The New Cultural Elite

Has any concept more completely defined and disfigured public life over the last generation than so-called elitism? The term has created a broad and lasting culture war, says n+1.

The first thing to note is the migration of the word elite and its cognates away from politics proper and into culture. Today "the cultural elite" is almost a redundancy — the culture part is implied—while nobody talks anymore about what C. Wright Mills in 1956 called "the power elite." Mills glanced at journalists and academics, but the main elements of the elite, in his sense, were not chatterers and scribblers but (as George W. Bush might have put it) deciders: generals, national politicians, corporate boards.

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less