Anti-elitism

The word "elitism" has been bouncing around the U.S. presidential election, and a bit here in Iceland too, that the intellectual elite have failed their countrymen by not taking action sooner to fix this financial mess. I have to admit, when I hear the word "elite", I draw a blank, I don't know what people are talking about. So I've been wondering about that, how it is that I have failed to notice a phenomena everyone else seems to think is genuine. I've decided to blame it on "Cal" (University of California, Berkeley, for those of you not in the know - is that elitist of me?). U.C. Berkeley is one of the best universities in the world, consistently ranked in the top 3 in the United States, but instead of marketing themselves that way, they talk about being a public university and about the diversity of the student body. The rivalry with Stanford and Harvard is not alive and well on campus, no one cares about it at all, everyone is just focused on doing their own work. It is, in other words, rather difficult to feel elitist at UC Berkeley, even if one, well within rights, could. So, when it comes to Icelandic elitism, well, I'm frankly baffled. 

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