Skal specialister styre mere efter COVID-19?

Brian Lee Crowley fra Macdonald-Laurier Institute har skrevet et glimrende indlæg om, hvad vi kan lære om ”ekspertvælde” på baggrund af COVID-19-pandemien. Hvis sundhedseksperter har styret os sikkert igennem pandemien, burde man måske bruge specialister på andre områder til at løse andre af samfundets problemer som fx klimaforandringer og ulighed.  Det er Crowley imidlertid ikke helt enig i.

Much of the argument that experts should be granted a “mandate for leadership” relies on the idea that we know what we need to know in order to act intelligently. In other words, it is based on a presumption of knowledge. The baseline condition of humanity (including experts), however, is that we are ignorant, not knowledgeable. Knowledge is scarce, not abundant.

Some experts’ advice was followed in some places and it worked out well, as in Taiwan. In other places, different experts’ advice yielded less impressive results. And the Taiwan example shows that sometimes expert advice worked quite well—until it didn’t.

Crowley advarer også imod, at vi tillægger den viden, vi har (eller før eller siden opnår) på baggrund af COVID-19-pandemien, større betydning i forhold til at lade sundhedseksperter have stor indflydelse under næste pandemi

Whatever the lessons, it is certain that they will be only moderately useful next time because circumstances will be new and therefore everyone’s expertise will be of limited value. Yet we can be confident that when the next pandemic strikes, the “lessons from COVID” will be trotted out by the experts, when the state of our knowledge will again be partial and imperfect, and COVID may be more or less relevant. There is a reason why generals always fight the last war: because that’s what they’re expert on.

Til gengæld tænder han et lille liberalt lys for dem, der frygter, at Mette Frederiksen og andre regeringsledere vil bruge den (påståede) succes med at håndtere pandemien, til at indføre mere styring fra centralt hold af samfundet.

After the end of World War II. In Britain, six years of rationing, bombing, shortages and “solidarity” led the Labour Party to promise to carry that spirit and those methods into running peacetime society. Their slogan in the 1945 general election (which they won in a landslide) was, “And now win the peace.”

What they failed to realize was that war and peace are not the same thing. In the war, there was an overriding existential objective to which the vast majority of Britons voluntarily subordinated everything else: to defeat Hitler. When peace arrived, however, people quickly tired of overweening officials telling them what to do in the name of the “spirit of Dunkirk.” The public increasingly chafed under the privations of peacetime rationing.

Above all else they craved a return to normality, by which they meant a state of affairs where they made their own decisions about what mattered to them.

Many people love the idea that everyone else will drop their stubborn attachment to their selfish priorities and sacrifice their narrow vision for the common good. But what they usually have in mind is that the rest of us should give up what we want and pursue what they want instead.

What they usually have in mind is that the rest of us should give up what we want and pursue what they want instead.

Brian Lee Crowley, Macdonald-Laurier Institute

Det er en helt central observation, at specialister som fx sundhedseksperter netop er specialister i sundhed – men ikke alt andet. Man bliver ikke ekspert i effekten og konsekvensen af nedlukninger, bare fordi man er mikrobiolog eller matematisk virolog. Og selv hvis man omgiver sig med alverdens eksperter, vil man kun besidde en meget begrænset viden og fx ikke kende til den enkelte borgers ønsker og drømme for livet, hvilket – som Hayek har påpeget – er et helt centralt problem ved central styring. Og så er der hele det politiske problem ved central styring, som Crowley påpeger ganske fint:

Alt I alt et glimrende – og opløftende – indspark fra Crowley. Læs det her: https://www.discoursemagazine.com/ideas/2021/08/03/covids-retreat-doesnt-prove-experts-should-rule/

1 thought on “Skal specialister styre mere efter COVID-19?

  1. kjeldflarup

    En anden vigtig ting omkring eksperter er at deres prioriteter er på deres speciale. Jeg har således oplevet en ekspert i vandkvalitet i ramme alvor påstå at Danmark er langt fra at leve op til FN’s verdensmål om rent vand til alle.

    Eksperter har ALTID ret i at en investering i deres ekspertområde kan betale sig. De har dog sjældent forståelse for at de ressourcer der skal til, oftest må tages fra andre områder og på ingen måde er uendelige.

    Svar

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