Elites and Publishers: Cultural Gatekeepers

In older times, in publishing, decisions were made by a select group, of ‘dem editors. Societies operate in terms of elites. There is always an elite. The elite arises, and then talented persons who already exist as members of that elite may take on certain kinds of tasks. Elites therefore tend to be curators and they might decide where the quality is for others. Subsequent to approval, these quality products are then going to be exposed to the market.

First, the gatekeepers must decide you are worthy.

So, what I wondered was about why it is like that. Why is this the way? Why are elite editors necessary? It is a bit of a curious question, as it relates to social class. And the social elite (like class itself) is quite an arbitrary thing. It is contrary to our lofty ideas of equality, for sure. “Class” was laughed out of the room; it has not been philosophically fashionable. It has not been a fashionable thing for decades. Actually centuries. Was there ever a function for these gatekeepers? Well, of course. An important one.

Actually there was a function there, yes!

Once an elite is established, talent would rise to the fore, I mean within an elite; talent is not created by the elite. It could not rise within society as a whole, unfortunately. That is because society as a whole was, at that time, divided up into classes. Such a reprehensible system. This had to be opposed and gotten rid of. It was — Marx notwithstanding. So, class really did go into decline. And, as said, no longer exists as something culturally fashionable. Now in American, the elites got popped right in the face in the Revolution; in France by their own evolution it happen in similar style. It may have taken a few years elsewhere. Elites got taken down. Perhaps in some cases it could yet exist but it isn’t very NOW. Upon examination it is found to be really a very bad idea. This very bad idea was once indispensable. Publishing arose within thus time period now being discussed. That was the time of class, formal.

Of course to some extent class still exists. There are families whose children are mysteriously admitted into the prestigious universities. There is a process, one that is somewhat mysterious. A short time ago, the way one would put books out was they were inserted into that process. If you wanted to get published, you still had to wait for their approval. Approval came from the majors, and there was an elite of publishers. Of course you could self-publish. But why do that? It was not the same thing, and you knew it. Today, whether a good thing or not, the reign of class is over. It was clear that the idea had to go but certain realities were gone as well. Is something lost when the reality of class is gone?

The talent of Thomas Jefferson was quite clear to the elites of 1770 or thereabouts. They were able to discern facts. Jefferson was a remarkable individual. He was undoubtedly a spectacular person. Jefferson desired to get rid of class!

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[note] the appearance of Thomas Jefferson here is a complete mystery to me. Otherwise the rest of it was re-written Feb. 19th …for the common good)

I had an original idea. Jack Silverman Economics: a new formulation that replaces “private” capitalism with the idea that there are public/social aspects.