Who will save us from the experts?

There are two articles paired at Instapundit that really do capture the Brexit moment. The first is It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses which is exactly what the article is about and is offered without the slightest sense of irony or humility. Here is the para that captures it all:

The Republican Party, already rife with science-deniers and economic reality-deniers, has thrown itself into the embrace of a man who fabricates realities that ignorant people like to inhabit.

These are the experts: global warmists and Keynesians! Who would trust such expertise? Reading the comments at Instapundit shows the level of distrust with such people. Here are a couple:

It’s funny how they keep harping on Nigel Farage supposedly lying to the British voters in order to win their votes. The nerve of such people! Why, progressives and neofeudalists would never dare do such a thing!

Ted Kennedy, on the 1965 immigration: “The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

Ted Kennedy, on the 1986 amnesty: “This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this.”

Yet suddenly Leftists are insisting on truth in advertising laws for politicians. If they want to roll back every left-wing lie of the last six decades they can gladly have a redo on Thursday’s vote.

And then there’s this:

Homogeneous societies are happier. They have much higher social trust and a good deal more willingness and less resentment in looking after their have-nots. Multi cultural societies rob people of a true sense of belonging. The lions share of what is good in life has nothing to do with money and economics. A nation is more than just a souless shopping mall packed with culturally atomized individuals. The elites are indifferent to the cultural destruction they have wrought in their blindered pursuit of a few more pieces of silver and a lot more centralized control. Globalization is a disaster of epic proportions. It can only end in tyranny.

All right. One more:

I *do* believe in reason, expertise, and the lessons of history. However, the “elite” are more wedded to their delusions and power than any of the above. Fer crissake, the people who claim to be “believers” in evolution are now pushing the idea that “male” and “female” are entirely learned! Their learning the “lessons of history” is to ignore the lesson of WWII — when lunatics promise to kill you *BELIEVE THEM*!

And expertise? At what? Fraud, extortion, ginning up hatred? Keeping their hands clean of the violence they incite? At laundering money for their elections through an “education” system that leaves those most in need of an education barely literate and trained to hate?

OK. Another, they’re so addictive.

“Science deniers”? Which party thinks “male” and “female” are learned traits and surgically alterable? Which clings to a prediction of ever-rising temperatures despite more than a decade of no change? Which clings to a demonization of CO2 when there simply isn’t any more energy CO2 can “trap”?

There is expertise in how to fix a broken sewer pipe. There is similarly expertise in how to take out an appendix. But expert opinion on social, political and economic issues? I’m afraid that wherever self-interest plays a hand in the decisions of experts, their reliability is not to be trusted. Which is why a democratic process, where the rulers must seek the endorsement of the ruled, remains the only way a modern society should be run.

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50 Responses to Who will save us from the experts?

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    These are the experts: global warmists and Keynesians! Who would trust such expertise?

    You can take the Keynesians, Steve, I’ll handle the climateers. Just give me 12 powerpoints and 30 minutes.

    The climateers refuse to debate any more because when they do they always lose. That is because the empirical data blows them away. The very recent CERN results are the latest stake into the heart of the climate zombie. Increased cloud formation caused by low solar activity has about 5 times the effect of total solar irradiance, due to higher terrestrial albedo. It accounts for half of the warming last century. The long 60 year ocean cycle caused most of the rest. I recommend any government climate scientist to sign themselves up as a Uber driver before it’s too late.

  2. Louis Hissink

    Steve,

    Either the market, aka the great unwashed, determines the nature of money, or the foxes, in the Paretoian sense, do.

    The former is the market’ the latter the Deep State.

    The latter is religion.
    The whole argument is over who controls money – the market or the state.

  3. Entropy

    You poor, sad bastard. Don’t you realise it’s different when they do it?

  4. No Eynestine

    Thank you for the work and thought that must have gone into this post Mr Kates.

    Enough said.

  5. I am Spartacus

    What a moron. What a fool.

    I am speechless – and that is a challenge for me.

    Feeling the pressure. Those poor unwashed “no-nothingers” – not the Brexiters or Trump supporters; the elites that is.

    They rigged the system in their favour – regulatory preferences and rent seeking. They implement policies that favour them at the expense of others (low interest rates to inflate the value of their assets while inflating the price of food and energy, support an ever larger state to protect those assets and “sedate” the masses with transfers of their money back to them, regulations to protect the elites’ industries – banking, accounting, legal, medicine and especially the public service, the corruption and non accountability of the political elites.

    God knows why the peasants are revolting. Let them eat cake.

  6. tbh

    The events of the last week really have shown these “experts” for the pompous totalitarians that they really are and it seems that the populace are getting heartily sick of being lectured and talked down to by them. I certainly don’t always agree with my fellow citizens when it comes to matters democratic, but what’s the alternative? Do we really want to ignore the utter disaster that was the awful and bloody experiment with non-democracy in the 20th century?

    Give me democracy and the market economy thanks. We’ve tried all the other ways and they patently do not work.

  7. jupes

    The ‘elites’ gave us the climate change scam.

    We now live in a world where China can increase its CO2 emissions exponentially and be praised by the ‘elites’ while Australia is castigated by these same tossers for not doing ‘enough’ on climate change.

    This after we waste billions of dollars a year subsidising ‘renewable’ energy for precisely zero effect on the climate but a real measurable effect on the economy.

    I hope the elites do ‘rise up’ against us. I for one can hardly wait to give them what they deserve.

  8. tbh

    Yes, the retribution will be swift and bloody from the proles I think Jupes.

  9. Rococo Liberal

    I’m an expert in my field. People pay me $500 to $600 an hours for my opinion on the law. I deal with a lot of other experts in several fields. Most of them are not intellectually gifted as such. And even if they are, they do not really have the forensic training needed to evaluate evidence in the abstract. If you want to prove something in court an expert witness is useful, but it is the lawyer who brings the intellectual heft to the bear and who argues the case.
    The most famous example of why we should never trust experts of course is that letter to the Times in 1981 signed by 364 economists. It said that Geoffrey Howe’s budget was going to ruin Britain’s economy. Within a few months that economy was well on the road to recovery, because Howe and Mrs Thatcher ignored the experts.

  10. .

    R.L.,

    With respect, they were not experts.

    Halfway through my LLB now BTW.

  11. jupes

    The ‘elites’ also gave as the gift of Muslim immigration.

    Thank you ‘elites’, we really appreciate it.

    Of course there are no mosques in the suburbs the ‘elites’ live but they know exactly what is good for the rest of us.

  12. Leo G

    I recommend any government climate scientist to sign themselves up as a Uber driver before it’s too late.

    The lure of an anthropogenic Uber catastrophe?

  13. GleamBright

    You’ve got it the wrong way around. The reason that so many deluded ‘experts’ are out there, is the natural result of democracy, which pits rational thought against self interest. The results of democracy have already been delivered.

  14. entropy

    I actually believe that might be a good idea monty.
    The important bit is when rehiring do not reopen the social science, political science and journalism faculties. The earth will be salted where they once stood.

  15. Nate

    I had a look at my ballot today. One candidate was from something I hadn’t seen before, the “Science Party”. Other than the tens of billions for research they wanted I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the Greens.

  16. Nelson Kidd-Players

    Once I saw the ‘Science’ party preferencing all the far left parties on their senate HTV, they were struck from my potentials list.

  17. nerblnob

    People who claim to love Science, without naming any branch of science, are usually talking through their lower hole, and are very selective about which experts they’ll listen to.

    They “effing love” “Science” on Facebook when it confirms their prejudices about religious types worshipping invisible fantasy figures, not so much if it was to say the same about indigenous hunter gatherers.

    They “effing love” “Science” experts when they tell them the earth will fry it we don’t quadruple electricity prices but their appetite for listening to experts is suddenly diminished when it comes to listening to expert engineers telling them fracking won’t poison their water.

  18. Fisky

    The elites are wrong about every issue of any consequence. I have seen “predictions” that Venezuela’s GDP will contract by 8% this year, after a similar contraction last year. This is absolutely ridiculous given they have run out of food, people spend the majority of the day waiting in line, and no one is producing anything.

    But the “elites” are calculating that a country entering a famine has had a smaller recession than Latvia and Iceland did in the GFC. Absolutely ridiculous. So you can toss economics on the fire along with the other useless disciplines.

  19. Fisky

    The most famous example of why we should never trust experts of course is that letter to the Times in 1981 signed by 364 economists. It said that Geoffrey Howe’s budget was going to ruin Britain’s economy. Within a few months that economy was well on the road to recovery, because Howe and Mrs Thatcher ignored the experts.

    They did the same when Howard won in ’96. “Experts” signed a letter warning of economic doom under Howard666. Just embarrassing.

    Oh look, I see Kwiggan is yelling about Brexit!

  20. Oh come on

    Don’t sack all the Professors. Some work in disciplines that are terribly important. The ones that m0nty is talking about, however, could be vapourised tomorrow and humanity would be none the poorer. Of course m0nty would love to help fill the vacuum these useless academics would leave behind. Pity they aren’t going anywhere and will remain as ineffectual and irrelevant as ever.

    Stick with the fantasy football, m0nty. Far fewer rakes.

  21. Nerblnob

    Expert engineers are out there engineering.

    A lot of them do teaching to “give back” to their profession but the full time academics who’ve never done anything else are C-grade at best.

  22. Tel

    The ones that m0nty is talking about, however, could be vapourised tomorrow and humanity would be none the poorer.

    You claim to know what Monty is talking about?!?

    Even he doesn’t know that.

  23. Tel

    Fer crissake, the people who claim to be “believers” in evolution are now pushing the idea that “male” and “female” are entirely learned!

    Classic.

    We are reaching a phase of “Peak Onion” where to look at a title “It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses” it would have to be a gag or something. But when you read it through they guy is completely deadpan, not even throwing in the occasional clue that he is deep down joking.

    The lessons of history are that socialism always fails and that democracy isn’t great but one heck of a lot better than rule by totalitarian elite.

  24. M Ryutin

    Foreign Policy has obviously lost it over Brexit and more articles than this one prove it. It is apparent from an across-the-board look at its review of the issue, from silly stuff like Northern Ireland and Scotland are GOING TO leave GB or even that Brexit has made Germany too strong (when the threat of even more dictats could blow the EU up entirely, the issue of German domination being right in the front row of tensions right now.. No, Foreign Policy night be like the universities. Captured by SJWs and diminished in prestige, this outrageous idea of the elites merely confirms the old American Spectator argument of 2010, about the new political class being the new Ruling Class (and this is not party-specific).

  25. Observable Fact

    Rococo, if lawyers are so smart, why are so many welded to the left?

  26. Toiling Mass

    God knows why the peasants are revolting. Let them eat cake.

    Probably doesn’t help that they constantly admonish the peasants for liking high sugar, high carb, chocolate cake with rich butter frostings.

    The elites say “Let them have a stick of celery and a glass of water”.

  27. Rabz

    “science” has been so utterly discredited by the global warming scam that it will never recover – nor quite frankly, does it deserve to.

    Tim Blair’s series of posts “Science Says” also clearly demonstrated what a bunch of incessant wrongologist numpties so called scientists are.

    As for “economics” being a “science”, FFS, where does one start?

  28. Myrddin Seren

    Tel

    We are reaching a phase of “Peak Onion” where to look at a title “It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses” it would have to be a gag or something. But when you read it through they guy is completely deadpan, not even throwing in the occasional clue that he is deep down joking

    You have to admit, the Protected Classes aren’t even pretending anymore that they support participatory democracy. All the rhetoric since Brexit, this guy, Geoffrey Robertson’s piece in the Grauniad; the EU immediately rolling out their latest proposals to centralise power in Brussels. It’s an endgame of rule by technocratic elite and it looks like they are trying for a sprint to the finish line.

    The Brexit howls and wails of a generation formed in the education system designed by the Protected Classes suggests at least one sizeable cohort will be cheering for Capital City and President Snow too.

  29. Cannibal

    There is expertise in how to fix a broken sewer pipe.

    There is also expertise in making sure you will continue to be needed, but not look too incompetent to the average punter.
    Ask any plumber.

  30. handjive

    Having successfully hidden behind the door during economic lessons at school, I arrive extremely late to the names Keynesian v Malthusian in my life via global warming.

    This catallaxy post refers to keynesians.

    Also @instapundit was this: PILING FRESH DIRT ON MALTHUS’S GRAVE
    – TAKE THAT MALTHUS
    Rediscovering Gaia’s Riches

    “The Malthusians of the world are always right until they’re wrong.
    They’ll warn of impending resource depletion until they’re blue in the face, but time and again human ingenuity (and natural providence) has made fools of them.”

    History now shows the Malthusians were indeed wrong:

    Open-Ended Resourceship: Bring on 2012!
    “If resources are not fixed but created, then the nature of the scarcity problem changes dramatically. For the technological means involved in the use of resources determines their creation and therefore the extent of their scarcity.
    The nature of the scarcity is not outside the process (that is natural), but a condition of it.”

    Stamp-Size Gravity Meter Could Have Big Impact On Oil Exploration

    “To find buried oil reserves, surveyors have for decades used gravity meters, or gravimeters, along with other instruments. Gravimeters are hypersensitive versions of accelerometers: They measure extremely tiny changes in the acceleration due to gravity.

    But a new postage stamp–size device developed by Scottish researchers could make oil exploration faster, easier, safer, and more economical.”

    Oil is now cheap & plentiful.

    Reynolds comments: “I’m so old I can remember when “peak oil” was a thing, and we weren’t going to drill our way out of it. “

  31. M Ryutin

    Just a thought for the elites who know that The People should listen to their betters:-

    http://heatst.com/uk/nonmageddon-the-brexit-hurricane-was-a-storm-in-a-tea-cup/?mod=sm_tw_post

  32. Tim Neilson

    Rococo, if lawyers are so smart, why are so many welded to the left?
    Because that’s where the money is. I’ve spent over 30 years working as a taxation lawyer. If it hadn’t been for the left, and the mountains of regulations they heap on business, I might have had to get a real job. It’s the same in pretty much any area of life – the left wing totalitarians create the need for people to work with their micro-intrusive control systems.

  33. A C, of Adelaide

    Bolt just had a link to an article by Dominic Lawson thats worth looking at, the main point of which appears to support your case that the elites are quite prepared to lie and mount outrageous fear campaigns to get their way.
    If Bexit got up Britain would be “punished by an emergency Budget which would dramatically cut public spending, increase taxes and perhaps even abandon the state pension ‘triple lock’.
    So, asked Marr, when will that Budget take place? And, he went on, did the minister stick to his view of only a few days ago, that Brexit would result in 500,000 job losses, a cut of 3.6 per cent in annual economic growth and a collapse in house prices? ”
    No – that was just electioneering.

  34. Diogenes

    I’ve lost track …
    Is coffee good/bad ?
    Is red wine good/bad ?
    Is chocolate good/bad ?
    Is butter good/bad ?
    Is margarine good/bad ?
    Is cereal or a bacon & egg sanger better for you for breakfast ?
    Does it make any difference if my oats are steel cut or cut with plastic ?

  35. Minderbinder of Qld

    For those who are skeptical of all experts, legal, (how come expert legal opinions differ depending on the side that the expert represents if they are so expert) or otherwise, some thoughts via the Jonova Blog.

    There are essentially two reasons why we know everything to be the true – two reasons why we believe everything that we do.  Either we have seen evidence for it ourselves, or we trust the opinion of an authority on the matter.  The first of these is known as “argument by evidence” and the second is “argument by authority.”  For most people, our opinions are a cocktail of the two.  We may like a particular car because we drove it (argument by evidence) or because we read a review of it (argument by authority).  Usually, we have done both.
    But there are two professions that operate at either ends of this spectrum.  Science works exclusively by “argument by evidence” and law works exclusively by “argument by authority”.  For scientists, precedent is nothing and evidence is everything.  For lawyers, precedent is everything, and evidence – well, in a case like this, they never even get as far as looking for it.
    So that, for example, when we look at a Will Steffen – someone that is paid to believe in climate change – we view his opinions with a great deal of mistrust.  We understand that his employment is dependent upon the climate change thing being true, and he is not free to voice an opposing opinion.  When we hear him being interviewed and making increasingly shrill predictions, we never hear him providing any evidence for these predictions.  The lawyer, however, sees none of this.  All they see is that an eminent professor has expressed an opinion, and it doesn’t enter into their head that he may be wrong.  This is exactly how the law works.  If a particular legal case comes up, they will scour the books for a similar case in the past.  If they find one, they quote the outcome in this case as gospel truth.  It never even occurs to them, even for a moment, that the judgement may be seen to be wrong if it were subject to re-examination.  It is accepted without question, without scrutiny, and with no shred of doubt.
    So when the lawyers in Parliament read the latest report from the IPCC or BOM or CSIRO they swallow it whole.  And given the nature of the profession, not only do they not question it, they make sure no one else does.  I discovered this recently when I tried to have a chat with Linda Reynolds (Lib WA) about it at a branch meeting.  I didn’t even get to finish asking my question before she cut me off with “oh, I think we all accept the science.”

  36. Ellen of Tasmania

    You can take the Keynesians, Steve, I’ll handle the climateers. Just give me 12 powerpoints and 30 minutes.

    Alas, Bruce, we could give you 120 powerpoints and 30 days and you could not change their minds. It’s worth noting this, because it’s no longer about reason, facts, argument etc. – it’s whose side you are on; with whom do you identify yourself and your ‘values’?

  37. Rococo Liberal

    My experience is that the great majority of lawyers are not left-wing, just a few noisy and less bright ones. They were usually lefties before they became lawyers and gravitate towards jobs where evidence sifting isn’t as important.

    Tim’s point about the mountain of regulations heaped upon business leads on from an ealrier poit made by a very prescient person higher up the thread

    The results of democracy have already been delivered.

    Politicians have become like car enthusiasts. The manufacturer of the car made a perfect machine that does what it has to do. But the car enthusiast will spend all his spare time tinkering with it. He will add all sorts of gizmos and do all sorts of tuning, but in the end the car will not function quite as well as it did, or will need constant attention just to get it back to its peak performance.
    That is what has happened to the State. It is far to over-accessorised.
    The best thing the politicians could after the election do is to take an oath to do nothing for 3 years but pass the appropriation bills with no new programs. They should, if Ministers, run their departments and respond to problems brought to them by the people.
    Can you imagine it?
    The media would be beside itself with rage, as they would not be in a position to bore us rigid with stupid speculation about what we think of the politicians. Lots of experts too would be out of a job.

  38. Myrddin Seren

    I discovered this recently when I tried to have a chat with Linda Reynolds (Lib WA) about it at a branch meeting. I didn’t even get to finish asking my question before she cut me off with “oh, I think we all accept the science.”

    And this is why I have great scepticism that given the Greens Lite who have now infested the Party Formerly Known as the Liberal Party, the Turnbull United Party is in any way ‘reformable’.

    The seat warmers are either Turnbull Minions, spear careers for the Lobbysists who run the factions ( such as they are ) or people whose natural home is the Greens but who couldn’t cut the Stalinist politics of the likes of Lee Rhiannon and Adam Bandt.

  39. Myrddin Seren

    spear careers

    carriers

    but it kind of makes sense anyway.

  40. Ellen of Tasmania

    Multi cultural societies rob people of a true sense of belonging. The lions share of what is good in life has nothing to do with money and economics.

    This might be where the Australian libertarians are unwittingly siding with the ‘enemy’. The globalists/regressives/social marxists have been keen to obliterate any allegiance to any body other than the individual and the state. There is a strong commitment to moral relativism – until you suggest they might be wrong and there really are absolute standards.

    Family, faith, community, tradition – these are all makers and shapers of individuals and of culture. They do indeed give people a sense of worth and calling. They really matter. Your loyalty and love of them really matters. It builds trust, care, responsibility and ‘a true sense of belonging’.

    Good multiculturalism works like good neighbours – with good fences.

  41. Tim Neilson

    The lawyer, however, sees none of this. All they see is that an eminent professor has expressed an opinion, and it doesn’t enter into their head that he may be wrong. This is exactly how the law works. If a particular legal case comes up, they will scour the books for a similar case in the past. If they find one, they quote the outcome in this case as gospel truth. It never even occurs to them, even for a moment, that the judgement may be seen to be wrong if it were subject to re-examination. It is accepted without question, without scrutiny, and with no shred of doubt.
    With all due respect to Jo, and I mean that, she’s obviously never seen an “expert witness” get cross examined, nor read a judgement where an appeal court has been persuaded to overturn previous case law. CAGW alarmist lawyers like Reynolds are not acting as competent lawyers. They are either just too stupid to understand the difference between “the science” and “the propaganda of some people with scientific qualifications”, or are not properly applying their (supposed) professional skills to the issue.

  42. Luke

    I am lawyer and I laugh at the idea the law is in any way scientific. The whole thing is appeal to authority combined with cherry picking precedents. This precedent is good for you, raise it and all the similarities. That precedent is not good for your case, distinguish it by pointing out all the things that make it dissimilar. And at the end of the day the Judges (or their associates) come-up with what ever argument they need to support their decision anyway (multiple reasoning to come to the safe or different conclusions where there is more than one justice on the matter). This is, after all, the profession that thinks memory works like replaying a movie camera.

    Nothing more annoying than Judges and celebrity silks thinking (and playing on other people’s similar belief) that because they are a judge or senior lawyer they are experts on whatever topic it is they speak about; immigration, crime, health, science. Sick of Law Societies and Bar associations publicly expressing a view on social issues like they are experts or even have an opinion worth anything more than that that can be found at the local pub.

  43. Luke

    @Observable Fact

    Because we are a bunch of untrustworthy dis-honourable pricks! Which side of politics offers more opportunity for graft, corruption, deception, and smug virtue signalling f*ckwittery? Plus there seems to be a great degree of cognitive dissonance in our profession. It makes it all that more believable to tell yourself you are a good person when you are out championing the causes of the downtrodden and the modern victimhood appropriators rather than look at the real life outcomes of what you actually do.

    Really if you look at the moral worth of the legal profession as a whole it makes selecting some to be Judges and hail their high moral ground society’s equivalent of repackaging junk bonds as AAA.

    I wouldn’t trust 80% of the people in my profession to sit the right way on a toilet seat.

  44. Joe

    I wouldn’t trust 80% of the people in my profession to sit the right way on a toilet seat.

    More reason then to appoint judges from the citizenry randomly for one term only.
    More reason to also appoint the politicians similarly.

  45. .

    More reason then to appoint judges from the citizenry randomly for one term only.

    That’s great if you believe in nullification. Most people aren’t ready for that, let alone sortition. Even on this blog.

    Most of the law isn’t about making sensible decisions. It is about following procedure and applying a methodology.

  46. Captain Bastard

    The problem with the law is that it has, over the last 50 – 75 years, devolved to system designed to protect the stupid, the unfortunate and the unwary from the consequences of their own actions. Once you start making exceptions in the name of compassion, sympathy or whatever you want to call it, the unscrupulous will seize on those exceptions to their advantage. A good example is debt recovery. Due to various decisions giving the benefit of the doubt to the truly unfortunate, a legitimate creditor is now forced to jump through so many hoops that, unless the debt is over $50k, it is simply uneconomic to litigate it. The “low cost” forums such as QCAT have failed as they have adopted the worst aspects of the processes of the Court such as the incomprehensible paperwork and the delays.

    No doubt Debtors prisons were horrible places to be sent. However, being a subbie sent to the wall by some property developing prick who refuses to pay and uses his lawyers to fight, delay and generally drag out the moment of payment as long as possible in the hope you’ll go bankrupt is frankly much worse.

  47. .

    Cap

    Most stuff really should never go to court. It should be easier to examine and extract (not necessarily force) payment.

  48. Tim Neilson

    Captain Bastard
    #2073906, posted on June 30, 2016 at 2:18 pm
    I agree wholeheartedly. It is, as you say, something that’s been going on for a long time.
    And it fosters organised crime. Would any sane person want to hire a Mick Gatto to enforce a debt if there was a relatively affordable, reliable option within the law?

  49. Captain Bastard

    Dot, Tim

    Indeed they should not have to go to Court. Except that the Creditor will these days likely be treated more harshly by the powers that be than the debtor should the creditor go down the self help route.

    Bit like Brexit really. You have to make an example of those who want to opt out of the system.

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