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When most people talk about “elites”, they’re talking about who has the most power. But power is only as good as what you do with it, so to me, the real elites are those with influence. Those who have changed history and actually made a difference, especially the difference they wanted to make. Roughly speaking, the more different the world is, then it would have been, had you never lived, the more influential you are.
Of course we can’t go back in a time machine and prevent people from being born, to see how big a difference their lives have made. But if we asked a dozen different historians to name the most influential people in history, they’d all name many of the same people (Jesus, the prophet Mohammad, Newton etc) proving there’s some objectivity to this.
When analyzing 2018’s list of the 100 most influential living people of all time, I found that although blacks are 15% of the World’s population, they are only 3% of the most influential (Oprah, Diana Ross, and “Kool Herc”). The number increases to 6% if you include Afro-multiracials such as Obama, Colin Powell, and Condi Rice. All are Americans.
Powell, primarily used his influence to advance the interests of others, so I would not consider him an elite. Rice was influential more by what she failed to prevent, then by what she actually intended, so I would not consider her an elite either. But the other blacks all used their influence to advance their own agendas and thus qualify as elites.
Even though Ashkenazi Jews are only 0.14% of the World’s population, they’re roughly half the World’s 100 most influential people. Sadly one of these (Bernard Lewis) recently passed away, opening up a slot for a newcomer on 2019’s list.
Although they are listed for their impact on history, one listee (Bob Woodward) is having a huge impact right now, for his new book about Trump, which claims his aids are secretly against him. Just as Woodward helped drive one president to paranoia back in the 1970s, he may be doing the same today.