days.
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,759,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishvanguard View Post
Another problem with stating that only liberals are intellectuals is that this tilts the philosophical political "playing field" toward a paternalistic government. It tends to ignore the call from the right to preserve property rights and to resist the government that promises all things to all people (paternalism).

Remember, John Locke said: "Government has no other end, but the preservation of property."
And other people said other things.
I don't recall John Locke being a member of any governmental body.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Unperson Everyman Land
30,390 posts, read 20,026,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
I have heard the term "Liberal elite" used mainly by some Republican anti-intellectuals to describe the stereotypical Liberal and although I do not consider myself a Liberal, I have to admit that some of the characteristics of a "Liberal elitist" totally describe me as a person. Basically, being educated, appreciating different cultures and watching foreign movies is supposed to be a sign of Liberal elitism? I feel fortunate to be raised by parents who were educated, worldly and had high expectations for us.

Wikipedia goes on to say that "The liberal elite are often stereotyped as being snooty and condescending toward others, particularly those living in Middle America"

I have to admit that I do have a certain condescending attitude towards people who are uneducated and ignorant because these are the people who kept someone like Bush in power for 8 years, how can you not feel this way?

All things considered, Are intellectuals mainly Liberals in your opinion?






Probably more the case that liberals consider themselves intellectuals.

I'm always interested in the underlaying emotional need that drives people to do things. A self-proclaimed intellectual likely has an emotional need to feel intellectually superior to others. Perhaps there was a parent involved, or disinvolved, who would only pay attention to the child when they did something particularly brilliant. Skip ahead...skip ahead...now we have to listen to them drone on and on about how much smarter they are than the rest of us, blah, blah, blah....

Since most people are as disinterested in listening to this garbage as the offending and neglectful parent and only pay attention when forced to do so in some awkward social context, I personally consider their unsolicited self-serving condescension to be a sort of social date rape. You can say NO, but it won't change the direction of the conversation. These people have an attention drive and something to prove. Since mommy and/or daddy are not around it's now you who has to listen to their fanciful look-what-I-can-do stories ad nauseam.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:25 AM
 
34,990 posts, read 34,660,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momonkey View Post
Probably more the case that liberals consider themselves intellectuals.

I'm always interested in the underlaying emotional need that drives people to do things. A self-proclaimed intellectual likely has an emotional need to feel intellectually superior to others. Perhaps there was a parent involved, or disinvolved, who would only pay attention to the child when they did something particularly brilliant. Skip ahead...skip ahead...now we have to listen to them drone on and on about how much smarter they are than the rest of us, blah, blah, blah....

Since most people are as disinterested in listening to this garbage as the offending and neglectful parent and only pay attention when forced to do so in some awkward social context, I personally consider their unsolicited self-serving condescension to be a sort of social date rape. You can say NO, but it won't change the direction of the conversation. These people have an attention drive and something to prove. Since mommy and/or daddy are not around it's now you who has to listen to their fanciful look-what-I-can-do stories ad nauseam.
A "self-proclaimed intellectual" isnt one, lol.

I think you're complaining about bores.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,610 posts, read 4,647,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compJockey View Post
I spoke of science, which most times is based on fact.

In my example, programming, if two experts disagreed there would be ways to determine who is more correct, depending on the goal.

If we were trying to determine which code ran faster on a certain machine, there are ways to test that.
If we were trying to determine compatibility, they'd test that.

But those tests should have been done beforehand - not when the decision has to be made over which code to use.

Science is different from say, foreign policy.
Science is more objective.
(more likely to reach a consensus)

Let me try again here before I leave.

The only time two scientific experts should disagree, given the same data is when one knows more than another - or when we start getting into the unproven.

How would I tell between two nuclear scientists who is more accurately stating things?
Flip a coin? They'd likely both be talking over my head as I'm not a nuclear scientist.
I wouldn't make that decision if anything was riding on it.

Unless I had some reasonable evidence that one nuclear scientist has better (more up to date) knowledge.
Even then, its a guess - and I'd still be completely unqualified to make that decision.
Before you lecture me too much about the objectivity of science, I should point out that I am a scientist by both training and profession. I know that intelligent scientists disagree about all sorts of things--Stephen Hawking even famously makes bets about things he disagrees about--because scientists have to discover and understand things that aren't already understood. Furthermore, not all things can be reduced to a quantitative test to determine fitness. Even deciding on the fitness procedure is in some sense making an expert decision. The final result could very well depend on the metric you choose.

No one expects a non-expert to make a judgment about the validity of an experiment or theory. Non experts are however asked to make funding decisions, so they do have to judge the relative merits of different proposals the details of which they are not nor will ever be expert.

The question isn't even that deep, though, because except for elected leaders, no one is asked to make a definitive decision about what government does. In a democratic society individuals are only asked to form their own opinions and voice those opinions through public forums and elections. I was merely trying to point out that the liberal idea is to listen to expert advice and think about that advice before making a decision whereas the liberal elitist idea is to just do what the expert tells you to because he or she is smarter or in some other way superior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delusianne View Post
"Liberals ask you to listen to experts." - ? what does that mean? You shouldnt listen to experts? Liberals ask you not to listen to amateurs? These arent true claims.
I think you are mistaking me for someone who is anti-liberal as you certainly seem to have missed the "which is good" that was appended to the end of that statement. I was actually defending liberals. I think it is good to listen to experts. You can listen to amateurs as well. In general I think the more you listen, the better informed you are. One of the things that bothers me most about some conservatives is how they tell you to ignore experts because they are pinheads or some other silly argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delusianne View Post
"Liberal elitists ask you to defer to experts, which is bad." - what does that mean? Examples, please?
If you haven't already figured it out, it's elitism that I dislike, not liberalism. An example from my time in grad school when some liberal elitists my roommate was friends with were disappointed with the election results from southern states and said, "People from the south are too stupid to be allowed to vote." I can't say I agree with results from that election, but when you believe someone who disagrees with you must be too stupid to vote, you are essentially asking them to defer to experts. In some sense deferring to experts (or superiors) is coincident with elitism.


Quote:
Originally Posted by delusianne View Post
Your second paragraph describes the exact antithesis of "liberal" thinking.

Thinking and studying require you to examine all arguments. By examining all points of view -- in other words, educating yourself -- you come to recognize the validities of each side. Thus the entire "liberal," open way of thinking. But well-educated people whether politically (socially) liberal or conservative are not closed, they're curious, understanding, and open.

"Liberal elitist" is just a catchphrase that caught on among resentful people back in the Nixon days.
Unfortunately liberal has meaning as both a frame of mind and a political alignment and some that are politically liberal aren't always intellectually liberal. They're given over to dogmatic arguments and simply posit what is to believed and refuse to accept that other intelligent people can arrive at different conclusions. It's not a criticism of all liberals--only the ones to which that statement applies. Based on your last statement, that does not appear to be you.

Liberal elitist may be a catchphrase, but elitism is a real phenomenon. The trick hasn't been inventing liberal elitism but rather associating all liberals with the liberal elitists.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Unperson Everyman Land
30,390 posts, read 20,026,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delusianne View Post
A "self-proclaimed intellectual" isnt one, lol.

I think you're complaining about bores.

What's the difference? In either case you're forced to listen to their endless self-promotion.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:57 AM
 
34,990 posts, read 34,660,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
I think you are mistaking me for someone who is anti-liberal as you certainly seem to have missed the "which is good" that was appended to the end of that statement. I was actually defending liberals. I think it is good to listen to experts. You can listen to amateurs as well. In general I think the more you listen, the better informed you are. One of the things that bothers me most about some conservatives is how they tell you to ignore experts because they are pinheads or some other silly argument.
In an earlier statement you separate "liberals" and "liberal elitists" by a distinction that I think is peculiar: "the liberal elitist idea is to just do what the expert tells you to because he or she is smarter or in some other way superior" ...""essentially asking them to defer to experts. In some sense deferring to experts (or superiors) is coincident with elitism."

I dont think we have the same definition of "elitist." From your descriptions you seem to mean an elitist is a closed minded person who insists that others align their opinions with a third person's, because the "elitist" approves of the third person's perceived credibility. I think this sort of person you'll find more in reactionary-conservative and totalitarian camps. "Dont question authority." It's the opposite of the egalitarian viewpoint which is at the heart of liberal"ism."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
Liberal elitist may be a catchphrase, but elitism is a real phenomenon. The trick hasn't been inventing liberal elitism but rather associating all liberals with the liberal elitists.
I disagree with your definition of "liberal elitist" but agree that demonizing liberals by whatever means *was* a hell of a trick. But an easy one to perpetrate in retrospect, and easy to perpetuate as each succeeding generation finds fewer and fewer intellectual tools in worse and worse educations.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,610 posts, read 4,647,457 times
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There is a difference between the liberal elite and a liberal elitist. Elitism is the belief that the elite are in some way more fit to rule or govern. I guess they don't necessarily think that you should agree with them, but they do think that they should be the ones who get to make the decisions (while technically an elitist does not have to consider himself a member of the elite, in practice that seems to always be the case).

Here is what I mean by elitism:

From Wikipedia:

"Elitism is the belief or attitude that those individuals who are considered members of the elite—a select group of people with outstanding personal abilities, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes—are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight; whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities or wisdom render them especially fit to govern"

From Merriam-Webster:

1: leadership or rule by an elite
2: the selectivity of the elite ; especially : snobbery <elitism in choosing new members>
3: consciousness of being or belonging to an elite

My definition of liberal elitist is someone who is liberal that practices elitism. What is your definition of a liberal elitist? Perhaps you exclude those who are elitist from the pool of liberals but I can assure you they do not exclude themselves.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Iowa, Heartland of Murica
3,437 posts, read 5,495,191 times
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I was discussing this issue with my mother yesterday and although I was not raised in a wealthy family, my parents have always had "elitist" values. I am not talking about feeling superior to others but having high expectations for us, being very skeptical of organized religion, emphasizing education, appreciating different cultures and stressing the importance of traveling the world.

Because I was shaped by these values, I think it would be very hard for me to be a Conservative because most of the Conservative values appear to be anti-intellectual by nature.

Most Republicans seem to have been shaped by "small town values" which in my opinion are incredibly anti-intellectual, ignorant, intolerant and very resistant to change and progress.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:01 AM
 
820 posts, read 749,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
I was discussing this issue with my mother yesterday and although I was not raised in a wealthy family, my parents have always had "elitist" values. I am not talking about feeling superior to others but having high expectations for us, being very skeptical of organized religion, emphasizing education, appreciating different cultures and stressing the importance of traveling the world.

Because I was shaped by these values, I think it would be very hard for me to be a Conservative because most of the Conservative values appear to be anti-intellectual by nature.

Most Republicans seem to have been shaped by "small town values" which in my opinion are incredibly anti-intellectual, ignorant, intolerant and very resistant to change and progress.
Neither party is an 'intellectual' party, they're all politicians after the same things. Democrats and Republicans are more alike than not.
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