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Elitism and Prideful Disdain

In Dostoevsky’s Nasty Story, we follow the dreadful evening of a prideful bureaucrat. The story follows Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky, as he decides to crash his subordinate’s wedding reception. His reason for doing so, whether he admits it or not, is his pride. And, that’s what I want to discuss today: how elitism leads people to pride and a disdain for “common people.”

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What is Elitism?

Basically, elitism is the idea that a group of wealthy, powerful people deserve their wealth and power. Even if the elites are born into it, they still feel deserving. And, if they’re deserving, then the common people they look down on did something to be undeserving. So, it turns out to create a sort of social, political, and financial caste system. The problem is, the self-proclaimed elites aren’t always deserving of the praise they seek. So, it can go wrong for them.

Humbling the Elites

In the past, I’ve reviewed Dostoevsky’s work, and discussed the neuroticism of his characters. Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky is no exception. Throughout this story, he has this inner dialogue where he’ll be held up as a hero of the people. But, the story doesn’t go the way he planned it. In the end, he is humbled terribly and it shows that the higher one holds himself up, the further he can fall. Pralinsky’s elitist attitude blinded him from reality just as our elites are today. If you want to read it, you can find it for free here. For more book reviews and discussions like these, check out my library.

“What sort of heroism? This sort. Consider: in the existing relations of the various members of society, for me, for me, after midnight to go in to the wedding of my subordinate, a registration clerk, at ten roubles the month—why, it would mean embarrassment, a revolution, the last days of Pompeii, a nonsensical folly. No one would understand it. Stepan Nikiforovitch would die before he understood it. Why, he said we should break down. Yes, but that’s you old people, inert, paralytic people; but I shan’t break down, I will transform the last day of Pompeii to a day of the utmost sweetness for my subordinate, and a wild action to an action normal, patriarchal, lofty and moral.

An excerpt from A Nasty Story by Fyordor Dostoevsky

219. Why a Political Philosophy Is Important | Natural Law by Lysander Spooner - Conversation of Our Generation

Our society has a problem discussing politics and political ideas, and I think I know the issue. Our country has divided itself on many issues, but that's nothing new. However, nowadays few people have a political philosophy underpinning their beliefs. I think that is at the root of the issue. If we had firm foundations, it would be easier to hear opposing viewpoints. But, when we build our ideas on foundations of sand, we have to stop them from washing away. Read more here: https://conversationofourgeneration.com/2021/05/07/why-a-political-philosophy-is-important--natural-law-by-lysander-spooner/ What is Political Philosophy? Political philosophy is a grounding in how you view the world. Basically, it acts as a framework to which you can attach your ideas. From there, you can build an understanding of the world by attaching new information to the framework. It also gives you a set of first principles for discussing politics. Buy your copy of Natural Law by Lysander Spooner here>> What is Natural Law? Natural law is Aristotle's political philosophy, Locke's political philosophy, and the basis for many other great thinkers. Lysander Spooner's work, Natural Law, is a great way to learn more about how Natural Law operates in a political context. It's a short book, and I think anyone would benefit from reading it. People who do not understand Natural Law, would learn a lot about it, even if they don't believe it from this work. What is My Political Philosophy? I adhere to an understanding of Natural Law that the moral truths and political truths are discoverable like science. I also believe in a broad basis of liberty for all men, and think it should be a top priority in political discussions. Also, I have faith in the common people in many ways, as long as they aren't led to believe falsities by the powerful elites. I fall in line with thinkers like Aristotle, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Roger Scruton, and others. Whose political philosophy is reflected in the Declaration of Independence? The ideas reflected in the Declaration of Independence are the ideas I discussed above. The Declaration of Independence includes ideas from Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, Thomas Paine, and others. It is a call to liberty and justice for all, and laid the groundwork for American self-governance. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
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Listen to the podcast here ad free to hear all about how elitism leads to prideful disdain.

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