I know the weaknesses of the terms Expert and expertocracy, and am willing to consider all alternatives.
An Expert is a person with training and, more importantly, credentials, in an subject considered necessary by rulers. They are the persons who provide rulers with the “science” the rulers use to justify their actions. The rulers are oligarchs and top bureaucrats, both of which include Experts promoted beyond their expertise. Hence expertocracy.
The key is that, although there is much cynicism among them, many rulers really do worship science, or what they think science is. Others, it’s true, seek out scientists, or “researchers”, for Machiavellian purposes, but a fair portion do want “proof” their desired “solutions” for some problem are the correct ones.
People can almost always be found among persons with expertise who will provide this “proof.” These people become Experts. This alignment with the ruling class builds the Expert class. Money and power flows to these Experts. Experts then, through time, organically form a cadre, whose main purpose becomes, like in all bureaucracies, to sustain its own class.
Experts become gatekeepers: that is, some Experts are appointed as expertise police. Those who question Expert Consensuses are called “deniers”, and worse. The motives of questioners are always under suspicion, and the motives often claimed to be monetary. Which at least proves Experts have no sense of humor.
Crucial is the Consensus building process. Here is a perfect example of how this works using “peer-reviewed” “research” from a “top” journal:
“Who are the 3 Per Cent? The Connections Among Climate Change Contrarians” by Young and Fitz, in the British Journal of Political Science.
Abstract begins: “Despite 97 per cent of scientists agreeing on anthropogenic global warming”.
Now this “97%” is like many woke statistics you hear often, like “5 out of every 4 college women are sexually assaulted”. They become almost a mantra.
Here, for example, is one take down of this silly number: The Consensus That Wasn’t: Less Than 1%, Not 97%
Most interestingly, Young and Fitz’s 97% is not the same as the original 97%. The 97 figure becomes, then, like other mysterious numbers used in politics are quickly formed and never budge no matter what evidence is adduced.
The key is this: Experts in one field always take the word of Experts in other fields. This is how almost all “fact checks” in an expertocracy function—by taking what other Experts say as unquestionable.
Indeed, that is the basis for this paper. Our PolySci “reseachers” are ignorant of the thermodynamics of fluid flow of differentially heated rotating sphere, so they must, and do, take what Experts in that field say as gospel. The irony here is a thick as flies on an outhouse toilet, because our polysci Experts point at others without expertise (like themselves) for their temerity on questioning the climate Consensus.
Cross-field Expert agreement is Step One. Step Two is asking how others with or without training in thermodynamics could possibly question the Expert Consensus. How dare they? How could they? They allow non-Experts to agree with Experts, but they do not allow disagreement. They also do not allow those with training to question Experts.
The implicit assumption is Experts are correct (in all things) because they are Experts. Thus those that disagree are wrong by definition.
So our “researchers” hunt for clues for what drives deniers. Forbidden as a clue are any observations that disprove Experts, superior alternate theories that question Experts, and so on.
Therefore, Denier motivation must necessarily be ulterior and suspicious. As above, money is usually blamed, and so are certain psychological tendencies of the deniers. Reasons are always found for denial, and the reasons don’t have to be true: aspersions and crude guesses are sufficient. Especially if other “researchers” have made the same guesses.
In the end, this paper (and many like it) adds to the bulk of “research” on the topic of global warming. This paper, which says nothing intelligible on global warming, becomes added proof of global warming because, it is reasoned, these Experts would not have written such a paper if Expert theories on global warming were false. Therefore global warming must be true.
In this way, Experts who promulgate other Expert theories become True Believers. They all convince each other, the proof being that each other is convinced. It is an immense scientific circle—of some kind.
That is how Science works in an expertocracy.
I don’t expect to convince you on the basis of just one paper. But I have many, many: there is no shortage. I will have one tomorrow on the coronadoom.
(I also have a chapter on this in Everything You Believe Is Wrong. After you have shown how an argument is wrong, you can ask why.)
Buy my new book and own your enemies: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.
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