Ever since it became obvious that Trump had a chance of winning, the junior minions of the Cathedral, those mediocre status-seekers waiting for breaks on the status hierarchy so they could scavenge some point for themselves, started to come up with some long-winded arguments against democracy. Which was a lot of fun to watch.
Less fun to watch was the particular argument that they came up with. We need “epistocracy”. The rule of those who know. That’s mean to exclude those Trump voters. Those are ignorant. Shouldn’t vote. Only those who know, those who are not ignorant, should vote. Hence epistocracy.
This is a fairly old idea, obviously, and it reflects a very old and basic misunderstanding that the Western philosophical tradition has about knowledge. We tend to think that knowing more stuff makes you a good person. Socrates used to say that evil people were just ignorant of the good. If we only could teach them, have them understand, they will quickly and resolutely change their evil ways.
But that’s bogus. Knowing a lot doesn’t mean shit. If you can even measure that properly. The question is what you do with your knowledge. Of course ceteris paribus it’s better to know stuff than to be ignorant. But we’re talking politics here. The wise guy isn’t necessarily the good one. Evil is not about ignorance, evil is about evil. Lack of empathy, selfishness, impulse control, whatever. Evil is a personality trait, most likely inborn or socialized in early infancy, and very hard to change. Only changeable through constant social pressure to make sure the guy can’t do evil even if he wants to.
The same goes for meritocracy. Yeah, we have the smartest guys on top. We have exams to guy to elite universities, to get to high places in the civil service and the top companies. So what? Are smart guys better people? Look at Wall Street. Look at China. They invented meritocracy. I’ve written about some examples of the top mandarins at the Imperial court. Were they good people? Surely some were. But many others weren’t. And an evil smart guy is a formidable man. Look at the crap Google or Starbucks is capable of coming up to justify anti-white discrimination or tranny rights. Smart guys all of them.
Which is precisely the problem. Dumb people have weaker imaginations. They only have cognitive capacity to see the real world around them and barely deal with it. Smart guys can signal their social desirability by coming up with long and convoluted chains of utter and complete madness, and still survive, leading normal lives. You don’t necessarily want those guys playing politics.
The real issue in running an organization isn’t smarts, or knowledge. It’s competence, loyalty, and commitment. Skin in the game. All those journalists have neither competence, nor loyalty, nor commitment. Their skin is in another game, the con-game they’ve been running since they invented the newspaper and started agitating against the traditional order in old Europe. No, we don’t need epistocracy. We need the rule of the good, the competent, the loyal.