this post is not about music
Here, an elite is being defined not as a traditionally entitled faction of society but as the group which actually holds the power in a given niche at a given time. Elites of this type often fail to realise that they are elites. Defining/redefining the nature of the castle is part of capturing/recapturing it, of having the power. It’s not necessary to be posh & Oxbridge to define & capture the castle then become boring, arrogant, obstructive & limiting, via the use of restrictive definitions and practises; anyone can do it. In fact in this model the process is natural & inevitable, generational even, whether you’re an elite elite or a populist elite. It’s a small town, son/and we all support the team*.
“Once the new style is adopted by a sufficiently large number of followers, its representatives become the new elite and the cycle starts from the beginning.” Anyone old will have watched this cycle through a number of times in a number of cultural arenas. Experience tells us that if you don’t like what you see, you can wait for the next thing to come along. It also tells us that this holds for every discipline, at every scale & at every wavelength; even for the tiniest little niche eddy already curling into viscosity at the edges of the flow.
Can the elite of one establishment ever justify its belief that it is the anti-elite of (the antidote to) another? Is it possible to survive the rage of a populist elite, especially an emergent one, at being called out for its elitism?