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Elitism is the belief that an elite - or small body of expert persons - are the only people whose views on a matter are to be taken seriously. The views of the majority of people who do not belong to the elite are worthless because they are deemed ignorant or incompetent.

The term 'elitist' is often used rather vaguely as a criticism of political and cultural attitudes thought to encourage the exclusion of large numbers of people from decision-making.

See also: anti-intellectualism, academic elitism