Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snobbery = Insecurity In Disguise



When I was a little girl I remember learning to read on Cinderella. I stumbled over the syllables, and as I grew to understand them, got angry on Cinderella's behalf. Why should she be scrubbing floors while her evil step-sisters mistreated her?

On a superficial level, the book was about the jealousy that ugly people feel towards the fair. (Ugliness is represented as physical ugliness, which isn't fair.) But more deeply it is about how bad people try to keep good people down.

You can see this everywhere in life, any time you have a group of people getting together. Where there are people, there is always negative rivalry, and hatred of the gifted by those less so. This is a universal truth.

What is less universally known is that hatred frequently takes the form of snobbery. The hater presents their opinion as an axiomatic fact, knowing that the recipient's reasoning is equally as valid - or perhaps even superior.
  • It happens in families, which are supposed to be about nurturing kids.
  • It happens in schools, which are supposed to be about training young minds.
  • It happens in business, which we know already.
  • It happens in religion -- even in the most hallowed halls of the most seemingly spiritual places on earth -- this fact can be particularly upsetting.
  • It happens in higher education, which is supposed to be about advancing the collective knowledge of the human race.
  • It happens in politics and the civil service, which are supposed to be about serving people.
Snobbery is not in fact the assertion of superiority by A over B. Rather, it is a fearful power play.

Someone is weak, and they are trying to hold on to turf.

The way to end it?

Just call it what it is.

* All opinions my own.



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