Ever since the coronavirus took over the public space, marking the agenda of news, newspapers, columns, the majority and opposition exponents seem to have disappeared. With few exceptions, such as that of the head of government. In the days when viral infection was emerging, some politicians clamored for doctors. Indeed, they have reiterated that they do not want to do anything other than refer to science. “Let the experts talk!”
Such claims have been accepted as if they were obvious. Indeed, many commentators have argued that this would be an opportunity to consider the damage caused by incompetence. So we moved from the NoVax Conspiracy Party to the Medical State Scientist Party.
IS It is very serious that politics openly abdicate science. Subordinated to the dictate of the economy, reduced to administrative governance, politics now retains a very narrow margin that would risk disappearing completely. Therefore it cannot escape its responsibilities.
Of course, incompetence is harmful. You cannot improvise economists, jurists, constitutionalists, etc. Nor much less politicians (and not even philosophers!). A high price has been paid for the idea that any citizen can, overnight, carry out the functions of the deputy safely. However, admitting this does not mean endorsing the expert regime. The risk for democracy would be enormous.
Body hygiene is necessary, but also that of the spirit. Because never as now is it necessary to stay close, contaminate us, not make us immune to one another
There is no talkshow that does not have the expert on duty in many different areas. The frequency of this figure can be traced back to the hyper-specialization of science and the growing complexity. The term “expert” is often used incorrectly as a synonym for “scientist”. Instead, it must be distinguished. For the scientist, his research is partial, provisional. On the contrary, the expert, under the pressure of public opinion, eager to know and to foresee, needs certain answers, operational data. In the game of conflicting economic and political interests – attention is not neutral! – the expert provides an opinion that has the aura of science. But the scientist often does not recognize him as such. The relationship between the two is always marked by friction. Moreover, that opinion, once entrusted to the rapid flow of the media, changes, is altered. It happens that the same expert changes opinion within a few days. Isn't he a human being? In the meantime, his competence, flaunted in figures, tables, graphs, has silenced and de-responsible millions of citizens whose faculty of judgment is thus affected and eroded.
The politician turns to the expert who should facilitate his choice with data and information. In emergency situations, such as that of the coronavirus, he can even give him the scene. But if it is prudent to resort to the expert's opinion, it is wrong to leave him the last word, as if his judgment were a definitive response, the supreme decision-making body. Its unlimited authority already stands out sovereignly in the dark sphere of exception. This is why the fideistic abandonment in the powers of his expertise, this new superstition of our time, hides imponderable dangers.
Politics cannot be limited to carrying out expert advice. And the politician is not the expert of the experts, the hyper-technician of programming, who at best knows how to administer, knows how to choose the means of government, but can no longer see to what end, without, indeed, being able to decide the purposes. The torment of the decision, the burden of responsibility is the cornerstone of politics.