Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Clerisy, the Laity, and the Rabble

The point is that casual readers and consumers of news shouldn't have to do a lot of homework to determine who is an expert and who is an "expert." When elite media institutions and, yes, elite institutions in the "foreign policy community," grant these people impressive titles, prominent real estate, and unchallenged respect, most people are going to assume these people should be given, at the very least, a respectful listen.

Aside from flaws in the elite consensus of the foreign policy community, another aspect to this is that the more someone is a genuine "expert," the more likely they are to see all important public discussion as a conversation between elites.

...and we need more like this. When Very Serious Members of the Very Serious Foreign Policy Community are hacks, instead of lashing out at critics of those hacks and the people who enable them, perhaps it's time to criticize the hacks. Even if that would be very ungentlemanly.