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Consensus Authoritarianism

Ever wonder why so many people are skeptical about “global warming” catastrophism, and the schemes and policies hatched by the AGW crusaders to (ostensibly) deal with it?

Could it be that their desire to be technocratic tyrants is just a little too obvious?

In a new book, David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith take the appeal to experts somewhat further and argue that in order to deal with climate change we need to replace liberal democracy with an authoritarianism of scientific expertise. They write in a recent op-ed:

Liberal democracy is sweet and addictive and indeed in the most extreme case, the USA, unbridled individual liberty overwhelms many of the collective needs of the citizens. . .
There must be open minds to look critically at liberal democracy. Reform must involve the adoption of structures to act quickly regardless of some perceived liberties. . .
We are going to have to look how authoritarian decisions based on consensus science can be implemented to contain greenhouse emissions.

On their book page they write:

[T]he authors conclude that an authoritarian form of government is necessary, but this will be governance by experts and not by those who seek power.

“But our dictatorship will be a benevolent, scientific one! Trust us! How could it ever be anything else?” Uh-huh. Right. And this sweet and addictive “governance by experts” will work about as long as it takes for those who seek power to acquire credentials as experts. The notion that the power awarded these technocrats wouldn’t be exercised arbitrarily, well beyond the environment-related concerns used as justification for it, is foolish in the extreme. The limitations imposed on power in a liberal democracy are what prevent it from being used arbitrarily — removing the limitations, even for what may at the time appear to be good reasons, is asking for trouble.

These scientists should stick to running experiments and crunching numbers. They’re too hopelessly naive to ever be trusted with formulating public policy.

More from Shearman’s op-ed:

But the importance in the decision lies in the fact that China can do it by edict and close the factories. They don?t have to worry about loss of political donations or temporarily unemployed workers. They have made a judgment that their action favours the needs of Chinese society as a whole.

The needs of the many outweigh the interests of the few, in other words. Now where have I heard that line before…?

As one of the commenters to the op-ed points out, the failure dosn’t lie with liberal democracy, the failure lies with the inability of scientists to persuade the citizens of liberal democracies that the crisis they perceive actually exists, as a prerequisite for taking action to mitigate it. It should be no surprise that AGW crusaders would call for the abridgement of democracy in favor of an earth-friendly dictatorship, when they’ve already abandoned reasoned persuasion for “consensus science” appeals to authority, bullying tactics against nonbelievers, and the suppression of dissenting opinions from within their own ranks.

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