Peel back the surface of the term “elite” and it becomes strikingly obvious that our notion of the elite is misshapen and erroneous. In reality, there is not much that is elite about our elite. They are the no class high class. The rancid cream of the crop. The unbeautiful people. The worst of the worst. Why then do we insist on referring to them as the elite? Is it purely because they have risen to the top and manage to remain there for a period of time? Pond scum is capable of the same, yet no one sings its praises. No, calling the power class in our societies the elite simply won’t do. It's time to retire the term and find another one.
Though fitting, the pond scum analogy would be inappropriate. So would any animal term, or any word stripping “the elite” of their human-all-to-human humanity. Dehumanizing them would be far more harmful to me than it would be for them. As would black-and-white divisions of “us” and “them”; like it or not, they are still “us” and, to varying degrees, we are very much “them.” I have often referred to the elite as the Establishment. Though fitting, I find the term too clinical and too corporate, this despite their cold, calculated, clinical, corporatism.
Once again, it lacks humanity – and they are, after all, still human. Of course, their humanity has been deformed through the choices they have made and the dark forces they ultimately serve. In light of this, perhaps they should be called the Damned; but this term implies finality and obliterates any chance at redemption. No, the Damned would be a transgression of boundaries. That is not my call to make. Well, what then? What should I call our un-elite elite? Those possessed souls . . . the Possessed? Suitable, but perhaps limiting.
I have no clear answer as of yet, but my original objection remains, clear as day – calling the powerful and the influential "the elite" is a gross misnomer. The time to speak a new language has come.