29 November 2010

The Cult Of Expertise

"Progressivism is a faith-based program. The progressives' agenda for improving everyone else varies but invariably involves the cult of expertise - an unflagging faith in the application of science to social reform. Progressivism's itch to perfect people by perfecting the social environment can produce an interesting phenomenon - the Pecksniffian progressive." ~ George Will

Will's comment would also, in many cases, apply to academic & professional historians - many of the same which could also comfortably wear the label "progressive." You see this "cult of expertise" manifested in their disdain for the "unlettered" historian and the amateur historian and by their dismissing previous studies and books in favor of "more recent scholarship" (say that like Thurston Howell with your nose in the air), as if "more recent" automatically means "more accurate." What should actually be dismissed is their idiotic premise and their self-proclaimed "expertise." The "expert" historian often gets it wrong when they attempt to advise and lecture the rest of us "non-experts" on how we should think and interpret history. 

No comments: