Confessions of a clueless member of the elite

Left-wing elites believe they are friends of the working class.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The two have virtually nothing in common.

Indeed, says Benjamin Mako Hill, an elite can earn “cultural capital” – a nice phrase for snob points – by showing disdain for the unacceptable enthusiasms of the common folk.  He provides a plain English (though poorly phrased) explanation of how it works:

For highly educated folks, it’s a sign of cultivation to be eclectic in one’s tastes. But to signal to others that you belong in the intellectual elite, it can pay in cultural capital to dislike things, like sports, that are enormously popular among the least educated parts of society.

Unfortunately, says Hill, this self-imposed ignorance diminishes the capacity of the highly educated to bond with the less educated and to build a common culture.

The remedy is simple, he says.

All that is required is a decision to suppress the natural inclination among elite intellectuals to deny the pleasures of watching sports, and the pleasures of participating as a fan.

Once you have developed an interest in sports, you will find you can speak comfortably with anyone, even (gasp) taxi drivers.

Left-wing elites believe they are friends of the working class.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The two have virtually nothing in common.

Indeed, says Benjamin Mako Hill, an elite can earn “cultural capital” – a nice phrase for snob points – by showing disdain for the unacceptable enthusiasms of the common folk.  He provides a plain English (though poorly phrased) explanation of how it works:

For highly educated folks, it’s a sign of cultivation to be eclectic in one’s tastes. But to signal to others that you belong in the intellectual elite, it can pay in cultural capital to dislike things, like sports, that are enormously popular among the least educated parts of society.

Unfortunately, says Hill, this self-imposed ignorance diminishes the capacity of the highly educated to bond with the less educated and to build a common culture.

The remedy is simple, he says.

All that is required is a decision to suppress the natural inclination among elite intellectuals to deny the pleasures of watching sports, and the pleasures of participating as a fan.

Once you have developed an interest in sports, you will find you can speak comfortably with anyone, even (gasp) taxi drivers.