The circling of the elites

Sunday morning so thought I would look at the paper and there we have this column by PVO on Political discourse coarsened by reactionary war against ‘elites’. It’s not every reactionary who becomes the wave of the future, but there is this possibility in DJT. It is a bit old timey, but let me take you back to what I still think makes a lot of sense:

The circulation of elite is a theory of regime change described by Italian social scientist Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923). Changes of regime, revolutions, and so on occur not when rulers are overthrown from below, but when one elite replaces another.

There will always be leaders in every society and they will come from a variety of directions and use different means to hold on when challenged. But this is the essence of what PVO has to say:

A book by American professor Tom Nichols titled The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, explores how and why modern society has embraced such a lowbrow approach. [My bolding]

Let me take my own area of expertise, economics. You can certainly accuse me of campaigning against modern textbook theory which, so far as I can see, has brought our economies very low although making some people very rich. Go back to the first civilisations and you will see this everywhere you go. There are some few who are very rich and there are others who are not. The thing about our societies in the West is that those who are not do very very well by historical standards. But if your expertise is founded on the belief that increased aggregate demand and higher public spending are good for growth and employment, then your expertise, in my view, is junk science.

And the fact is, there is a lot of that kind of stuff around at the moment, with agw as large a danger to our communal wealth and well being as I have ever seen. So what does PVO say about that?

Climate change scientists might be the specialists when it comes to assessing global warming, and I’ll defer to their judgment rather than embrace the conspiracy theories of polemicists who dispute the evidence. But when climate scientists seek to influence policy mechanisms for addressing climate change, they move outside their area of expertise. Scientists recommending how best to structure tax or energy trading systems is akin to me offering medical advice: buyer beware. [My bolding again]

Those lowbrow polemicists attacking our elites who indulge in various forms of crony capitalism as they sell us massively government-subsidised wind farms and solar panels may actually have a point, and even more so if you think that these very same elites want to open our borders to anyone who decides to show up.

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