Elitism is not archaic, it is an epidemic, especially in Britain. In a world where equality continues to be championed as the ultimate ideal, does our lovely United Kingdom stay deeply ingrained in the past ideals of elitism? Let’s take a look at the claims of elitism against Britain and what that could mean.
The attitude of elitism in its most basic definition is the view that society should be completely led by elites. This belief is generally perpetuated by those who sit at the top of the economic food chain and more often reviled by anyone else. These people think of themselves as having a better intrinsic quality of thought and are therefore entitled to maintain a status of influence over others.
How does this relate to Britain and our current structure of society? It starts with the children and their schooling. The divide between private and public schools is a chasm of opportunity. Children attending private schools are ushered into the culture of social exclusivity from an early age. They are then continually offered better opportunities than those who have attended public schools. While this is in no way a judgment against these children, this is a discussing that we need to be open and honest about talking about. Does the elitist culture of Britain start with the schools that our children attend? I think that the answer is yes.
Many studies have been performed and show that there is an overwhelming percentage of those holding high-rank offices being from private-school education. This fact leads us to identify a sense of systematic social engineering. Not only offices like judges and politicians show us this, but even the roles of public figures like journalists and sports stars also tend to come from an upper-class background.
The sad realization is that the public and upper-class offices are not representative of the true British culture that they are serving. There is a lack of economic diversity in the elite level of British culture.
An increased effort in promoting social mobility is needed in Britain. It is not going to be easy and will probably indeed be quite difficult, but it should be a conversation that is openly and often discussed. More needs to be attempted at the government and university level to perpetuate inclusion. There are a lot of opportunities to increase the inclusivity of British culture.