The “Dictatorship of Experts” or The New Millennium’s “Enlightened Despotism”

The trend started a few decades ago. First, judges of criminal cases, instead of assessing the degree of responsibility of defendants or the credibility of witnesses, began to call on psychologists to protect themselves behind their expert reports. Then it was politicians who, to take any action, took cover with technical reports of specialists in the specific matter. Now, technicians are literally running the world.

Take, for example, the controversial confinement measures imposed on the population of 2/3 of humanity to hinder the spread of the “Chinese virus” responsible for respiratory failure and deaths with Covid-19.

Virtually all governments have set up teams of epidemiologists and virologists to advise them. In reality, these teams – exceeding their consultative attributions – started to “pilot” governmental action, imposing their guidelines. Public opinion had been conditioned by frightening statements about the virulence of the epidemic and the lethality of the virus, quickly disseminated and amplified by a media avid for sensationalism.

In a press conference in mid-February, when Sars-Cov-2 was migrating from China to Italy, Italian-American scientist Ira Longini, one of the WHO consultants declared  (based on the statistical data provided by the Chinese authorities), announced that the virus would infect 66% of the planet’s 7.7 billion inhabitants, causing the death of 45-50 million people on all continents. Based on a Bloomberg news item, dozens of media outlets and thousands of Internet pages reported that the new coronavirus could infect 2/3 of humanity, etc.

A week later, the Imperial College London medical school released a projection of half a million deaths in the United Kingdom and more than two million in the United States, as the virus has “lethality comparable to that of H1N1 influenza. of 1918,” the sadly famous“ Spanish ”flu which is Spanish only by name because it came from the East. It turns out that this influenza pandemic killed between 50 and 100 million people back then. Given the increase in population, the present epidemic would now result in more than 200 million deaths. That is why the Imperial College “advised” a strict lockdown of the people.

Once the media made public these projections, frightening the population, which government or political leader would have the courage not to confine its citizens so as not to be later accused of genocide?

Never mind that other specialists just as or more qualified than the experts of the WHO or Imperial College considered those projections exaggerated and rejected the suggestion of confinement. Isolated voices simply went unheeded. One of them was that of Dr. Hendrik Streeck, the virologist who probably tended to more patients in Germany. He gave an interview to the country’s leading newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, saying that Sars-Cov-2 was not as dangerous as they claimed. Another prestigious virologist, the Argentine Dr. Pablo Goldschmidt, who worked for 40 years in one of the leading hospitals in Paris, declared there was a real paranoia that did not justify the adopted measures because the high death rates in Lombardy (the region where the epidemic started in Europe) could be because it was the region with the highest concentration of industries and buildings that used asbestos. That causes a high incidence of latent lung deficiencies in the region’s oldest population (mainly in Milan and Bergamo), a liability that did not exist in other areas.

Panic in world public opinion was already so widespread that no ruler changed course when Prof. Ferguson, the Imperial College team leader, confessed in a tweet that he had written more than 13 years ago the mathematical model used to design control measures against Covid-19. And he wrote it in the C programming language, a highly vulnerable code, which contained “thousands of undocumented lines” that made external verification almost impossible (!).

“Of course, Professor Neil Ferguson really got it all wrong. … This is not the first time Ferguson has made a gross mistake. He is the expert who scared Boris Johnson in March by saying that without drastic measures Britain would have faced half a million deaths from the coronavirus. . .Ferguson is no stranger to apocalyptic predictions, which in the past have always proved to be unfounded.”

The most prestigious Italian daily reveals some of the pearls that adorn Prof. Ferguson’s academic profile: “In 2001, during a mad cow epidemic, the professor produced a study based on which he predicted that the disease would kill 50,000 people. In this way, he convinced the Tony Blair government to cull over six million animals including cows, sheep and pigs — not only infected ones, but also all those in surrounding farms.

But in 2011 a report accused Ferguson of committing “serious errors” by ignoring the composition of the farms and the fact that the disease affected some species more than others. In the meantime, the damage caused to the economy amounted to 10 billion pounds, whereas the “mad cow” disease had made only 177 victims. In 2005, the virologist raised the bar by claiming that bird flu would kill 200 million people worldwide. In the end, only 282 people died. In 2009, an estimate by the London government based on Ferguson’s opinions claimed that the swine flu would send 65,000 inhabitants of Great Britain to the next life. Yet, the tally stopped at 457. In recent weeks, the professor had warned that Sweden would face a massacre for its stubborn refusal to impose the lockdown; but in the meantime, the Swedes continue to have a great time.”

Worse still, no government anticipated the population’s “liberation” after the Bonn University Institute of Virology formally denied the lethality previously attributed to SARS-CoV-2 based on an in-depth study in the village of Gangelt, the “Wuhan of Germany. ” It showed that the infection rate had been 15% of the population, and the mortality rate only 0.37%, that is, five times lower than the moderate projections of John Hopkins University for the country.

Even more absurd, expert “task forces” planning the phases for the gradual de-confinement of the population have indeed considered reopening shops, street markets, small museums, etc. Still, they have delayed as much as possible a resumption of liturgical celebrations despite the assurances by some religious authorities that the “social distancing” rule would be respected. Although these experts probably do not practice any religion, they seem to know the size of churches, the number of people who usually attend functions, their degree of responsibility to comply with the rules, etc. better than the parish priest.

The assumption of “expertocracy” is that science alone can assess crises and propose appropriate solutions. They fail to take into account the fact that these are new challenges about which very little is known, and there is no consensus even among scientists.

Furthermore, the dictatorship of experts ignores the fact that scientists of a specific area see problems and propose solutions from a restricted angle and that their analyzes and proposals often conflict with those advocated by scientists from other areas.

This was evident in the crisis opened by the coronavirus: it is evident that to stop the expansion of the virus (whatever its contagiousness and lethality), it is best to isolate people as much as possible; but it is equally evident that if an entire population is confined for a long period, no one can work and the results is economic ruin and the vicious circle of misery and deteriorating health. An economist prefers that no one stops working despite the risk of spreading contagion; an epidemiologist prefers that the whole world is placed on house arrest despite the risk of economic and social catastrophe.

Who should decide? –Public authority, whose role is precisely to watch over the common good and try to harmonize conflicting interests. In modern democracies, with separate branches of government, this is the specific role of the Executive Branch. It is the one that must take measures promoting the greatest good, or at least preventing the greatest evil. To do so, public authority must be guided by prudence – a virtue that exceeds mere scientific knowledge – and play a strictly political role by listening to all parties.

The Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute has published two documents that delve deeper into this matter and deserve to be read in full. The most recent analyzes the manipulation of panic to promote an ideological agenda and an ecological, socialist and globalist “new normality”. The  other shows that the Catholic concept of Common Good is the antidote against the ideological manipulation of the coronavirus pandemic, and should guide the solution of the crisis.

What must not happen in any way is for the powers of the Executive Branch to be usurped by a “technocracy” of experts (who enjoy the sympathy of the media) or by a Judiciary Branch that claims the right to anticipate public authorities by taking the measures it deems appropriate. That has happened with the lockdown in São Luiz do Maranhão and three neighboring municipalities. Even more aberrant, the state governor declared in a tweet that he will comply with the court order.

On the pretext of fighting a virus, we are returning to the regime of “enlightened despotism” that prevailed in continental Europe in the second half of the 18th century based on the slogan “everything for the people, but without the people,” who were seen as ignorant.

Like its ancestor, the new enlightened despotism of expert committees has a markedly anti-religious bias. That is not surprising since materialism is one of the most widespread ideological prejudices among scientists today.

 

Translated by the staff of Fatima Today.

 

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