We are not yet in a full or complete expertocracy. That form of government is still in competition with the oligarchy, currently also gaining strength, and the old capitalism system, in which the parliament or Congress is supposed to hold ultimate power, withers.
Congress isn’t entirely ornamental, but it is becoming so. Here are some for instances that you already know. Congress has, on paper, the power to declare war. Do they? Or do the Experts in the Executive do it? Congress has, on paper, the power to tax and spend. It seems they do. Yet Congresscreatures largely farm out the laws they write to Experts—-mainly lobbyists in the employ of oligarchs.
Congress is not yet powerless. Some small laws created in the traditional way, designed for the good of the old system, slip by. But these are decreasing. Too many of their laws now are mere guidelines, tasking some “agency” to create the actual de facto laws. These agencies are staffed by Experts.
Voting is still a thing, but limited. The left certainly becomes hersterical about voting, such as insisting people can vote illegally. This mean elections still matter to some extent. Not in the same sense and force as, say, a century ago, but they can make small differences, especially at smaller levels of governance.
Yet it is all fading.
The expertocracy gains in strength. Here today is one small proof of this. The call for formalizing the governing role of what we used to call monopolies. Bloomberg says “Give Amazon and Facebook a Seat at the United Nations“.
(All of this, including ellipses, is original.)
It’s getting harder to distinguish brands from nation-states.
The resemblance is not simply semiotics:
logos (flags), anthems (jingles), taglines (mottoes), mission statements (constitutions), founder stories (official histories), terms and conditions (legal codes)
customers (citizens), shareholders (legislators), boards of directors (executives), chairmen (monarchs), CEOs (presidents), and oversight boards (judges) …or even size, though the comparisons are startling:
The call is what is important. To say that these large entities, resembling as they do (more on this presently) small countries, creating de facto laws and enforcing them, should be treated as other governing bodies is to acknowledge the expertocracy, and in part the oligarchy.
Corporations are not strictly oligarchies, even if they are monopolies, because they are woke. That they are woke shows it is not capitalists in charge of these entities, but Experts in marriage with oligarchs. I won’t repeat all the reasons why this is so. For that, read “Why Corporations are Woke.”
These corporations, while wielding substantial power, are still subject to the rule of Experts as the rest of us. Old style capitalists, in days long gone, had vastly more freedom to do what they wanted, and to buy Congressional votes. New style Expert-led companies, even if owned by oligarchs, are often forced to bow to their own employees’ demands, demands which are fomented by Experts.
Now for the resources these entities control:
Walmart Inc. employs roughly the population of Botswana; Microsoft Corp.’s market cap is greater than Brazil’s GDP; FedEx Corp. has five times more planes than Air India Ltd.
That’s a lot of muscle. Then this recognition:
If this all sounds a tad whimsical — comparing gadflies to goliaths — it may be because of the cultural dominance of the “Westphalian system,” under which the global balance of power has been envisioned, since 1648, as a mosaic of centrally controlled and culturally unified nation-states, each wielding a monopoly of force inside mutually recognized borders.
The Expertocracy, thanks to English and academia, is world-spanning. Papers are written still in other languages, but make no mark unless recast in English. And it is universities that staff both old-style governments and woke corporations. Borders are a hindrance, which is why the expertocracy views them with disdain. They also make little sense, while this slogan does: “Knowledge has no borders.” Of course, Expert definition of knowledge differs from the logical.
Anyway, then came the gift of the coronadoom, in which the true power of Experts became apparent.
More novel was how nation-states turned to private companies to solve the unprecedented challenge of contact-tracing entire populations.
In May 2020, Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google set aside their rivalry to launch an “exposure notification” API, available to official public health bodies via iOS and Android. By September 2021, more than 40 countries (and 25 U.S. states) had plugged into this API — including initially resistant nations like England, Finland, Germany and Norway.
Significantly, many of the independent state-led solutions — notably Singapore’s BlueTrace, Israel’s HaMagen and France’s TousAntiCovid — were still obliged to interact with Google and Apple, if only to use their app store protocols to get their technology onto their citizen’s phones.
These entities are not in complete control: I do not claim that. But the Experts in these entities have substantial power. Using de facto laws, they can and do purge their enemies, including sitting presidents.
They can’t do everything. They can’t start or wage wars. But they can direct the flow of much political activity, including war mongering.
I don’t think anybody knows how this will all shake out in fifty year’s time. But if I had to guess, something resembling the New World Order, something much more, but not entirely, global will result.
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