Saturday , February 27 2021
Home / Tim Worstall /Who? What! Us?

Who? What! Us?

Summary:
The argument in favour of a technocracy shielded from the whims of politics is that the technocrats will get the technical details right in the absence of political pressures. That does assume that there won’t be politics within the technocracy and among the technocrats, obviously. Also, that people with technical knowledge end up taking the technocratic positions. At which point the latest from Brussels on vaccines. Sorry, but the reality is a little more complex – and not quite such a stunning UK victory.True, Britain got a month’s head start on the EU by approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the start of December, and then AstraZeneca’s at the end of that month. It had to accept the terms offered by the pharmaceutical companies, however, both in paying a higher price per dose, and by

Topics:
Tim Worstall considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tyler Durden writes In Final Days, Trump Gave Up On Forcing Release Of Russiagate Files, Nunes Investigator Says

Tyler Durden writes Biden Carries Out Air Strikes In Syria Targeting “Iranian-Backed” Militia

Tyler Durden writes McConnell Says He’d “Absolutely” Back Trump If He’s 2024 GOP Nominee

Tyler Durden writes New California Bill Would Fine Retailers With Separate “Girls” & “Boys” Sections

The argument in favour of a technocracy shielded from the whims of politics is that the technocrats will get the technical details right in the absence of political pressures. That does assume that there won’t be politics within the technocracy and among the technocrats, obviously. Also, that people with technical knowledge end up taking the technocratic positions.

At which point the latest from Brussels on vaccines.

Sorry, but the reality is a little more complex – and not quite such a stunning UK victory.

True, Britain got a month’s head start on the EU by approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the start of December, and then AstraZeneca’s at the end of that month. It had to accept the terms offered by the pharmaceutical companies, however, both in paying a higher price per dose, and by waiving their civil liability in the event of adverse effects.

Yes, this is by a journalist but it’s clearly the story they’re telling themselves internally. This is where we get to test that claim to technocracy - liability. For it’s an entirely standard part of a vaccination program that the manufacturers are shielded. This is why the decision to shield them here, this is why there’s the vaccine compensation fund. The vaccine will kill some few people and will damage some still small but larger number.

No, not might, could, but will. Doing anything to 500 million people will damage some and kill some smaller number. That’s just the way reality works, it would be true of asking people to cross the road or spend an extra 5 minutes in bed. The benefits, overall, of vaccination are so great that this is just a cost that we have to bear as a society. Or even, a cost that some few of us will bear directly and the rest of us compensate for financially - however much money doesn’t make up for everything.

That the technocrats of Brussels didn’t know this is the indictment of the system. After all, if we’re not gaining the benefits of the technical knowledge then what is the purpose of a technocracy?

It is possible for the idea to work. This discussion with Kate Bingham shows how. Select an actual expert and give them the freedom to do expert things and it does indeed work. Politics being the process by which the expert is selected, the boundaries of the necessary freedoms determined. But of course those experts are not found within the political system in normal times which does rather kill the technocratic case more generally.

Media enquiries: 07584 778207 (Call only, 24 hour)

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *