The Rule of the ‘Experts’
by Justin Raimondo, May 11, 2009
The idea that we should be governed by “experts” goes back a long way, all the way to Plato, advocate of rule by philosopher-kings, who, in their wisdom, would reign over the common herd of humanity – for our own good, of course. More recently, the idea was picked up by various would-be saviors of mankind on the Right as well as the Left. During the Great Depression, a time when all sorts of half-baked “experts” arose armed with panaceas, the idea reached its apotheosis in the form of Technocracy, a movement founded by Howard Scott, which championed a dictatorship of scientists and engineers. They would know how to fix the broken gears of a shattered economy and set things right!
Such ideas were in the air, a byproduct of a society that had lost its economic and social bearings and was veering out of control. The whole concept of expertise, of a class of professional know-it-alls whose collective wisdom could be mined and used to rebuild the socio-economic structure, was taken up by the Roosevelt administration. FDR and his advisers happily went along with the media’s characterization of the president’s “Brain Trust,” whose braininess would save the nation. Ever since that time we have been infested with a plague of “experts,” all of them self-appointed, who are trotted out whenever the Powers That Be want to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people.